3D Printing…. You see those cute little Makerbot Replicators, or those Cubify Cubes. They all look so innocent, don’t they? How could 3D printing cause any more damage to an individual than a minor burn from a hot end extruder, or a mildly bruised ego from a failed print? FDM based 3D printing is not inherently a dangerous hobby, but things still can go wrong. I was browsing Thingiverse today and came upon a “3D Printer Battle Wound,” image. This made be wonder, “Is this a common occurance?” A little more searching around the internet, revealed quite a vast library of 3D printing wounds; almost all people’s hands. (Warning, do not continue reading if you can’t take a little blood and gore.)
To be fair, almost all the wounds I had encountered were not really from the 3D printers themselves, but actually damage inflicted by people on themselves while trying to clean their objects off, post print. Anyway, let this act as a means to remind you guys and girls to be a little bit more careful while working on and operating 3D printers and 3D prints in general. Remember, these are powerful machines, and sharp objects are often needed while cleaning prints.
Thingiverse user Krizzap, needed seven stitches after the blade broke, as he was working on his printer:
This one is probably the worse I have seen so far. User CivilEITPrint posted this on Thingiverse. He sliced his hand with a knife while trying to remove support material from a print.
User HamOp cut off nearly 50% of his fingertip as he was trimming a freshly printed part. Good thing you can also find a 3D printed prosthetic finger on Thingiverse:
User MacGyver took a nice chunk out of his knuckle, while cleaning a 3D printed piece. The real MacGyver wouldn’t have done this. .
I am happy to report that none of these individuals bled to death, and they all are still using their 3D printers. When cleaning supports and other unwanted plastic off of an object, it is safer to use needle nosed pliers rather than a sharp knife. If you must resort to using a knife, always use a swiping motion which brings the knife away from you. Never use a motion which comes towards your body or hand. Do you have your own battle wound story? Post it at the 3D Printing Injury thread at 3DPB.com.
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