Skip to content

UL Chemical Safety and UL Standards are pleased to announce that ANSI/CAN/UL 2904, “Standard Method for Testing and Assessing Particle and Chemical Emissions from 3D Printers,” has been published and is now available for use by all stakeholders seeking to mitigate indoor air pollution risks associated with 3D printer emissions. This standard follows a two-year research initiative on 3D printing by Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and UL Chemical Safety.

According to Phil Piqueira, VP of Standards for UL, “ANSI/CAN/UL 2904 will advance the availability of low emission printers and print media for use in the global marketplace. UL is proud to offer its first safety standard addressing chemical pollution and reducing its impact on human health.”

ANSI/CAN/UL 2904 contains measurement and assessment protocols for the emissions of particles and volatile chemicals from diverse 3D printers, print media, and print applications. It currently applies to freestanding 3D printers that are typically found in schools, offices, libraries, homes, and other non-industrial indoor spaces, and should be used by stakeholders associated with these products to mitigate indoor air pollution hazards.

“The new Standard allows manufacturers and users of 3D printers to have the assurance that printers have been tested and shown to meet low emission criteria for small particles and volatile chemicals that can affect human heath,” according to Dr. Marilyn Black, VP and Senior Technical Advisor for UL.

Georgia Tech and UL Chemical Safety have summarized their research in four scientific reports on 3D printers and emissions. Two scientific research papers, “Characterization of particle emissions from consumer fused deposition modeling 3D printers” and “Investigating particle emissions and aerosol dynamics from a consumer fused deposition modeling 3D printer with a lognormal moment aerosol model,” have been published in Aerosol Science and Technology.

The research found that 3D printing was a significant source of volatile organic chemicals and ultrafine particles to the indoor air. Stakeholders formed an STP and worked quickly to develop a standard that would result in:  1) accurate and comparable data form the operating machines; and 2) allowable not to exceed levels for chemicals of concern and ultrafine particles, a known health hazard.

Dr. Qian Zhang, a former researcher from Georgia Tech, joined UL Chemical Safety under its the post-doctoral program. Zhang will continue to evaluate new 3D print technologies and heavy metal emissions. The goal is to develop ongoing data for this rapidly emerging technology and to keep the standard current and ensure reduction of chemical health hazards.

To find out more about UL Chemical Safety and its 3D printing initiative, visit www.ulchemicalsafety.org.​