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Can You 3d Print Outside?

Can you 3d print outside? It depends on what you’re looking for and the type of filament. PLA is a biodegradable plastic that melts at lower temperatures than ABS, but it also has a higher melting point and doesn’t dissolve in water. This means that PLA can be used to print outdoors as long as the temperature is below 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C). ABS will melt if exposed to those same conditions.


Can you 3d print outside?

The short answer is yes, but not in the way you might expect. 3D printers build objects by adding layer after layer of plastic until an object appears. Since ABS and PLA plastics (the most commonly used types) are sensitive to water and moisture, people often ask if it can be done outside?

The short answer is no because your print will probably fail as soon as it gets wet.

However, there is a possible solution that may work for those who want to try it anyway; latex house paint! Yes, this requires more work than simply printing on a table indoors and waiting but for those looking to experiment here is some helpful information:

Making Your Outdoor 3D Printer A ‘Latex-Safe’ Printer:

-Your printer’s frame and all moving parts must be made of ABS plastic, not PLA – this is key – if your printer contains any PLA components you can’t paint it. If ABS and PLA are mixed they will react to the chemicals in house paint causing an unsightly orange coloration on your print.

-To successfully use latex paints, first make sure the nozzle is clear of any filament or residue.

You may need to turn off power to your extruder or heated build plate before doing this for safety reasons. Once clean, wire brushes the nozzle with a brass wire brush until shiny inside (approx 5 seconds).

This removes the plating that was applied during fabrication at the factory prevents paint adhesion. Using hot water will expedite this process.

-Turn the nozzle heat down to the lowest setting that still allows extrusion of filament (approx 220 degrees Celsius).

You can test this by printing a small circle or square with 10 perimeter lines, using the “CIRCLE” command in your software.

If it doesn’t come out right you’ll know the temperature is too high and need to turn it lower, if it comes out fine you’re ready to paint. It’s better to start with a hotter temp since you can always turn it up later but not down!

-Now it’s time for painting. You can use virtually any latex house paint as long as there are no additives such as wax or other resins added

– these will melt and ruin your print. You can find latex paint at any hardware store or order it online. I found a gallon of light grey exterior house paint for $19.

Be sure to get exterior grade paint since it won’t react with water like indoor paints do (and don’t use the cheap stuff, it’s not worth saving a couple of bucks on something that may ruin your printer!).

-Paint 3 thin coats allowing 10 minutes drying time between coats. Try not to get any drips and let each coat dry thoroughly before applying the next one otherwise you’ll create more work than necessary!

can you 3d print metal parts

Can You 3d Print Outside?

3D printing in hot weather

Recently, a serious problem has been brought to our attention by several users.

In the last few weeks we’ve noticed that some people have been unable to use their computers at temperatures above 30°C/86°F. This is especially true for those living in hot climates or using a laptop on a bed or lap. We were surprised as this was no isolated case and it seemed to be the same issue affecting all types of 3D printers from all brands, not just ours.

It became even more worrying as temperatures around the globe kept climbing up and now currently over 40°C/104°F in many countries across Southern Europe as well as other regions such as Australia and the USA.

Temperatures inside your computer can easily exceed 60-70°C/140-158°F when used in a hot climate or placed on a bed.

In the past few weeks burned extruders, melted electronics and several other failed 3D printing-related components have been reported to us from users all over the world.

Can You 3d Print Outside

Can You 3d Print Outside?

Is it safe to 3d print indoors?

The question of whether or not 3D printing is safe to do indoors has been a controversial topic.

The debate over this issue rages on, but here are some things that have been scientifically researched and documented about the matter, so that you can make your own decisions on how to use your new technology.

One thing that many people who are just getting into 3D printing don’t realize right away is that the fumes released from melting plastic are very strong.

At first glance, this doesn’t seem like something you would want to be taking in all day long for hours at a time, so it wouldn’t be surprising if there were negative effects associated with breathing them in. If you go onto YouTube and type “3d printer smells”, or “3d printing smells” into the search bar you will get many different results.

You can see videos of people using their printers in garages, basements, kitchens, etc., however, one thing that almost all of them have in common is that they are all airing out the room after every use. The fumes are clearly very strong and it may not take much exposure to them for there to be negative side effects.

Breathing in 3D printing fumes, whatever the source(3D printer or filament), has been shown to lead to a number of negative side effects including headaches, nausea, fatigue, eye irritation, respiratory problems among others.

However, if you are running your printer outside or somewhere where proper ventilation is provided then this isn’t something to worry about.

Unfortunately, the majority of people who purchase 3D printers are hobbyists who don’t have access to an outdoor area where they can put their printer, so this adds a large portion of users that must print indoors.

The safety precautions that should be taken when printing inside include wearing a face mask or even safety goggles for extra protection(the fumes get very strong during extended use), providing proper ventilation, working in well-ventilated areas, and being very careful not to overheat your filament while it’s being used.

Lastly, the fact that 3D printing with ABS filament is very difficult to do indoors(due to fumes and high-temperature requirements) is one reason why most people use PLA filament for their printers which emits much fewer fumes and doesn’t require as high of a print temperature.

People who own printers like the UP Mini 2 printer use it both inside and outside due to this, however it’s usually used inside with PLA filament because it produces so little smell or heat during operation so you can have a comfortable work environment while operating your printer.

is it safe to 3d print indoors

Can You 3d Print Outside? (cre: reddit)

Can you 3d print in the dark?

You can print in the dark, but it is not advisable.

Before you go on with lighting your 3d printer or buying dark Filaments, let me tell you that there are other options for darker prints.

One way to avoid light is by using black filament, since black absorbs all the light that hits it. A second option would be switching to transparent filaments like PVA (which is water soluble) and printing clear objects which will only be opaque when filled with resin etc. You can also try grey filaments which are slightly translucent though these might also absorb some colors of the light spectrum.

To keep things simple, I will stick with black ABS/PLA in this article for reference purposes… But please feel free to experiment with other colors.

So how does one 3d print in the dark?

What you need is either some black paper, paint your part matte black or use Acetone vapor treatment to give it a rough non-reflective surface. You can also use some fabric to create a tent around your printer.

I hope you know what ABS filament looks like when heated and extruded on your heat bed… This is the same plastic that emits toxic fumes if not printed correctly (low temps, lack of ventilation). So please be aware of that danger before printing in closed spaces!

The first few layers are always problematic because they are never sticking well enough. The solution here – as with many issues – is to increase your print temperature.

It looks black indeed, but not matte black.

The amount of glossiness depends on the filament used and the temperature you set your printer at. I also tried increasing my print speed from 60mm/s to 200mm/s, which improved the surface a lot!

Black ABS tends to have a shiny surface compared to PLA so always try experimenting with all parameters including material type and color, layer height, etc! If you are using these filaments for cosplay costumes etc, I would advise you to stay in the shade when wearing it.

Keep in mind that 3d printed objects never look realistic which is something you definitely want to avoid if using these materials for costume purposes.

can you 3d print indoors

Can You 3d Print Outside? (cre: 3dprinterchat)

What to print with glow in the dark filament

There are many great ideas of things to print with glow in the dark filament, but I am just going to list a few of the favorites that have worked out really well for me.

There are so many more cool prints that could be done, and if you know of any please add them in the comments!

Glow in the dark paint can be used on almost anything, even if it is not PLA.

The results tend to vary depending on what material you use. I would recommend using a water-based varnish after painting any plastic parts with acrylic glow paint (this will help seal it and make it last longer). Fiberglass glow-in-the-dark paint also works great for this but tends to be harder to work with.


3D printing is a growing industry with many new opportunities to explore.

But before you take the plunge, make sure you know if it’s possible for your business or company goals to use this technology in an effective way.

There are some challenges that come along with using 3D printers outside like weather conditions and humidity levels among others. Find out where your local maker space is located and see what they recommend for getting started with 3D printing!

Further Reading: 

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