Finally: A 3D Printer Filter Accessory

By on March 1st, 2015 in Hardware


We’ve been looking for something like this for a very long time: finally a way to purify emissions from personal 3D printers. 

It’s called the 3DPrintClean Enclosure, a “recirculating filtration enclosure” that fits around your existing 3D printer. A top-mounted box pulls air from the enclosure, forcing it through a series of filters before pushing it back into the enclosure for air balance. 

The problem is that when 3D printers heat plastic filament or expose resins to the atmosphere, some fine particles escape. These nanoparticles have unknown health effects. Oh yes, there’s also unpleasant odors from some materials, too, but it’s the nanoparticles that are the issue. 

3DPrintClean’s solution involves use of multiple filters. The first stage is an activated carbon filter that removes unpleasant odors. It’s followed by a U15 HEPA filter that is capable of removing some, but not all, of the nanoparticles. The trick is in the recirculation: the twin blowers repeatedly force nanoparticles through these filters to eventually catch most of them. 

But wait, what if your printer is larger than the stock 910mm x 720mm x 760mm enclosure doesn’t fit your 3D printer? No problem, according to James Nordstrom, Founder of 3DPrintClean:

Depending on volume we can customize the enclosure to meet your requirements (Size, build material, number of doors, lighting, intergraded printer, etc.) 

Is it possible to purchase just the filter unit without the enclosure? Apparently not, again according to Nordstrom: 

Yes, an enclosure is required, Ultrafine Particles are very difficult to capture, HEPA filters are limited to capturing a small percentage, and carbon filters only suppress the odor. The only cost effective way to reduce the level of Ultrafine Particles is to repeatedly scrub the contaminated air, reducing the level with each pass until the total concentration has been reduced to safe levels.

However, it is possible to purchase just the filter unit and build your own enclosure, which might be useful for some of the more gigantic 3D printers emerging these days. 

At USD$350 per enclosure, some may consider the 3DPrintClean Enclosure a pricey accessory. However, if you operate a 3D printer in your home, you really need to deal with nanoparticles – either with an expensive air exchange ventilation system or this type of filtration system. The 3DPrintClean is likely a far less expensive option. 

Via 3DPrintClean

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!