A 3D printer operator was lucky to have been present when his 3D printer went awry and almost burnt his home to the ground.
Reddit contributor Mattbi11 posted a horrifying image of his 3D printer setup (shown above) where near catastrophe occurred. Evidently a malfunction in his Rostock Max v2 resulted in a runaway heating scenario, which eventually ignited nearby flammables. He’s not certain what exactly went wrong, but the result is the same.
[UPDATE: We've obtained some additional information about this story; please read here.]
This incident triggers us to remind everyone that 3D printers can be quite dangerous. While some machines are well built and include some safeguards, other machines may not. Some machines are certified by safety authorities - and some are not, particularly if imported directly from overseas manufacturers, and especially if you’re making the machine yourself.
It’s become easier to build DIY 3D printers, but sometimes the kit designs do not have sufficient safety features, or they may be built incorrectly.
There are some methods to reduce risks, though. There are settings in 3D printer firmware to immediately shut things down if a thermistor is disconnected, for example. You can also take a physical approach by enclosing your printer in a fireproof container, install automatic fire extinguishing equipment nearby, or attaching smoke detectors.
Some physical solutions require you to be present to deal with an overheating issue, which is problematic because often prints are very long. You’re not going to sit by your 3D printer for a 42 hour print, are you?
The moral of the story here is that manufacturers of desktop 3D printers should pay more attention to safety concerns and include appropriate features that could avoid disasters like that shown above.
Buyers of desktop 3D printing gear must be more aware of the risks and demand solutions from manufacturers. It’s become easy to 3D print, but is it “safe” 3D printing?