Research Shows UP BOX+ a Safer 3D Printer for Indoor Use

Researchers from the Built Environment Research Group at the Illinois Institute of Technology have conducted a study aiming to test the effectiveness of an enclosed chamber and HEPA filtration in reducing UFP and VOC emissions. Tiertime’s UP BOX+ and UP Fila ABS were the products used in the research.

Intense concentrations of Ultrafine particles (UFP) can have a negative impact on people’s health and possibly trigger adverse reactions in individuals with various pulmonary disorders. According to the report, FFF 3D printer UFP emissions can be reduced at a rate of 74 percent with an enclosed build chamber. This reduction is enhanced by a HEPA filter, improving to 91 percent.

The group published the following chart demonstrating the maximum UFP concentration with HEPA filtration was 5.0E+03, which is more than 90% lower than other 3D printers tested.

Figure 1. a) Time-varying UFP concentrations inside the chamber during background, printing, and decay time periods for (i) open enclosure without the filtration system operating (SM-R 2 : 0.97; total loss rate: 1.4 1/hr) (ii) closed enclosure without the filtration system operating (SM-R 2 : 1.00; total loss rate: 1.4 1/hr), , and (iii) closed enclosure with the filtration system operating (SM-R 2 : 0.99; total loss rate: 1.3 1/hr) and b) estimates of time-varying UFP emission rates during the printing period for the same 3 scenarios Source: Azimi,P,. Brent Stephens, B., 2017. Enclosure performance: Ultrafine particles (UFPs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) removal efficiency of desktop 3D printer enclosures. Chicago: The Built Environment Research Group, Illinois Institute of Technology, (102/001).

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are harmful chemical vapors produced when operating a 3D printer. According to the report, the total VOC generated by an UP BOX printing with ABS is 10.3. Based on previous studies done by the same researchers, it is a lower rate than other 3D printers tested with ABS.


Figure 2. Estimates of emission rates for the top three highest concentration VOCs as well as sum of the top 10 detectable VOCs (i.e., ΣVOC) resulting from the operation of 16 3D printer and filament combinations. Source: Stephens, B., 2016. Evaluating and controlling airborne emissions from desktop 3D printers enclosures. Chicago: The Built Environment Research Group, Illinois Institute of Technology.

An enclosed 3D printer design is crucial to user health. Built-in HEPA filtration with activated carbon can play a significant role in reducing harmful airborne particulates. These are standard features in the UP BOX+ and UP mini 2, making them the safe solution for printing with ABS in an office, classroom, or home.

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