How Toxic is 3D Printer Resin? Explained by Experts

3D printing has revolutionized the world of manufacturing, allowing for the creation of complex and intricate designs with ease. However, with this convenience comes potential health risks. One of the most common materials used in 3D printing is resin, which can emit harmful fumes during the printing process.

The toxicity of 3D printer resin is a growing concern among users and manufacturers alike. Resins typically contain chemicals such as isocyanates, which can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and even asthma. In addition, the curing process of resin can release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air, which can contribute to poor indoor air quality and have long-term health effects. As 3D printing becomes more popular, it is important to understand the potential risks associated with resin use and take steps to minimize exposure.

What is 3D Printer Resin?

3D printer resin is a material used in stereolithography (SLA) and digital light processing (DLP) 3D printing technologies. It is a liquid material that is cured by light to form solid objects. 3D printer resin is commonly used to create highly detailed and complex parts, especially those that cannot be easily produced with traditional manufacturing methods.

The Composition of 3D Printer Resin

3D printer resin is typically made up of a mixture of monomers, oligomers, and photoinitiators. Monomers are small molecules that can combine to form larger molecules, while oligomers are larger molecules that are made up of multiple monomers. Photoinitiators are compounds that react to light and initiate the curing process.

The specific composition of 3D printer resin can vary depending on the manufacturer and the intended use. Some resins may also contain additives such as pigments or fillers to achieve specific properties or colors.

How is 3D Printer Resin Used?

3D printer resin is used in SLA and DLP 3D printers to create parts with high accuracy and detail. The resin is poured into a vat and a laser or projector is used to cure the resin layer by layer, building up the final object. Once the object is fully cured, it is removed from the printer and washed in a solvent to remove any uncured resin.

There are many different types of 3D printer resin available, each with its own unique properties and characteristics. Some resins are designed for high strength and durability, while others are formulated for flexibility or transparency. It is important to choose the right type of resin for the specific application to ensure the best possible results.

Toxicity of 3D Printer Resin

3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing industry, but with the increasing popularity of this technology, concerns about the potential health hazards of 3D printer resin have also emerged. In this section, we will discuss the toxicity of 3D printer resin.

Potential Health Hazards of 3D Printer Resin

The main component of 3D printer resin is a liquid polymer that is cured by ultraviolet light. However, this liquid polymer also contains various chemicals, such as isocyanates, acrylates, and styrene, which can be harmful to human health. Exposure to these chemicals can cause respiratory problems, skin irritation, and eye irritation.

Short-term Effects of Exposure to 3D Printer Resin

Short-term exposure to 3D printer resin can cause a range of health effects, including headache, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms are typically mild and subside once exposure to the resin is stopped.

Long-term Effects of Exposure to 3D Printer Resin

Long-term exposure to 3D printer resin can lead to more serious health problems, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer. The risk of developing these conditions increases with the duration and frequency of exposure to the resin.

To minimize the risk of exposure to 3D printer resin, it is important to use appropriate personal protective equipment, such as gloves, goggles, and respiratory protection. It is also recommended to use 3D printers in well-ventilated areas to reduce the concentration of harmful chemicals in the air.

In conclusion, while 3D printing has many benefits, it is important to be aware of the potential health hazards of 3D printer resin. By taking appropriate precautions, we can minimize the risk of exposure to harmful chemicals and enjoy the benefits of this exciting technology.

How to Minimize Exposure to 3D Printer Resin

When printing with a 3D printer, it is important to take precautions to minimize exposure to the resin used in the printing process. Here are some tips on how to minimize exposure to 3D printer resin.

Safety Measures for Handling 3D Printer Resin

When handling 3D printer resin, it is important to wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a respirator. This will help to prevent skin and eye irritation, as well as respiratory problems. Here are some additional safety measures to follow:

  • Avoid touching the resin with bare skin
  • Use a designated workspace for handling resin
  • Keep resin away from food and drink
  • Do not smoke while handling resin

Proper Ventilation for 3D Printing

Proper ventilation is essential when 3D printing with resin. The fumes released during the printing process can be harmful if inhaled, and can cause headaches, dizziness, and other health problems. Here are some tips for ensuring proper ventilation:

  • Use a well-ventilated room or a fume hood
  • Avoid printing in a confined space
  • Use a fan to circulate air in the workspace
  • Consider using a respirator with a filter designed for 3D printing fumes

By following these safety measures and ensuring proper ventilation, you can minimize your exposure to 3D printer resin and protect your health while enjoying the benefits of 3D printing.


In conclusion, 3D printer resin can be toxic to humans if proper safety precautions are not taken. The resin contains chemicals such as isocyanates, which can cause respiratory issues and skin irritation. However, with the right safety measures, 3D printing with resin can be done safely.

Using a well-ventilated area, wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and following the manufacturer’s instructions are all essential steps to take when working with 3D printer resin.

It is also important to note that different types of resin have different toxicity levels. Some resins may contain more harmful chemicals than others, so it is crucial to research and choose the right resin for your project.

Overall, while 3D printer resin can be toxic, it can be used safely with the proper precautions and knowledge. By taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and others, you can enjoy the benefits of 3D printing with resin without putting your health at risk.