3D Printer Policy
- Vaccination Policy for Research Personnel
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- 3D Printer Policy
- 12 & 15 Passenger Van Policy
- Service Animals in Labs
- UF EH&S Policy
The objective of this policy is to establish health and safety requirements for using 3D printers in University of Florida facilities. The policy is presented in recognition of the continued expansion of 3D printer use by faculty, staff and students. Studies have indicated that 3D printers are capable of generating potentially harmful concentrations of ultrafine particles (UFP) and chemical vapors during the print process and through processes used following printing to treat the finished product.
By authority delegated from the University President, the Vice-President for Business Affairs is responsible for the safety of all University facilities. Under this authority, policies are developed to provide a safe teaching, research, service, housing and recreational environment.
The 3D Printer Policy establishes the minimum requirements necessary to allow for the safe use of 3D printers located in the University of Florida buildings. The policy covers all 3D printers, both department/program owned, and personal units used in campus buildings, including but not limited to those affiliated with the sciences, medicine, fine arts, performing arts, engineering, libraries and arts and craft studios.
3D printing at the University Florida includes the use of almost all currently available additive manufacturing technologies.
All 3D printing variations have the potential to produce health and safety hazards depending on the type of feedstock used and on the other processes involved in printing.
Whenever possible, printers certified to the ANSI/CAN/UL 2904 Standard, which tests and certifies printers for low emission rates, should be purchased.
Fused filament fabrication (FFF) represents one of the more popular types of 3D printing used at UF. This process typically uses a thermoplastic filament though other types of media can be used depending on the printer. Thermoplastic media generates ultrafine particulate (UFP), nanoparticles and volatile organic compounds (VOC) at varying concentrations regardless of which filament media is used. Recent studies have also found that formaldehyde can be produced by all types of filament media.
The amount of contaminant produced depends on the type of media used, the extruder nozzle temperature and on any additives present in the media.
Another popular type of 3D printing conducted on campus is stereolithography (SLA) which uses resins to produce the desired product. Chemicals in these resins can be irritants and sensitizers.
The following sections will serve to address the health and safety issues associated with 3D printers.