SLA safety (was: I want to move this discussion to a wider audien ce)

From: Bauer Juergen (Juergen.Bauer@SPY.SIEMENS.DE)
Date: Thu Jul 02 1998 - 18:47:41 EEST

When I was still at BIBA institute in bremen, Germany, it stuck me hard
to hear from a delegation of top industrial RP users from many European
auto-makers, that our safety and venting system was outstanding and

For me it was normal; we just had our SLA in a separate room, with a
large suction hood over the top of the machine, pulling out all
"disadvantageous fumes" 24 hours a day. We had an eye washer in the
room, and we did all the handling with white coats and with gloves put
on. Me, my colleagues and my students were used to it, as we knew that
free radicals of uncured acrylic resins could cause strong allergic
reaction. We had the second SLA installation in Europe, so we had to be

The whole things around our SLA had cost about 30k ten years ago, but I
allways thought AND STILL THINK that this cost position MUST always
appear in any SLA investment bill.

Some precautions have to be taken if you deal with certain technologies.
Or would you thest run your car engine in your kitchen ? (I know that
some would...)


Juergen Bauer, Siemens AG, EC CS A PD
Adress: Siemensstr. 13, 67346 Speyer, Germany
Phone: +49-6232-30-2501; Fax -2110

----Original Message-----
From: wayne l foss []
Sent: Thursday, July 02, 1998 4:00 PM
Subject: Re: I want to move this discussion to a wider audience

Nathaniel J. Leon wrote:
> Our friend Preston Smith wrote:
> >...My view is that there may always be additional more subjective
costs. For
> >example, will other highly qualified employees choose not to work in
> >building due to the hazardous substances, even though you have the
> >etc., thus reducing the quality of your work force.
> Preston
> That is a very good subjective cost, and it should be listed as a
> consideration as should others. Things need to brought into
perspective in
> with the most critical lights possible.
> I was only wondering what you meant by the subjective costs. Thank you
> giving me an example. I now understand.
> Niel Leon - CDS,inc

I've been following the discussion concerning the SLA epoxy raw material
handeling issues and other coments such as the one above. I get the
impression that 3D Systems has not been fully honest with its customers
by not disclosing the potential hazards of these materials. Many years
ago, I had a discussion with a sales rep from Quadrax and was told the
material was very toxic and must be handled very carefully because it
attacts skin tissue. (Quadrax was a system very similar to SLA, using
the same raw materials and is now out of business due to litigation by
3D Systems).

This has always stuck in my mind, and whenever I've talked to a 3D
Systems rep, I bring it up. Nothing is ever admitted to by them, stating
that no special handling is required and there is not a need for special
ventilation or facilities. The statements made by the real life users
indicates that my doubts are correct. Yes? Did they provide a safety
manual and materials handling training?

Our system selection did not only concentrate on purchase price, but
also all other related costs for facilities. (We selected Stratasys by
the way). An EPA approved hole in our roof complete with filters costs
at least $15K. An OSHA approved lab facility with eye washer, shower,
sink, vented hoods, etc. costs how much? I feel that whenever you
calculate your pay back, all of these additional expenses must be
factored in. Special facilities, training and process monitoring are not
cheap and will continue for the life of the facility.

I don't mean to trash 3D Systems here, but a persons health should come
before corporate profits.

- Wayne L. Foss
- Engineering Services Phone 319/295-2631
- Rapid Prototyping Specialist FAX 319/295-5429
- MS 106-176
- Rockwell Collins, Inc.
- 400 Collins Road, NE
- Cedar Rapids, IA 52498-3161
DISCLAIMER: Unless otherwise indicated, this correspondence is personal
opinion and NOT an official statement of Rockwell Collins, Inc.

For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:46:07 EEST