3D printing and Apartment living?

Hello Everyone,
I am very curious about 3D printing and was wondering, being that I live in a small apartment, can the two coexist? I would like to try but have heard that the resin fumes are pretty bad and with little way to vent the fumes I don’t want to make the air horrible smelling for me or my neighbors. Does anybody do this in an apartment, if so how do you do your set up?
Is there a recommended printer and or resin people prefer?

Sorry for so many questions, I have quite a few but not sure how to ask or really what to ask. I would appreciate any help/advice.

Best,
Walter

Somewhere in Ohio

In the old days you would sit out on your fire escape.

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A club member as I recall has his in the bathroom. He printed corner brackets and built a case around the unit to protect it. I forget the unit he has but he can’t do most of the things one sees from James or Mike on here as I have shown him the prints and asked. It’s one of the line printers. He did print a nice Tamiya paint jar opener.

The fumes can be pretty strong smelling, but despite the odor they’re not dangerous. They don’t get very intense unless the printer is running or you’re cleaning up (post-print cleaning) the prints. Then you also have the evaporated isoprphyl alcohol fumes to contend with.

The best advice I can give is to create some sort of venting system with an open window and a fan that blows / exhausts the air from the room outside. It doesn’t have to be too elaborate. Also, dispose of the post-print cleaning residue as quickly as possible (print supports, dirty paper towels, gloves, etc.).

I usually just use a box fan sitting on the floor at the door to my studio blowing into the room with a window or two open to the outside.

You do need to guard against getting the printer and resin cold, though. The printer works best and the print quality is highest if the operating temperature is warm, say in the upper 80s* F or a bit warmer. So, in the wintertime, just throwing open a window and shutting the room door is likely to be counterproductive.

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Hi Walter,
I think you can pull it off in a small apartment if you can figure out a good ventilation. The resin smell can be overwhelmingly bad and can trigger allergic reactions. I have it set up in my basement and by a window for a good ventilation.

  1. Recommended printer - Elegoo Mars 3 Pro. It’s an inexpensive, reliable, good performance starter printer. It comes with a carbon air filter you can plug in, which helps. I have been very impressed with its performance. The print platform may be small but I find it sufficient for 1/35 modeling.

  2. Recommended resin - I found Phrozen, SuperFast, and Rich-OPTO brands to have less stink. Elegoo was the worst and Siraya was slightly less smelly. I mainly use the water-washable resin mixed with some ABS-like resin to give it some flexibility (3:1 ratio).

I can tell you that 3D printing is VERY addictive. More so than 1/35 modelling itself. :smiley: Please feel free to ask me more questions.

Kind regards,
James

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Thank you all for the advice and help. I think my problem is that the apt being small and only two inner doors, bathroom and bedroom. The rest of the place is open platform. Also I have a young cat, not sure what the fumes could do to her. I would really like to 3D print, I have stuff I would like to make. Just wish I could have a two bedroom apt. I could use that as the print room and close the door and have a window. But I don’t have that luxury. I think my place is about 400 sq ft.,probably less.
Last concern would be the neighbors thinking I was doing something like in Breaking Bad… My first name is Walter after all… haha. Just trying to avoid conflicts with the neighbors over smell and stuff.

Hi Walter,
I also had the same problem because of living in an apartment without the possibility of an extra modelling room.
I built a mobile print tower from two IKEA BESTA racks mounted it on four chair wheels.

The Elegoo Saturn 2 Printer and the Elegoo Wash and Cure Stations sit on racks which can be slided out for better access.

Inside the tower is a silent adjustable 12 V fan which can vent out all the resin fumes. I also mounted adjustable LED strips (you won`t lighten up with 405nm wavelight).

On the back of the tower I drilled some holes for the power cables and the fan outlet.

I made a cheap window cover from XPS Foam and cut a hole for the outlet. In summer it keeps the room cool and in winter warm.

On one side of the tower is a folding table mounted for additional space when handling with parts and removing supports.

I am pretty happy with my setup. I mostly use Elegoo and Sirayatech resins. All resin smells are vented out and my wifes sensitive nose can’t smell anything. Outside the smells are very quickly mixed with fresh air and my neighbour can’t smell anything.
I only have some smell when handling with IPA. But I crank up the vent to full speed and the smell is gone quickly.

Maybe my setup can give you some inspiration for your own.
Kind regards
Walter … from Austria :wink:

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Nice step up Walter. :+1:

This is ingenious, Walter!! Thank you for sharing!

I live in a house but with no room I can dedicate to printing. I use Low Odour resin which does smell but not enough to cause any discomfort. Worst smell is IPA. Most of my resin prints are small, I wash in a jam jar, seems to help a bit. I like Walters solution though

That’s awesome Walter. I have a little Ikea desk that I have all my printer equipment on and in but now I might just go with a set up like yours. Especially because I’m looking at getting another printer.

That the resin is low odor, doesn’t mean it is not toxic, it produces vapor during printing. You need at least enclosure with good ventilation, if you don’t have dedicated room to place it. Safety first :wink:
Regards!

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Thank you all again for all the responses. Very grateful for the information. Walter, That is an absolutely wonderful set up. Unfortunately, my space is very limited. I really wish I could have a mirror setup to yours.

As far as printers, I am thinking of either a Ellegoo? Mars 2 pro or a Mars 3 pro. Price is about $120 US between the 2 and 3. Is the three that much better to justify the extra money. I went to Ellegoo’s website and the 2 pro is $120 us. Good deal? advice needed.

Best Wishes,

Walter

Somewhere in Ohio

Hi Walter,
Mars 3 Pro for sure. Definitely worth the extra money. It’s 4K resolution LCD instead 2K. Much bigger print volume - Mars 2 Pro is way too small. Also 3 Pro comes with a USB powered carbon air filter to help your concern.