From medical visors to components for spacecraft, 3D printing is transforming our understanding of how things are made. The adoption of additive manufacturing technologies is accelerating, and with this is an increasing awareness of the potential health and safety risks presented by the fume and particulate emitted by these processes.
BOFA International, expert in portable industrial fume and dust extraction, is seeing growing demand for its specialised range of 3D print systems that remove process odours and help capture potentially harmful airborne contaminants at source. Without this filtration, fume and particulate could enter the breathing zones of operators, with the potential to impact on human health.
The company is at the forefront of 3D print extraction system design for additive manufacturing.
“3D printing covers lots of different additive manufacturing processes but they share a need for effective removal of particulate and fume – including nanoparticles – to help operators meet their Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulatory obligations,” says Haydn Knight from BOFA.
“Our technology not only helps remove potentially harmful airborne contaminants and odours, it can also capture print residue that would otherwise build-up on expensive machinery. In time, this debris would likely degrade high-value components, affect product quality and impact productivity.”
Many customers also report an additional benefit. Venting the print chamber to atmosphere or recirculating the air can provide temperature control within the chamber. Accurate flow control systems featured on many BOFA products adjust the rate at which the air is moved, enabling thermal precision during printing processes through active convection.
BOFA has developed a range of solutions covering the many different processes involved in additive manufacturing, with filter technology and extraction performance matched to specific applications.
The latest innovations include a new design for a sealed filter exchange to remove the risk of thermal events in pyrophoric material operations, as featured in the company’s new AM400 model.