3D Printer Safety: ‘The Cloud’ Offers Innovative Fire Extinguishing Solution

By on February 16th, 2024 in Hardware, news

Tags: , , , ,

The Cloud 3D printer fire extinguisher [Source: Wham Bam]

I’m looking at “The Cloud” a “Personal Printer Sentry” for fire control.

There have been recent stories about 3D printer fires, so I spent some time researching the subject and came upon an option I hadn’t seen previously, The Cloud from Wham Bam. Wham Bam is well-known for producing a wide variety of unusual 3D printer accessories, and this is a new item.

What does it do? It’s literally an automated fire extinguisher. Here’s their description:

“Rated as a Class A, B, C, E, and F fire extinguisher, the Cloud will only activate with direct contact with a flame for at least 3 seconds and will not trigger due to ambient temperature or smoke. Once activated, it makes a brief explosion, launching a cloud of ABC extinguishing powder into the air around the device. The powder quickly extinguishes almost any fire within its perimeter.”

Note: Class ABCEF fire extinguishers are able to handle solid, liquid, gas or electrical fires.

This seems to be similar to a sprinkler system, except there’s fire retardant powder instead of water. You mount it above your 3D printer, so that it would be within the “explosion zone” of the powder.

Mounting The Cloud 3D printer fire extinguisher [Source: Wham Bam]

Here you can see how they suggest it be mounted. They also provide images of The Cloud being placed inside 3D printer build chambers, directly on toolheads, or on CNC machines and laser cutters.

Would this actually work? Well, I expect it would be far better than nothing, which is what every 3D printer has for fire control at the moment. There are multiple positive reviews on Wham Bam’s site, but all say something to the effect of:

“I hope I don’t get a chance to test it.”

The downside is that powder, while able to extinguish fires, also leaves quite a mess. Equipment nearby may be contaminated or damaged.

The Cloud 3D printer fire extinguisher being tested [Source: YouTube / Wham Bam]

Here’s a video from Wham Bam showing the device putting out a real fire on both enclosed and open gantry 3D printers. Note the mess generated by the device after it goes off:

This certainly will extinguish fires, but I am not sure it would cut off the heat source. 3D printer fires would typically be caused by runaway heating of the hot end. This would remain hot unless power is cut off, and The Cloud doesn’t do that.

The good news is that The Cloud is extremely inexpensive: only US$29. Would you consider adding one to your 3D printer workshop?

Via Wham Bam

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!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *