I am guessing breathing these fumes all day no good??

I have my Taz 5 behind my desk in my office and I notice the fumes of ABS in particular are pretty bad. Since it is petroleum based I am guessing this is not the best thing to be taking into your lungs all day. I didn’t notice much from PLA though I guess because it’s plant derived.

So my question is does anyone know about the toxicity of PLA vs ABS vs HIPS?

Also have any of you built simple enclosures with venting?

Thanks for your input …


PLA and PETG should be ok, ABS is not so good. PE is very bad as far as i know.

Yeah I love my Taz but man they should offer an enclosure option as a lot of people purchasing this are not corporate types with huge resources but rather home users. Now I have to research how to build an enclosure for this thing. It smells horrible if your sitting next to it.

Stop using ABS and switch over to PETG, same or better strength, cooler bed temperature and no smell.

Have you found a solvent that will dissolve PETG out of a clogged hotend nozzle?

Hello all,
Good ventilation is always a good idea! Be aware of the environment that you set up your printer in!
Here are a couple of links to some studies done:



We also have to be aware that as you ventilate, you will change the ambient temperature of the printer. This can adversely affect printing with ABS and similar filaments. Try to establish good ventilation that maintains temperature in the print area.
Safe practice when printing is good for everyone.

Interesting studies. Beyond simply comparing with regulatory limits, it is interesting to see our 3D printers compared common house hold tasks like laser printing, cleaning, or cooking.

There was a debate over ABS printing safety on the HacDC mailing list, and I reached similar conclusions regarding styrene gas emissions based on pyrolysis studies and the volume of air in a typical room.

Bottom line, it seems desktop 3D printers are quite safe. :slight_smile:

I have never had a nozzle jam, (not even with either TAZ) and only two jamming issues since I purchased the MakerGear M2 in August.

A solvent-cement called SciGrip dissolves PETG.

It’s water-thin and primarily used as a solvent adhesive. Available on Amazon and probably lots of other places. Someone else in these forums mentioned it, and I’ve found it works very well as a PETG adhesive. So I’d think it would certainly clear a clogged nozzle, after a good soaking.

So a Pint can of the stuff on Amazon is less than $12 and with Prime it ships free. In a round about way its kind of neat that PETG is so resistant to chemicals and its pretty tough material.

So the studies linked above show that while ABS produces higher levels of certain volatiles and ultrafine particles than other filaments, it is still way below the regulatory limits and way below normal household activities like cooking.

The worst thing about it is probably the smell.

For the ultrafine particles, I would think a fairly simple case (like a large plastic storage box inverted) with a small recirculating fine air filter would do the trick. 3M make some relatively cheap ultrafine particle filters (the filtrete range) that could be stuck in front of a normal bathroom extractor fan in a loop.

For the VOCs, probably the cheapest way to reduce them is to put some fast-growing plants in the case! They’ll absorb most VOCs at the kind of levels they are being given off here.

“fast growing plants”? like bamboo?

Are you using Scigrip 4 by chance? I use that for PLA so, I have it on hand.

I can’t find it at the moment, but there’s another recent study that compared particulate and fume emissions across filaments and between printer brands. It turns out that Easman Amphora filaments like n-vent and the (newly released today!!) Colorado made Chroma Strand Labs Inova https://www.lulzbot.com/store/filament/inova-1800 do quite well in those factors, in addition to being a pleasure to print.

We’ve done a bunch of Inova and n-vent printing, and love it! http://i-t-w.com/blog/2016/1/12/chromastrand-labs-inova-high-performance-3mm-3d-print-filament-now-available

There are few studies about this at present. The key points are:

  • Have good ventilation,

  • Eastman Amphora based filaments, by design, emit less than ABS, PLA, etc. These include colorFabb_XT, n-gen, Chromastrand, and n-vent (?) from Taulman.

  • PLA is better than ABS.

  • HIPS and ABS are about the same.

  • Not all materials are the same–for instance, some ABS filaments perform differently than others and are of different composition.

There is a recent paper that covers many of these topics and they test a LulzBot Mini with 9 filaments! :slight_smile: Right now it is behind a login-wall to download and we can’t share it, but the author has suggested it may be made freely available. We’re looking into testing more filaments.


With ABS, PETG and PLA the fumes are not dangerous. The problem is nanoparticles which could be a long term problem if inhaled all the time.

I strongly advise anyone to make an enclosure for their printers with an exhaust system to the outside. Go to thingverse and do a search for Taz 5 enclosure and you will find some good options.

The reason 3D printer companies generally do not offer enclosures is because of patent infringement issues with Stratasys who have somehow managed to patent the use of an enclosure with 3D printing. Of course this is a completely absurd patent which would have to lose in trial, but no one is willing to test it with the 800 lb gorilla.

It was suggested here to use an inverted storage box as an enclosure. I was going to do this exact thing, but the TAZ5 is bigger than any storage box I can find. Any ideas?


Turkey roasting bags and a bit of tape make a good temporary enclosure. You will need about 4 bags (2 boxes)

An option would be to get a few pieces of foam board and tape together… or use connectors like:

That would work fine. In general ornamental grasses will probably be effective - they have very high surface area-volume ratio and tend to grow fast. A couple near the printer, rotated every two weeks or so with a couple on a windowsill :slight_smile:.