I11: Nanoparticle Emission Analysis of SLS 3D Printer

Connor Krause Student Presenter
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 
United States of America
Candace Tsai, ScD, CIH Student Moderator
University of California Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 
Tue, 5/23: 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM PDT
Student Presentation 
Room: Nexus Lounge, North 227 B 
CM Credit Hours:


This project is focusing on quantifying and identifying the nanoparticles emitted in the printing process of a Formlabs Fuse 1 SLS printer. This printer uses nylon powder and heat to generate desired 3D models by the selective laser sintering method. Following the printing process, the printed item is taken to a ventilation hood to be post processed, where it is cleaned, and excess nylon powder is removed. To conduct the sampling two different particle counters were used, a TSI SMPS that quantifies airborne particles in the nanometer ranges, and a TSI OPS that is used to quantify particles in the micron ranges. In addition, a pump connected to a TDS (Tsai Deposition Sampler) was used to collect samples of particles on filters and silicone coated TEM grids to then be analyzed using SEM methods. Sampling was conducted during printing and post processing of the 3D prints. In addition, background samples were taken in the lab and in the hallway outside the lab to verify presence of nylon powder. Following the sampling filters were analyzed using SEM and TEM imaging, these images were compared to a pure sample of Nylon 12 powder to identify the presence of nylon powder within the lab during printing. EDX analysis was also conducted on the samples from printing and background, as well as the pure sample to provide chemical compositions of our samples compared to the pure nylon sample.

Learning Outcomes

1. Address potentially hazardous emissions from 3D printers in the workplace.
2. Develop procedures to confirm presence of nanoparticles being emitted into workers environments.
3. Recognize unique methods to begin to characterize unknown or unregulated risks in work environments tailored to their industry. 

Content Level


Organizational Category


Primary Industry

Office Environment


Academic Track
Aerosols & Airborne Particulates
Hazard Recognition/Exposure Assessment
Indoor Environmental Quality/Indoor Air Quality