- Case Studies
Industry: Green chemistry and engineering
Project Type: 3D printing hazard assessment
Location: Portland, OR
Ashley Baker and Britany Swann interned with NW Green Chemistry to survey 3D printer users across Oregon to better understand its potential human health and environmental impacts, and recommended safety and sustainability best practices for 3D printer use.
Additive manufacturing (AM) is a process that creates a physical object from a digital design through depositing material in layers, and offers reduced energy and material consumption compared to traditional manufacturing. Three-dimensional (3D) printing is a subset of AM, and although its use is rapidly growing in Oregon, the human health and environmental impacts from potentially hazardous compounds emitted during this process are largely unregulated. Studies have shown that 3D printing activities produce airborne nano-sized particles that can pose risks to heart and lung health.
To better understand the landscape of AM practices in Oregon, interns Swann and Baker worked with NW Green Chemistry to: