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Building an Air Filtration System for a 3D Printer

How I used a microcontroller, a fan, and a bunch of sensors to create a smart filtration system.

I was thinking of projects to work on, and I thought, gee, it would be nice if our 3D printer didn’t kill us 1.

I had researched the potential health side effects of owning a 3D printer when I bought it - it turns out they can malfunction and catch fire or release harmful chemicals into the air - but I made excuses. I’m only printing in Polyactic Acid (PLA), one of the least harmful filaments - it’s probably fine. Sure, maybe it releases some tiny plastic into the air, but it’s a big room, and sometimes I keep the windows open. Our smoke detectors are brand new and well tested. We’re probably fine.

Now that we welcomed Theodore, our now 3-month-old, into the world, I wanted to be on the safe side. So, I set out to build an air filtration system and some other safety features.”

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