The 3D printing industry is growing and diversifying. Today, 3D printing is used to make kitchen utensils and products too. However, certain dos and don’ts must be kept in mind while making 3D-printed utensils. A food-safe filament coupled with a food-safe coating ensures that the product remains harmless in contact with food.
Wondering which these food-safe filaments and coatings are? Read on to know everything about materials that can be used with food-safe 3D printer filaments.
Food Safe Filaments
The best filaments for undertaking food-safe 3D printing include PLA, PET, and PETG. You can find materials with food-grade certification such as PLA by Filaments. But if you do not have access to certified filaments, you can purchase PLA, PETG, and PP, which are safe to use even without certification. The presence of pigments is something you must understand to weigh your options. However, this is more complicated than you think. Even potentially food-safe filaments could have toxic pigments. When purchasing a filament, check with the manufacturer about the additives used. Also, use natural filaments without added coloring.
Just as important it is for you to pick out food-safe filaments, you must also understand how to pick out a food-grade coating. Epoxy resins are a great option as they are FDA approved, durable and heat resistant. However, avoid mixing epoxy resins with paint additives.
Silicone is another food-safe coating that you can use. It is easier to use as compared to epoxy resins and can be also used to plug holes in your product and make it waterproof.
Harmful Substances to Avoid
As you understand the different food-safe filaments and coatings that can be used for making your product, you must also understand the substances that are harmful. BPA is used in plastics for food containers and the inner coating of beverage cans. The prescribed limit of BPA is 0.05 milligrams per litre for a weight of one kilogram. If BPA is higher than the prescribed limit, it could dangerous health issues over time.
Phthalates are commonly used in plastics and is best avoided. PBB is flame retardant and comprises five different groups of chemical compounds. This material has also been widely used in the past few years and can be harmful when present in large quantities.
3D Printer Preparation
After you have selected the right 3D printing material that is food safe, you must prepare your food grade 3D printer for making 3D printed utensils or kitchen products. Start by cleaning the printer completely – inside and outside. If your extruder is not clean enough, try the cold pull method to clean it. If your printer has a brass nozzle, replace it with a stainless steel one. This is because brass nozzles can cause health issues because of the presence of lead in them. You must also avoid extruders with PTFE tubes as they can cause Teflon toxicity at high temperatures.
Reach Out for All Your Printing Needs!
Filaments – the most trusted name 3D printers in Canada– specialises in 3D printing filaments, printers and other products. Filaments has several outlets across Canada so you can reach out to us for consultation on food grade ABS filament, food safe 3D printing resins or food safe 3D printers by calling us 1-888-536-5551 or 9056771337 or writing to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.