Emissions of Nanoparticles and Gaseous Material from 3D Printer Operation

Yuna Kim, Chungsik Yoon, Seunghon Ham, Jihoon Park, Songha Kim, Ohhun Kwon, Peng-Chi Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the emissions characteristics of hazardous material during fused deposition modeling type 3D printing. Particulate and gaseous materials were measured before, during, and after 3D printing in an exposure chamber. One ABS and two PLA (PLA1 and PLA2) cartridges were tested three times. For online monitoring, a scanning mobility particle sizer, light scattering instrument, and total volatile organic compound (TVOC) monitor were employed and a polycarbonate filter and various adsorbent tubes were used for offline sampling. The particle concentration of 3D printing using ABS material was 33-38 times higher than when PLA materials were used. Most particles were nanosize (<100 nm) during ABS (96%) and PLA1 (98%) use, but only 12% were nanosize for PLA2. The emissions rates were 1.61 × 1010 ea/min and 1.67 × 1011 ea/g cartridge with the ABS cartridge and 4.27-4.89 × 108 ea/min and 3.77-3.91 × 109 ea/g cartridge with the PLA cartridge. TVOCs were also emitted when the ABS was used (GM; 155 ppb, GSD; 3.4), but not when the PLA cartridges were used. Our results suggest that more research and sophisticated control methods, including the use of less harmful materials, blocking emitted containments, and using filters or adsorbents, should be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12044-12053
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Oct 20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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