Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
Study shows some 3-D printed objects are toxic
by Staff Writers
Riverside CA (SPX) Nov 13, 2015


From left is, 3-D printing liquid, 3-D-printed piece from liquid resin and liquid resin piece treated with ultraviolet light. Image courtesy UC Riverside. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found parts produced by some commercial 3D printers are toxic to certain fish embryos. Their results have raised questions about how to dispose of parts and waste materials from 3D printers.

"These 3D printers are like tiny factories in a box," said William Grover, an assistant professor of bioengineering in the Bourns College of Engineering. "We regulate factories. We would never bring one into our home. Yet, we are starting to bring these 3D printers into our homes like they are toasters."

The researchers studied two common types of 3D printers: one that melts plastic to build a part, and another that uses light to turn a liquid into a solid part. They found that parts from both types of printers were measurably toxic to zebrafish embryos, and parts from the liquid-based printer were the most toxic. They also developed a simple post-printing treatment - exposure to ultraviolet light - that reduced the toxicity of parts from the liquid-based printer.

The research comes as the popularity of 3D printers is soaring. The value of the 3D printing market grew from $288 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2013 and is projected to grow to $16.2 billion by 2018, according to a report by Canalys.

And, as the price of 3D printers continues to drop -printers that use melted plastic are currently available for as little as $200, and the liquid-based printer used in this study can be bought for less than $3,000 - they are moving beyond industry and research labs to homes and small businesses.

The research started about a year ago when Grover bought a 3D printer for his lab. Shirin Mesbah Oskui, a graduate student in Grover's lab, is developing tools for studying zebrafish embryos, and she wanted to use the printer in her research. However, her plans were thwarted when she noticed that zebrafish embryos die after exposure to parts from the 3D printer.

From those observations, Oskui and Grover then decided to test the toxicity of printed objects from the two types of 3D printers. Their results are described in a paper, "Assessing and Reducing the Toxicity of 3D-Printed Parts," which was published online today (Nov. 4) in the journal Environmental Science and Technology Letters.

Joining Oskui and Grover as authors on the paper are Jay Gan and Daniel Schlenk, professors in the Department of Environmental Sciences; Graciel Diamante, a graduate student working with Schlenk; and Chunyang Liao and Wei Shi, both of whom work in Gan's lab.

Oskui used two commercial 3D printers in their study, a Dimension Elite printer made by Stratasys (which uses melted plastic to build parts) and a Form 1+ stereolithography printer made by Formlabs (which uses liquid resin to make parts).

She used each printer to create disc-shaped parts, about an inch in diameter. Then she placed the discs in petri dishes with zebrafish embryos and studied survival rates and hatch rates and monitored for developmental abnormalities.

While the embryos exposed to parts from the plastic-melting printer had slightly decreased average survival rates compared to control embryos, the embryos exposed to parts from the liquid-resin printer had significantly decreased survival rates, with more than half of the embryos dead by day three and all dead by day seven. And of the few zebrafish embryos that hatched after exposure to parts from the liquid-resin printer, 100 percent of the hatchlings had developmental abnormalities.

Oskui also investigated methods for reducing the toxicity of parts from the liquid-resin printer. She found that after exposing the parts to ultraviolet light for one hour, the parts are significantly less toxic to zebrafish embryos. The UC Riverside Office of Technology Commercialization has filed a patent for this work.

The researchers' findings call attention to regulations related to the materials used to create 3D printed parts.

The substances used to create the 3D-printed parts would be regulated by the Toxic Substances Control Act, which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. But the precise identity of these substances is often unknown to researchers and printer users because the printer manufacturers don't disclose this information.

In the future, the researchers plan to further study the toxicity of the components of the 3D printer material both individually and when mixed together in a completed part. They also want to find out at what level the material could be harmful to humans.

Other unanswered questions include how to dispose of the waste material - both solid and liquid - created by 3D printers. At this point, the researchers think it is best to take it to a hazardous waste center.

"Many people, including myself, are excited about 3D printing," Grover said. "But, we really need to take a step back and ask how safe are these materials?"


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
University of California - Riverside
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
TECH SPACE
Researchers create transplantation model for 3-D printed constructs
Houston TX (SPX) Nov 09, 2015
Using sugar, silicone and a 3-D printer, a team of bioengineers at Rice University and surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania have created an implant with an intricate network of blood vessels that points toward a future of growing replacement tissues and organs for transplantation. The research may provide a method to overcome one of the biggest challenges in regenerative medicine: Ho ... read more


TECH SPACE
Gaia's sensors scan a lunar transit

SwRI scientists explain why moon rocks contain fewer volatiles than Earth's

All-female Russian crew starts Moon mission test

Russian moon mission would need 4 Angara-A5V launches

TECH SPACE
Dust devils detected by seismometer could guide Mars mission

Amnesia Event Slows Down Opportunity Robotic Arm Work

Swiss Camera Leaves for Mars

NASA mission reveals speed of solar wind stripping Martian atmosphere

TECH SPACE
Orion's European module ready for testing

General Dynamics demos SGSS Command and Control Infrastructure for NASA

Orion Service Module Stacking Assembly Secured For Flight

Global partnerships in orbit support economic growth on and off the Earth

TECH SPACE
New rocket readies for liftoff in 2016

China's self-developed Mars probe to be on show

Could Sino-U.S. cooperation bring the Martian home?

China's scientific satellites to enter uncharted territory

TECH SPACE
Cygnus Starts Final Round of Processing for Station Cargo Delivery

US astronauts dodge ammonia on risky spacewalk

UK astronaut dreams of heavenly Christmas pudding

NASA drops Boeing from race for $3.5 billion cargo contract

TECH SPACE
LISA Pathfinder topped off for Vega launch that will test Relativity

Ariane 5 lofts dual birds

Rocket launch from Hawaii carrying UH payload experiences anomaly

Commercial Spaceflight Gets A Boost With Latest Congressional Moves

TECH SPACE
New Results from GPI Exoplanet Survey

Newfound Earth-size exoplanet may be an important milestone in search for alien life

UCLA professor proposes simpler way to define what makes a planet

Distant world's weather is mixed bag of hot dust and molten rain

TECH SPACE
Electron microscopy method sculpts 3-D structures at atomic level

BU Satellite Team Gets Big Boost from NASA

System helps novices design 3-D-printable robotic creatures

Queen's University professor to unveil self-levitating displays




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement