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Is 3D Printing Food Safe?

Is 3D printing food safeIs 3D printing food safe products possible?

3D printing technology has already changed the landscape of manufacturing completely, making a lot of modern miracles that seemed impossible before – like making critical organs (such as a heart, for example) on demand from biological material – a reality, but there are some that are concerned that 3D printing products that will come into contact with food aren’t safe.

On the other hand, there are a lot of folks in the 3D printing world that would argue the contrary.

These people say that the products they produce through the 3D printing process are just as safe to use around food as those made through more traditional approaches, if not more so.

Who’s telling the truth?

Is there such a thing as 3D printing food safe products?

Find out right now!

Is 3D printing food safe products possible?

You bet it is!

Sure, there are some hurdles that need to be cleared for these kinds of products to be completely safe when exposed to food stuffs for human consumption, but by and large there aren’t any real differences in these 3D printed products and those made through other means of manufacturing.

The number one risk that 3D printed products have to contend with as a bacteria buildup in the material used during the printing process, which happens a lot more often than most people would like to admit.

This is because the material used for 3D printing doesn’t have to be stored – or heated – to a specific temperature to be used. When you’re making plastic tupperware, for example, the plastic material itself has to be superheated until it’s a liquid and able to be cast into it’s final shape.

No bacteria could survive in temps like that.

The same is NOT true for 3D printing materials, which can be left alone at room temps (for the most part), giving bacteria plenty of time to come to life and inject themselves into the deeper layers of the product.

Secondly, 3D projects that are printed need to be sealed completely – not only to protect the finish (and the finished product) but also to make sure that the joints have all adhered properly to one another.

This is incredibly important, but you run the risk of using a sealant or an adhesive that may not be so good for the human body – even if it’s only consumed in small amounts passed along from contact with food.

Finally, you have to worry about the kind of filaments used in the production of these 3D printed food safe products.

A lot of the new filaments used in projects today are not only 100% food safe across the board, but also made from natural or recycled/reclaimed materials. These are good for the body as well as the environment – not to mention cheap and renewable – which is fantastic news for all involved.

But older filament materials aren’t quite as safe or as sophisticated. Those are the ones you need to look out for. Natural PLA, for example, is always going to be 100% safe (it’s made from corn starch), whereas ABS is a dangerous toxin you can’t have anywhere near your food – or your mouth!

At the end of the day though, is 3D printing food safe products possible?

You bet it is!