3D printing technology offers the freedom to design and print custom parts and objects with complex or organic shapes without any limitation. These are the things that cannot be manufactured as a single unit with the traditional manufacturing method. We have to create molds and proper tooling and create these things in bulk. They are also costly and sometimes impossible to manufacture, here the 3D printer wins the race.
The benefit of this technology is very compelling. It is being widely adopted by many industries in different sectors such as Automotive, Medical, Aerospace, Clothing, etc. It is also very affordable and time-saving. We can print a variety of different objects using the 3D printer which we can use in our daily life and it is a fun thing to do.
Now when it comes to printing household objects one of the things, we can do with the 3D printer is to print kitchen tools or utensils. Many of you must wonder whether is the 3D printing food safe? These objects are intended to touch the food and this is why you must consider safety first. Food safe 3D printing is definitely possible and there are a variety of materials approved as food safe.
To clear up some of your doubts about whether 3D printing is food safe and what are the 3D printer filament you can buy to print food-grade items, we have put together this article. Read on to find out more about them.
What Does Food Safe Filament Really Mean?
Let us clear us some terms first before we get straight to the point. It is important so you can understand more easily:
Food Safe: It means that the object which is printed meets the specified requirements determined for the intended use and is not going to create any food safety hazard.
Food Grade: This means that the printed item or the filament is safe for human consumption or it is safe to come in contact with the food without creating any issues.
The kitchen objects we can print will obviously come in contact with the food and creates a new safety concern called migration. It is because the particles in the 3D printer filament are as small as a few nanometers and might get transferred every time the object comes in contact with another object. Take this as an example, the particles of the 3D printer will migrate to the 3D printed object and the particles from the object will migrate to the food.
When buying food-safe filament consider looking at the label which indicates FDA and EU approval. Also, note that when the label says ‘Compliant with’ it actually doesn’t mean that they are approved with standard testings.
How to Print Food Safe Objects
Health is the most valuable asset in life and one must not risk it for the sake of 3D printing. When you are printing and using objects to use in your kitchen, please follow the safety tips mentioned below to minimize the risk to a great extent.
Use a food-safe sealant
Consider sealing the 3D print with a food-safe sealant will cover the body which may attract bacteria. We also do not suggest you use the 3D print with items such as raw meat or eggs, these are more likely to cause bacteria growth.
Use a food-safe extruder
Migration can occur from your extruder to the 3D printed object and thus we suggest you use stainless steel hot extruder which is safe to use with food.
Limit the time in contact with food
If you are printing items such as a knife or cookie cutter which is usually not going to be in contact with the food for a long time can be safe to print with any kind of material weather be it food safe or not. On the other hand, items such as plates or cup requires extra precaution and a food-safe material.
Use warm water and antibacterial soap
After using the 3D print on your food items don’t throw it inside the dishwater, instead use warm water and some antibacterial soap or detergent to wash it after every use. This will kill/Remove the harmful substances and reduce the chance of bacteria buildup.
Printing 3D parts for kitchen use requires safety precautions to avoid the risk depending upon their use cases. It is great to print the item you need by yourself but consider avoiding it as much as you can. If you are trying out food grade or food safe material for you provide feel free to share the experience with our lovely visitors in the comments below.