Health & Safety

Follow the safety instructions for your printer!

3D printing is generally a relatively safe activity, but as with all tools and machines, there is a risk of injury. You should always follow the safety procedures provided by your 3D printer manufacturer, this includes ensuring that children and pets can't get caught in the machine.

Always wear safety glasses when you remove support from your print!

Our eyes are very delicate and can be easily injured. While safety glasses are obviously needed while working with power tools, other tasks have less obvious risks. One of these less obvious safety risks is the removal of support from your 3D print, sometimes also known as "weeding".

The KiwiFil PLA is a tough and strong material with good layer adhesion, and it can be difficult to remove. Sharp pieces of the support material can break loose and come flying at high speed. We have had pieces of support material fly across the room and hit another person (but luckily not in their eye!). We have lost count how many times pieces off support material have bounced of our eye-glasses.

Are safety glasses expensive?

No, they don’t have to be. While there are certainly expensive safety glasses, we have seen safety glasses for as little as NZ$ 3 per pair. Look around in different stores if you are on a tight budget.

It’s cool to wear safety glasses!

If you don’t regularly wear glasses, it can feel really awkward or weird to wear safety glasses. They stick out from your face and and can be really uncomfortable. If you feel awkward wearing safety glasses, try to think of them as your superhero glasses! They allow you make things that have never existed before! Perhaps you can think of them as giving you x-ray vision. And if you can afford buying an extra set for your buddy, you can be superheros together! It’s cool to wear safety glasses, and really stupid not to!

Prescription safety glasses (and some advice for people with long hair)

If you wear prescription glasses, you can purchase special safety glasses with prescription lenses, which is much more comfortable than wearing safety glasses over your regular glasses. In this photo Eva is wearing prescription safety glasses (with side-shields) while machining a large 3D printed part that became part of the sidecar cowling for the KillaJoule streamliner motorcycle.

A bit off the topic of 3D printing safety, but also notice the hair in a bun! If you have long hair, just must tie it up when you work with machines, including 3D printers. This is not a joke. Your hair is incredibly strong, and if your hair gets caught in a drill press, milling machine, lathe, or similar, it will pull you in and shred you to pieces. If nobody is there to rescue you, you will bleed to death. No joke. This has happened multiple times (you can google it, but be prepared for some grisly content!) That is certainly not the way we want to die.

Eva always keeps her hair in a pony tail or braided, but that is not enough when you work with machines if your hair is as long as hers (it might be OK if your hair is short enough). Long hair needs to be tied up in a bun, or similar, so there is no chance it can get caught in the machine. The same is also true for long beards, BTW!

PLA Safety Data Sheet

If your company or institution requires a Safety Data Sheet for the PLA 3D printing filament, you will find it here: SDS Luminy LX175.