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Top 10 Ways Your 3D Printer Can Kill You

It’s that time again: sensationalist news! In the headlines over the weekend, non-tech media returned to the favored pastime of vilifying 3D printers which, obviously, can cause perfectly lovely people to perish. We’ve previously seen 3D printers blamed for having started lethal fires; recently, a (since-updated) report indicated that carbon monoxide coming from a 3D printer was the suspected cause of death of a couple and their two cats in Berkeley, California. In an age of alternative facts and sensationalist media, let’s turn instead to the truth. The recent deaths in California were a tragedy. Their 3D printer was not to blame.

But could your 3D printer kill you? Sure.

Depending on your setup and what materials you’re using, your 3D printer may be offgassing some fumes that aren’t great for your health; studies are ongoing to see just how unhealthy fumes are, how indoor air quality can be affected, and how troublesome metal powders may be — but you’re probably not in danger of being offed in your sleep while the 3D printer a room or two away creates your next Baby Groot, benchy, or Yoda head. Use your 3D printer in a well-ventilated area and with common sense safety precautions (like enclosures and fans), and you’re very likely to be just fine.

So if the fumes won’t (immediately) get you, what will?

Well… it probably wouldn’t be a proud way to go out, as you’d be most likely to meet your end via 3D printing only by leaving common sense at the door, which can be a problem — as Australia’s Metro Trains has very catchily pointed out in the past: