ABS fume extraction and temperature inside enclose?


I need to build an enclosure because it’s too cold in my garage to print at the moment, I’m getting super bad splitting. I have a Taz 3, I’m going to try and make a lightweight enclosure using some kind of lightweight frame with space blankets as the exterior walls. It will look like a NASA 3d printer haha.

The question I have is, I kinda want to vent ABS fumes outside of the garage. I’m just curious though, for those that have say a HEPA filter with an extraction fan, if you have a low ambient temperature, wouldn’t the extraction of the fumes cause fresh COLD air to come into the enclosure and ruin the prints…? Or do you just extract the fumes once a print is finished?

I built my first printers enclosure out of PVC pipe and 2 layers of painters plastic (the kind they lay down on carpets to protect them from paint). Worked great.

I put a small desktop Hepa filter inside my enclosure and it works reasonably well (cut the smell by 50%) and it’s only recirculating the hot air so no cold air is introduced.

The filter I use is here https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G7VNO86/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

OK cool interesting. So the airflow doesn’t cause an issue? So it’s purely a temperature issue, doesn’t matter if there is airflow in the enclosure, cool.

I was thinking the other option is, I have a powerful old IBM server fan, I could use that to, once a print is finished, ‘extract’ the fumes before I open the enclosure.

I considered PVC but it seemed expensive and not as easy to attach stuff too, so I ended up making a pinewood frame. The frame is done. I ended up buying plywood for the sides, although I’m still not sure if I will use the plywood or the space blankets. OR both, as in, line the inside with space blankets.

First time I used the Hepa I turned it on high but it made my room stink even worse (just too much flow for the small space) so I turned it on low and it works perfect. I have done 16hour ABS prints with no ill effect to the prints, I have a feeling it actually helps normalize the temperature all around.

Also you need to make sure your electronics are vented outside the enclosure.

I never know why people want to vent their heated chamber… I get the fume thing (although honestly it’s a non health issues unless you just don’t like the smell. Personally the smell is so insignificant I rarely can smell it. I think filament quality has a lot to do with it). But venting your hot air to the outside just seems counter productive. Cold air is going to get in via seams ect. Period. Unless your enclosure is so flawless that you think your forming a vacuum in there…

Personally I prefer to keep my hot air in the chamber. The best solution I have seen are those that just circulate the air in the chamber through a filter. This actually makes sense.

And I never know why people are so head in the sand about fumes…

ABS fumes = bad


My comment was more directed towards exhausting heat from the chamber. But that’s cool, we can derail this thread.

All research just shows there are particles. Yes.

And that “fumes maybe equal bad? But no actual evidence to back it up”. I’ve actually read through the articles with all of their technical white noise and lack of evidence for their conclusions.

I’m a mechanical engineer by trade. I’ve toured many plastic injection molding plants. All of which have much stronger odor than anything my printer puts out. All of which are manned all day by workers for decades… Who show no health problems. All of which are not are not deemed to be a safety hazard by the government or OSHA.

And it’s not like the plastic industry is a new industry. Factories and engineering love their regulations and safety standards (just look at the car industry, I love working on a project for GM… -_-) I’d imagine if there was an issue someone would have jumped on it.

If you want to be safe than sorry then more power to you. I was actually agreeing with the filter in the chamber filtering air within the chamber. Im actually planning to implement this in my chamber. Because you know… My original comment was actually about exhausting heat from the chamber.

And back to the original topic. Air flow across your print can effect it, even warm air. So just make sure the filter isn’t blowing directly on or near the print when recirculating the air.

FYI for the fear mongers. I did a little more research for you. I’m no expert regarding their testing procedure but I did try to find out a little more information on hard numbers and filtration ratings.

I tried to find the actual particle sizes of printer emissions. Per the article.

“We should note that although the measurement range of the CPC is 10 nm to 1 μm, the vast majority of particles emitted from most FFF printers were assumed to be in the UFP size range, as demonstrated by preliminary data in Supporting Information”

Earlier in the article it talks about UFP particle sizes being 10nm or less. That translates into the majority of your particles being sized at 0.1 micron or smaller.

Your normal HEPA filters focus on capturing 0.3 microns or larger.

Conclusion - you’re going to need a higher end filter than a HEPA as its not rated for the smaller particles created by 3d printing.

Does this mean a HEPA filter won’t help? It will help and capture some of the larger particles. Id imagine most HEPA filters use nominal filtration so by its working mechanics the particles will be bounced around and some will be trapped as they flow through… But the amount of help will be minimal.

But I’m just a design engineering specializing in pneumatic filtration in industrial applications, what do I know.

Put more plants around the printer (room) to filter the VOCs… :slight_smile: Seriously, though house plants do clear VOCs.

My printer is in the basement, I use Octoprint to remotely print and monitor. So I’m usually never in the room while printing. But I do wonder where the VOCs dissipate to eventually…

If / when I filter my enclosure, it will probably involve some sort of retrofitting to accommodate 3M respirator filters. According to their guide, Organic Vapor (OV) filters are appropriate for Acrylonitrile… which is the closest I could find to ABS, and I could be far off with that assumption.