Is There Long-Term Health Risks to 3-D Printing? One Study Says 'Yes' (DDD) (XONE) (SSYS)

July 24, 2013 10:55 AM EDT
3D Systems (NYSE: DDD), The ExOne Company (Nasdaq: XONE), and Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS) are on watch Wednesday on new research that printing a 3-D object indoors might be as bad for you as smoking.

Gizmodo, citing data from an Illinois Institute of Technology paper, noted that there is a release of ultrafine particles (UFPs) when creating an object using additive manufacturing. The printers typically melt thermoplastic feedstock, then extrude it through a small opening onto a landing pad where the object will be created.

IIT measured the number of UFPs when using a commercial 3-D printer (brand wasn't specified) and found that the about 20 billion particles per minute (PPM) were released when using PLA at a low temperature, moving to over 200 billion PPM when using the material at a higher temperature and/or with other materials.

The UFPs will move to land in lungs, specifically the pulmonary and alveolar areas. Long-term exposure might lead to asthma-like symptoms, cardiac arrest, stroke, and even death, the report said. Again, that is if you plan on having one in your home right now. Heading up to a shop that specializes in 3-D printing won't have immediate effect on the state of your well being.

Shares of 3-D printers are lower today.

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