Do 3D Printers Smell?

3D printing is prevalent these days mainly because it is a technology that converts an ordinary picture into a 3-dimensional image, making it come alive. Most people who are professional photographers use 3D- printers to take the print out of their photographs. 3-D printers are also used in multinational firms to print out slides prepared to create an exceptional presentation for a board meeting.  

There are a few of us who are averse to the smell of 3-D printers. If you wonder if a 3-D printer smells, then the answer to your question is yes; a 3-D printer emits a kind of smell. 

Why does a 3-D printer smell?

A 3-D printer emits a smell because of the filaments used in the ink of the printer. The ink used in a 3-D printer is made of plastic, glass-filled polyamide, epoxy resins, wax, photopolymers, polycarbonate, and metals like silver, titanium, and steel. The heat generated from the printer melts these filaments and causes them to burn, which creates the odour that you get from a 3-D printer. 

Is the odour of a 3-D printer harmful?

Some people like the odour of a 3-D colour printer, and some don’t. But the smell of a 3-D printer is something you cannot avoid. If you wonder whether the odour is harmful, let us tell you that any smell generated through a chemical reaction is not suitable for health. 


If you have never used a 3-D printer before, the smell of the ink that comes out while the printer is in use might make you uncomfortable and cause a headache. If you have been used to working with the printer, you might get accustomed to the smell. 

Whether you are a new user or someone who has been using the 3-D printer for ages, you should avoid the smell of the ink that emits from the printer. Research has proven that the smell of the ink might cause cancer.

Ways to avoid the smell of the printer

There are several ways to avoid the smell of the printer. 

  • You can prefer wearing a mask when working with the printer to avoid the smell from the printer.
  • It would help if you kept the printer in a well-ventilated area so that the smell does not affect your lungs directly. It also helps in the cooling of your printer. 
  • Avoid keeping the printer in a claustrophobic place where there are no windows. 
  • If you are printing in bulks, prefer switching off the printer at regular intervals so that the smell decreases. 
  • It would help if you preferred using PLA filament printers. Even though they emit a strong smell, the fume that comes out of the printer is non-toxic. 
  • Avoid using printers that work on plastic and nylon filaments. Even though there is no smell in printers using these filaments, these compounds can give out gaseous compounds that can be extremely risky for your health.

Final Takeaway

Therefore, we can say that not all printers that smell are dangerous for health. It depends on the compound. For example, PLA printers emit a strong smell, but the fume that comes out is often non-toxic. 

Similarly, printers that operate on plastic and nylon filaments are very harmful to your health even if they do not emit any smell. Therefore while choosing a 3-D printer, make sure you know the filament it operates on. 

It would help if you also remembered to place the 3-D printer in an airy room so that the smell doesn’t affect you too much.