Safety issues and location
Elementary/primary and middle schools need to think about safety.
High school workshops are likely to have proper exhaust systems and teachers used to working around dangerous equipment – this is often not available in K-8 schools.
A quick summary of safety recommendations we have seen:
- Enclosed printers – so children can’t get their fingers at the hot extruder. Some variations:
- Some printers will automatically stop when the doors open (and some don’t) – Afinia H800 / Up Box
- Some printers will shield the hot extruder from children’s fingers – BEE THE FIRST
- Enclosed printer with air filter – so fumes are contained
- Important if there is no way to vent the printer
- Newer printers have HEPA air filters – Cubicon Single, Afinia H800 / Up Box
- Only print PLA (not ABS)
- The two most common types of filament are PLA and ABS plastic.
- ABS is made from oil and is similar to the plastic used in Lego
- PLA is made from cornstarch, is bio-degradable and is generally considered safer
- Some printers will only print one or the other material – some print both
- Scrapers, tools etc
- Some printers require a ‘perforated board’ to be used to stick the print to the board. These usually require a sharpened ‘scraper’ to remove. This is not kid-friendly.
Makers Empire: Better learning by design
Makers Empire helps K-8 teachers teach STEM/STEAM concepts, design thinking principles and 21st century learning skills using 3D printing. Our pioneering 3D solutions for schools — 3D Learning Program and Learning by Design Course — include 3D modelling software, over 100 curriculum-aligned lesson plans and professional development. Makers Empire is used by thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students in Australia, the USA, Asia and Europe. Join our community today!
- Be inspired and keep informed with our weekly newsletter.
- Buy online with a credit card or request a quotation.
- Test quality, suitability and ease of use with a free trial.