Air Filtration For 3D Printing Labs

3D Printing or Additive manufacturing is now the eminent player in the 4.0 Industrial Revolution phase. This technology has opened the door to using materials to make almost anything we can think of and creating a technology that has opened the door for the development of new materials that are developed specifically use in 3D Printing.

Many of these materials are produced by either heating up printing nozzles to temperatures reaching 300 degrees C and above, or by using laser systems to melt metal in the new metal printers or jetting systems that use a wide variety of compounds for creating objects.

All of these systems produce either very fine particulate or significant odors or both. Since 3D Printing or Additive manufacturing is still relatively new, there have not been a lot of studies to determine the levels and size ranges of the particulates that are generated by these machines.

Pure Air Systems has been making HEPA and Carbon based fan powered, air filtration systems since 1985. These systems, ranging is air volume from 50 CFM to 2,000 CFM, are made from all metal housings, using commercial grade HEPA filters and variable speed drive ECM motors. The units come in a number of configurations and control options so they can be attached to any HVAC system , used as stand-alone units and the fans can be controlled to run at any speed.

These systems come with a ring panel prefilter, scanned HEPA certified to 99.99% at 0.3 microns and a large Carbon filter for odors and gases.

In a 3D Printing/Additive manufacturing environment the PAS systems could be used as stand-alone units pulling air from one to four machines and removing the fine airborne particulate. Many newer printers are enclosed so it is easy to attach a small duct to the enclosure and pull that air into the PAS HEPA system.

Another option is to attach the PAS system to the main HVAC units in the lab or production area and remove the particulate and odors using the main HVAC ducting system to pull all the contaminated air back to the filtration unit.

The Pure Air Systems HEPA units have been used on almost every application requiring filtration in almost every corner of the world. They have been used in applications where toxic gases and dangerous airborne particulate are present. Their rugged durability and history of high performance over long periods of time are the reason Pure Air Systems has been in business for 33 years.

For more information on our complete product line please go to our website at: http://www.purairsystems.com    or call us on our toll-free number at: 800-869-8025.

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Portable Car or Office HEPA In Development

In 1985 Pure Air Systems was founded to produce true HEPA filtration systems for the residential, commercial, institutional, medical and industrial markets. The first HEPA system, the model 600H, was 16″ x16″ x 34″ high and weighed 97 lbs. That unit is still made today under the new name 600HS.

Over the years PAS made larger units to handle larger areas and applications and also develoed a smaller portable HEPA unit that is 13″ x  13″ x 21″ long and weighs 30lbs. There are now two versions of that large, portable unit.

In 2018 PAS embarked on an R&D project to develop a small, in-car true HEPA unit that also included a combination prefilter/carbon media wrap. The round HEPA filter is rated at 99.99% at 0.3 microns and will remove particles as small as 0.12 microns. The carbon will remove odors and the prefilter removes the larger particles keeping the HEPA to remove only the sub-micron particulates.

The CAR HEPA prototype is 5.5″ square and 7″ long. It weighs approximately 3 lbs and uses a small, whisper quiet fan that runs off the 12 volt plug ( or USB) in your car. PAS is also in the process of developing a HEPA Holder so you can mount you HEPA in a stratgic location for best air filtration results.

While some very high end cars ( Tesla, Mercedes and some BMW) have high efficiency cabin air filtration, most vehicles have little or none. The CAR HEPA unit will significantly reduce the levels of harmful, sub-micron particulates. These particles include bacteria, airborne allergens and some viruses.

In order to speed up the development process PAS is utilizing 3D Modeling and 3D Printing to create the housing for the unit. The first iteration took just one week to develop and now some tweaking of the housing size is in the works. It may be that the CAR HEPA will be produced on 3D Printers and they could be individualized or personalized with your name and choice of colors.

For more information on this and other HEPA and Carbon based products please go to our website at:  http://pureairsystems.com   or call us on our toll-free number at: 800-869-8025.

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ABS Fumes And 3D Printing

3D Printing has become a passion of mine. One of my business ventures entails the use of 3D printing to develop prototypes of hard technologies, objects and working parts for entrepreneurs. I also work with schools to help them obtain 3D printers for their classrooms. As all schools have eliminated wood shop, metal shop and any type of mechanical equipment education, the 3D printer can now take the place of any or all of these now defunct instructional classes.

One of the great things about 3D printing is their ability to use over 50 different types of materials for making almost any object. The more typical filaments include ABS ( typical plastic used in Lego’s and most household items, PLA, a plastic made from corn starch and HIPS, high impact polystyrene. Of course you can now print with all types of nylon, carbon fiber, graphene, conductive, magnetic, poly carbonate and stem cells if you prefer.

Of the three most commonly used filaments, ABS has some distinct positives and negatives. It is very durable and has great compression and shear strength and prints fairly easily. The downside is the odor that is generated by the high temperatures required to melt the filament at the extruder head..usually 230 to 240 degrees C. Also, as the layers of ABS cool they tend to shrink a little and if the printer bed is not heated ( usually 110 dgrees C) and if there are cold drafts the print object can actually lift off the build platform.

To both minimize the odor and shrinkage issue, Pure Air Systems has created a prototype housing that will fit over almost all of the 3D printers on the market. The size was based upon the Aleph Objects Companies, Lulzbot TAZ 5 open source 3D printer. This is one of the more popular printers on the market has a fairly good size footprint. The enclosure has four sides including a swing over the top hinged front door for easy access to the entire print surface including the filament and it is all made out of plexiglass. On the top of the unit is a small compartment with a true carbon media filter and a small fan to very gently pull air from around the bottom of the enclosure to remove the odor but maintain the temperature of the interior of the enclosure above ambient by holding in the heat from the build platform. Thus eliminating the odor issue and keeping the ABS objects on the build platform and ending up with a better print.

Pure Air Systems makes a complete line of HEPA and Carbon based air filtration products for every market and is now 32 years old. Their expertise in ventilation, HEPA filtration and odor control will help them produce a product that is both high performing and lost cost. Look for more information on this new 3D Enclosure coming soon.

For more information on Pure Air Systems, please go to their websites at: https://pureairsystems.com or call them anytime at: 800-869-8025.

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Build Platform

I spend a lot of my time designing objects with 3D modeling software and printing on one of my 4 3D printers. There are a lot of FFF (fused filament fabrication) 3D printers on the market and we have two with large build platforms approximately 12″ x 12″ square. We can also print an object up to 10″ tall.

In the land of 3D Printers “size matters” very much. As more prototyping is being done on 3D printers the larger the build area the more effective they become in making large parts or objects in one print rather than scaling the object down or printing out separate pieces of the object.

The manufacturing business model is much like 3D printing model. You have to create a workable object, product or pieces and then be able to produce in using the fewest number of parts. The larger the production area the greater the efficiency to produce larger parts or assemblies.

Pure Air Systems, Inc. started their business making commercial grade HEPA, fan powered air filtration systems back in 1985 and working out of a garage. There was little room for component parts and filters so much of the assembly was done using outside contractors. While this worked for a while, as the business grew, PAS required more space to start work on prototyping larger systems for their growing commercial business.

By 1998 PAS was moving into a 9,000 sq. ft. building with enough room to stock all the components for its then seven model HEPA systems. The extra space also allowed for more efficient assembly and faster turn out of products. In addition, all of the replacement filters could be stored in the facility so spare filters, parts and units could be shipped from one location usually in one to three days.

As 3D Printing continues to innovate itself almost weekly adding faster printers, larger build platforms and the use of newer, stronger filament materials, it is possible that Pure Air Systems may eventually move into 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing as it is now called, for the production of some of its components. Size does matter.

For more information on the complete product line for PAS please go to our website at: http://www.pureairsystems.com or call us on our toll free number at: 800-869-8025.

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Z Gap

Using 3D Printers has been a practice of mine for the past two years and I have learned a lot about the technology and the capabilities of this new process. For the under $3,000.00 range, the printers are fairly simple to operate and many of then can now print in over 25 different materials and not just plastics. We can print in brass, bronze, copper, wood, ceramic, nylon, conductive, magnetic, flexible, poly carbonate, carbon fiber and the new graphene materials.  It seems every day a new material is added to the list.

Of course there are other types of printers, those that use resin or powder and some can print with metal. These are the high end printers that range from $15,000.00 to over $500.000.00. But those machines are getting less expensive so maybe in two years they will be under $20,000.00 and available for small business operations. In the meantime we use the more common printers.

The Z gap is the distance from the bottom of the printing nozzle to the surface of the build platform. For most machines this setting in done manually and it is a little challenging to get that distance set just right. It takes practice and patience and is critical to the overall finish of the end product.

Pure Air Systems has been manufacturing HEPA and Carbon based, fan powered, commercial grade systems since 1985 and has learned how to set the gap between price, performance, execution and customer need. It is always a balancing game when you are trying to look at the needs of the customer and the bottom line of the business. Many times you purchase another one of a product you purchased years ago only to find out the next version is not made as well and has a reduced performance and life compared to the original. This is often the case when a small, family run, operation is purchased by a larger, publicly held company. The gap is often compromised in favor of the bottom line and not the customer.

PAS has been around for 30 years because it knows the value of keeping their customers happy and providing a consistently well engineered systems that continue to meet or exceed the needs of their customers.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA and Carbon based filtration systems please go to our website at:  http:.//www.pureairsystems.com or call them on their toll-free line at: 800-860-8025.

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Additive Manufacturing

For the past two years I have been using 3D Printers to develop prototypes and promotional items for a wide variety of individuals. From High School students to entrepreneurs and small businesses, we have designed and printed objects from promotional key chain fobs to new guitar pics and hand held water filtration devices. The ability to utilize 3D printing makes this process possible.

Since its inception in 1985, 3D printing has made huge advances in the quality, types of materials, software and ease of use ( for the technically inclined) along with prices under $1,000.00 for some printers. We have tried a number of printers, all under $3,000.00 and have settled in on the Open Source printer designs. These are made to print in over 25 different materials including ABS, PLA, HIPS, Nylon, Poly Carbonate, Laybrick, Laywood, Bronze, Brass, Copper and other new materials. This allows us the ability to create some very unique prototypes and limited production products for 1/100th of traditional fabrication techniques.

Pure Air Systems, Inc. a company that designs and builds HEPA based commercial grade, fan powered air filtration systems. Their newest portable unit entry into the medical market required some unique design concepts including the use of 3D printing to create some component design that would have been very difficult in the aluminum materials used in the balance of the unit. Most of the 3D print models are created in Solid Works, CAD, or Auto Desk Inventor. And, whenever possible we use STEM engineering High School students to do the 3D modeling to give them an opportunity to work with real-world problems and the clients like it as well.

As more companies begin to look to 3D modeling to create and re-design products the ability to introduce 3D printing or Additive manufacturing into the mix becomes a reality. The innovation compression cycle for 3D printing is one of the fastest I have ever seen. And, as Pure Air Systems discovered, this technology can bring prototyping costs and time down to a few weeks rather than a few months.

For more information on the complete line of HEPA based air filtration systems go to our website at: https://pureairsystems.com or call us on our toll free number at: 800-869-8025.

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