FIGURE 96: 3D printer belt and pulley crushing paper, showing the potential pinch hazards
There are other components you need to watch. Many 3D printers have belts and rods that move, which can
present pinch hazards. Exercise caution and make sure to keep fingers, hair, and clothing away from the
moving parts when they are in operation (Figure 9-6).
Many 3D printer kits have exposed electrical wires and non-enclosed electrical components. 3D print-
ers also run on electrical power from a wall outlet, so normal wall-voltage electrical appliance caution is
When you are removing a print from the print bed with a sharp spatula, watch your fingers to avoid getting
cut. When removing support material from a 3D print, wear protective glasses and make sure your periph-
eral tools (picks, rotary sanding tools) are stored in a safe place. There are more safety tips you will learn
from user forums, the manufacturer’s website, and experience.
TASK 3: CHOOSE THE BEST PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT FOR YOUR 3D PRINTER
One of the nice things about creating a makerspace for your 3D printing work area is that the actual equip-
ment, tools, and accessories can be contained in a relatively small area. Many people even use 3D printers
directly on the same desk as their computer! We recommend, however, that you use a table that is dedi-
cated to the 3D printer, as we learned the hard way, movements, spilled coffee, and bumping the desk are
not conducive to good prints.
In the beginning of our business, we had more failed 3D prints than we care to remember. It often took
hours of trial and error to figure out what factors actually caused the failure. You can get a jump ahead by
learning from our experience!
HERE ARE OUR TOP ITEMS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING THE BEST ENVIRONMENT
FOR YOUR PRINTER:
DOES THE ROOM TEMPERATURE FLUCTUATE TOO MUCH? Garages are notorious for heat and cold fluc-
tuations. In the summer they are too hot, in the winter too cold. Too-high temperatures can negatively affect
the viscosity of resin, as well as causing stepper motors to not work properly and potentially overheat. Find
a place where you can control the temperature and keep it around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. We print in our
garage, so we bought a powerful heating and cooling air conditioning unit to moderate the temperatures.
Check the BTU ratings before you buy, and make sure the ratings match the size of your room.
GOT KIDS? We have a very curious eight-year-old who loves to get his hands on anything that looks even
vaguely interesting…..and 3D printers certainly fit that description! Assume little hands will want to touch
the sound-making, toy-producing machine and place your 3D printer appropriately out of their reach. In
addition to their safety, any stray touch can upset the calibration of the printer bed and cause prints to fail.
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