Does the smell of resin in 3D printing cause cancer?


If you have or have ever used a resin 3d printer, you will have seen that in the recommendations for use they always indicate to do it in a very ventilated place. Even, in some models, a mask is included.

In addition to these warnings, remember never to touch the resin with the skin, always wear gloves, to avoid allergic reactions or getting into the eyes with some involuntary movement of the hands.

The fact is that over time all this has generated many doubts among users. It is clear that the resin of 3D printers smells very strong, especially when it is heating up, when it is in the printing process, but regarding the risks, some things must be made clear.

Does smelling resin cause cancer?

no evidence conclusive evidence that the odor from resin 3D printers causes cancer. However, some compounds in the resins used in 3D printers can be toxic and can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract.

That’s why being in a room with resin 3D printers running can cause eye irritation for several hours (even days). It is not something that happens in everyone, but it is easy if there is not adequate ventilation.

What health risks are there?

Resins used in 3D printers emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during the printing process. These compounds can include monomers, oligomers, and other degradation products of the resin. VOCs can be irritating to the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract, and some studies suggest they may have long-term toxic effects on the nervous system and lungs.

Animal studies have found that VOC exposure can cause brain cell damage and behavioral changes. Human studies are less conclusive, but some have suggested that VOC exposure may increase the risk of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s. However, it is important to note that these studies are limited and there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal relationship between exposure to VOCs emitted by 3D printer resins and effects on the nervous system.

Does this happen with all resins?

The resins that can be washed with water They have been developed to reduce exposure to Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted during printing. These resins are washed with water before curing, which helps reduce the amount of VOCs emitted. However, it is important to note that although these resins are less toxic than traditional resins, they still emit some VOCs, so good ventilation is still recommended.

Does that mean that 3D printing with resin is very dangerous?

No, in fact there are many everyday consumer products that emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some examples include:

– Paint: paints and varnishes can emit VOCs during and after application.
– Cleaning products: Many cleaning products emit VOCs, such as disinfectants, fabric softeners, and household cleaners.
– Personal care products: Some personal care products, such as perfumes, cosmetics, and hair products, can emit VOCs.
– Construction products: Adhesives, sealants and insulation products emit VOCs during and after their application.
– Electronic products: Electronic devices, such as printers and mobile phones, can emit VOCs. Yes, the materials used in the manufacture of mobile phones, such as plastics and metals, can emit VOCs as they wear out or are exposed to high temperatures.

Logically, the amount of VOCs emitted by a 3D printer is very different from that emitted by a mobile phone in summer, but I want to stress the importance of taking into account that we cannot demonize 3D printers without knowing the rest of the “dangers” that they face us. surround.

What kind of 3D printers should I buy to reduce risks?

It is best to use one that has activated carbon filters inside, so that the particles do not reach outside the printer.

Activated carbon filters can help reduce the amount of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) emitted by resin 3D printers. Activated carbon is highly adsorbent and can trap volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air, thus reducing the amount of VOCs released into the environment.

One that does have it is the Anycubic Photon M3 Premium, an 8K printer that we talked about in detail recently.

However, it is important to note that activated carbon filters are not a perfect solution and may require frequent changing. Additionally, activated carbon filters do not completely remove VOCs, they only reduce them. Therefore, it is important to continue working in a well-ventilated area.