As of 5/22/19 Filabot will no longer be supplying ABS or PS polymers, with the exception of ABSFR. This decision came down to a few simple facts. First off, there are other polymers that perform better, if not the same as ABS or PS such as the PLA grades that we currently supply. The second fact is that ABS and PS contains styrene. Styrene is still being debated as a carcinogen. (1) Lastly, as we have read in reports and experienced ourselves, first-hand exposure to ABS emits very high levels of VOCs during filament extrusion and 3D printing. VOCs are all around coming from many products that you use daily, when it comes to VOCs less is best.
What does this mean for our extrusion equipment?
Our extruders work with ABS and PS and we will continue to test and support these materials performance in the units, however, we will no longer be supplying these materials to our customers. In the case of ABS and PS, these materials require extra setup and precautions if they have to be used in your printing application. Our goal with our hardware is to provide access to recycling and to process the widest range of polymers for 3D printing.
Considerations for working with ABS and PS
If you have to work with ABS or PS it is not the end of the world. We are still going to be using these materials in house for projects that require the properties that these materials have. When we work with these materials we will have a Carbon and HEPA filter system moving and capturing the air near the extruder and 3D printer. We will also make sure that the air in the room is being changed with fresh air.
For more information check out these articles and links for general health information on 3D printing.
3Dprintingindustry.com states that “The ideal solution would be using an air ventilation system capable of moving three times the room’s volume of air in one hour.” (2)
From the EPA: Summary of 3D Printing Exposure (3)
- Styrene. (2003, January 12). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Styrene
- How Toxic Are ABS & PLA Fumes? 3Dsafety.org Examines VOCs. (2018, April 18). Retrieved from https://3dprintingindustry.com/news/toxic-abs-pla-fumes-3dsafety-org-inquires-vocs-60796/
- Thomas/EPA, T. A.Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2017-10/documents/ciaq_3d_printing_exposure_research_10_4_17.pptxv2__0.pdf