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.