Hot ends are one of the most dangerous parts of a 3d printer as they can achieve extremely high temperatures– up to 320c in some cases. A user can forget the hot end is on as there is typically no way of determining how hot a nozzle is unless you look at the interface, which not all printers have. It is extremely important to keep your hands away from this during printing and even after printing for about 5 minutes to allow the nozzle to cool.
The same goes for hot beds as these can achieve high temperatures as well.
When removing parts from your build plate, it is important to keep your hand clear of the path in which your spatula/removal tool is moving. These tools tend to be very sharp, and it is very easy to cut oneself if not careful. This is especially important if you are using or removing your bed to remove the print. Some prints may stick to beds better than others and require more force to remove. This is typically when an incident occurs as the part requires a lot of force initially to remove the part but once the part has started separating, there’s very little to stop the spatula/removal tool from continuing.
Printers use stepper motors to move the extruder and bed to different locations. Commercial printers typically use a NEMA-17 stepper motor and these do not produce enough power to cause serious injury. However, it is still important to keep fingers clear of moving components during printing as there may be a moving component such as gear that you cannot see as well as to avoid electrical shock. It is also important to keep facial hair away from any moving components such as belts and pulleys, for example.
Some materials can be dangerous to print. Even though you cannot see it, printers release gases as well as small particulates into the air when printing. Some materials are safer than others such as PLA– this is regarded as a safe material for hobbyists. ABS, however, can be harmful as it releases carcinogens into the air. Make sure to check your filaments recommended safety instructions before printing. Also, make sure to use proper ventilation where you are printing.
It is important to be very careful if removing supports from you part. Depending on materials, supports can break and become extremely sharp. It is recommended to wear protective equipment such as leather gloves and eye protection when removing support to reduce the risk of injury.
As always, The 3D Printing Store team is available to provide demonstrations, professional development courses, and educational courses to you and your team. Contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org for inquiries.