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ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?

Posted by PDBeal 
ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
November 27, 2016 08:41PM
So I recently started to experiment with ABS on my PEI sheet on the heatbed, and it works pretty well. I know most people say enclose the printer if your printing ABS for warp issues, but I've not seen any warp issues on the PEI yet with my open frame CoreXY.

However, what I have noticed is the awful smell that comes along with ABS during the print process. Any way to filter or absorb the smell so it doesn't make the entire room / house stink? I've been printing with the windows in the room open to vent the room, but it still smells terrible during and after the print and this might work now in the fall, but come spring/summer that'll make the room at least 85-100F in Florida. For those of you that have enclosed your printer, what do you do to filter the air to remove the smell from the ABS or do you just print with it somewhere the fumes exhaust outside?
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
November 27, 2016 10:40PM
First, while you can get away with small ABS prints on an open machine, you won't be able to get away with anything taller than a few cm, especially if it has any bulk. You will need to enclose the printer and get the enclosure temperature up to 45-50C or your prints will delaminate.

A lot of people have worked on filters of various types to try to eliminate the smell and the nanoparticles emitted, but since no one has the instruments to measure the results, you have to just trust that things are doing what you think they are, especially with regard to trapping nanoparticles. In hospitals and research facilities where virii (nature's original nanparticles) have to be scrubbed from the air, they use a combination of electrostatic precipitation and soft x-ray ionization/precipitation. Anything else probably doesn't capture nanoparticles, incuding HEPA filters.

I remain skeptical about the claimed particle emissions. My printer is enclosed and nearly air tight. I run prints for 20 hours at a time pretty regularly. I would think that if the particle emissions are as horrible as claimed, after 20 hours of printing the inside of the enclosure should look smokey. I can see no such "smoke". I shine a green laser through the enclosure and it doesn't light anything up. I wipe the enclosure panels with a clean cloth after a print and I don't see any dust on it. Where are all the particles?

Still, there's no sense being foolish about it. In warm weather months I print ABS in the garage instead of my small, poorly ventilated work room. In cold weather months I restrict my printing at home to PLA and other "clean" filaments. The best thing you can do is to make a ventilation system for the printer that exhausts air from the enclosure to the outside (dilution is the solution!). Keep the printer closed during printing and when the print is finished, open an exhaust port with a hose to the outside, start a fan to blow out the air, then open a vent on the printer to allow fresh air into the enclosure. After a few minutes, the nanoparticles suspended in the air should be gone and you can open the enclosure and take out your print. ... So much for swapping glass plates so you can start the next print real fast...


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 02, 2016 12:36PM
I find there is a big variability in ABS filaments. I print in a spare back bedroom in my house and some filaments have a strong smell and make my eyes sting. There must be nano particles or vapours (maybe the same thing) being given off.
Also the hot end and nozzle slowly gets coated with a carbonised black film even where it has no actual physical contact with the filament. This proves I think that some airborne particles are emitted from the hot filament and these deposit/polymerise on the hot surfaces. I have two red ABS reels for example, one is very smelly and a more recent one from Amazon that is virtually odour free. I gave up printing black ABS a long time ago due to the smells.

I am in the process of putting a system in to extract the fumes directly out of the house.
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 02, 2016 03:56PM
I printed ABS for several days and it gave me a terrible cough. So I believe what I read about emission of particulates. ABS printing is now banned from my workshop until I have a properly enclosed printer and a fume/particle filtration/extraction system.



Large delta printer [miscsolutions.wordpress.com], E3D tool changer, Robotdigg SCARA printer, Crane Quad and Ormerod

Disclosure: I design Duet electronics and work on RepRapFirmware, [duet3d.com].
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 02, 2016 04:25PM
Quote
dc42
fume/particle filtration/extraction system.

That's the part I was hoping someone already has designed, but based on the comments, I'm assuming people just exhaust it outside or print outside. As best as I can think, I am assuming I would be ok with some sort of enclosed printer with a vacuum system that sucked the air from the enclosure through some sort of carbon/charcoal filter before exhausting the air into a room or outside.

Ofcourse, I'm also wondering what some of the comercial/industrial 3d printers do. The Stratasys uPrint SE at my office is an enclosed heated chamber, but as far as we've seen has no air filter/exhaust and also does not have the smell. It also prints what they call ABSplus, which might be a special ABS that does not emit these fumes, but I haven't gone into that to find out just yet.
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 02, 2016 04:58PM
I also have a Uprint SE plus at work and ive had the whole thing tore down to replace a bad Z motor and there were no filters.
I print in just ABS at home and have never smelled it. Its in my home office, if my wife can sit in the same room and not complain then its not bad at all! haha.
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 04, 2016 04:15PM
As I said I print in a spare bedroom at the back of my house. I had a brainwave, my garage/workshop is next to the room and I already have a dust extraction system installed for my wood working machinery. I am going to punch a hole through the wall and fit a socket from a central vacuum cleaning system. They are more commonly used in the US I think. The socket is fairly inconspicuous and it just needs a short length of hose to the printer.
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 06, 2016 04:48PM
Quote
dave3d
I find there is a big variability in ABS filaments. I print in a spare back bedroom in my house and some filaments have a strong smell and make my eyes sting. There must be nano particles or vapours (maybe the same thing) being given off.
Also the hot end and nozzle slowly gets coated with a carbonised black film even where it has no actual physical contact with the filament. This proves I think that some airborne particles are emitted from the hot filament and these deposit/polymerise on the hot surfaces. I have two red ABS reels for example, one is very smelly and a more recent one from Amazon that is virtually odour free. I gave up printing black ABS a long time ago due to the smells.

I am in the process of putting a system in to extract the fumes directly out of the house.


[www.thingiverse.com]
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 07, 2016 06:17PM
Do yourself a favor and heat up your bed alone and smell it. I found that it's the PEI not the ABS.
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 08, 2016 12:14PM
That's sorta funny you'd say that. I could have sworn I got the ABS smell as I was purging the ABS through the hotend and my bed wasn't even on yet at that point. This was using Hatchbox ABS Black from Amazon.

I'll give that a try though and just run my bed up to 110C and see if the PEI sheet smells or not, although I did glue mine down with the 3M adhesive sheets after painting one side of the PEI flat black with that paint designed for barbecue grills.
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 12, 2016 05:17PM
I have got a PEI bed stuck down with 3M tape and there is no smell whatsoever from it. I use it all the time at 110 deg C.
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 21, 2016 11:08PM
Simple answer.



RUN IT IN THE

GARAGE
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 22, 2016 07:10AM
Hey, great idea!


No, wait, it's 2F out there...


Son of MegaMax 3D printer: [www.instructables.com]
Ultra MegaMax Dominator 3D printer: [drmrehorst.blogspot.com]
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
December 22, 2016 02:23PM
There is an extensive thread on this topic with working solutions.

I'm surprised no one has pointed you to it.
Enjoy


My printer: Raptosaur - Large Format Delta - [www.paulwanamaker.wordpress.com]
Can you answer questions about Calibration, Printing issues, Mechanics? Write it up and improve the Wiki!
Re: ABS fumes and best cases to handle them?
January 07, 2017 05:40AM
I moved from using a filtration system on the printer, effective but unreliable mainly as I didn't build it very well. To a room air filtration unit (bionaire hepa/carbon) which I turn on, on a delay timer when printing abs and which runs afterwards for 4-6 hours. I liked the idea so bought a larger unit for the house which is in a corridor and runs continuously.

I would say this works well and it's easy and reliable. I think hepa is up to the job they have a point of poor filtration around 4 microns depending on the filter but they do filter smaller particles and they're cheap and readily available. Where I agree with digital dentist is that I'm not sure particles are as much of a problem as fumes. Plus there's no reason abs produces more particles than pla or petg or any other less smelly filament which we don't generally worry about.

I was going to attempt to quantify particles filtered by weighing the hepa filter before and after prolonged use on a very accurate scale, utilising a pre filter to collect dust so leaving just the very small particles to the hepa filter. But the filter housing was too flimsy to make a long term test possible.

I would say ideal would be a unit external to the printer with cheap hepa/charcoal filters which recirculates air from the top of any enclosure back to the bottom, optimally with heating for larger enclosures. Recirculating massively boosts filtration efficiency, without cooling your enclosure, and means you can use small cheap fans to move the air around.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/07/2017 05:48AM by DjDemonD.


Simon Khoury

Co-founder of [www.precisionpiezo.co.uk] Accurate, repeatable, versatile Z-Probes
Published:Inventions
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