How to Ventilate a 3D Printer

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Updated February 3, 2023

The laborious effort to purchase the best 3D printer can be exhausting. However, owning the best printer can be greatly beneficial, whether for a hobby or a professional reason. But to ensure you’re using it properly, you must take the necessary safety precautions. One of the main concerns is avoiding and expelling toxic fumes. Therefore, knowing how to ventilate a 3D printer is something every owner must be aware of, and below we’ll provide a step-by-step guide.


  • Every type of 3D printer releases toxic fumes or dangerous particulates into the air.
  • To limit the amount of harmful airborne pollutants, 3D printer owners must enclose and ventilate their devices.
  • The two main options for ventilation are built-in filtration devices or ventilating through a wall or window using an air extractor.

For more essential 3D printer resources, you can check out our other materials. For example, we have instructions on things like building a 3D printer enclosure and how to print with polycarbonate.

Insider Tip

Some 3D printers come with preinstalled filtration systems, making ventilation setup simple and stress-free.

How to Vent a 3D Printer

Many types of 3D print materials, like liquid resin and ABS filament, give off fumes that are harmful to humans. And certain materials release small particulates into the air, damaging the lungs. Then there are other less-harmful materials, like PLA, which aren’t as dangerous but release an unpleasant odor and can cause sickness if breathed for too long.

Whichever material you use, creating a safe environment for your 3D printer is not difficult, but it’s one of the most important things to do. There are multiple ways to accomplish this, and below we’ll run through the various methods to obtain adequate ventilation.

For more helpful resources on what you need for 3D printing, you can check out our other resources, like our guide on how to unclog a 3D printer nozzle.

Method 1 – Build an Enclosure and Vent with Air Filter

One of the most common ways to contain dangerous particulates is by constructing an enclosure. Usually, these enclosures are made out of plastic. But higher-end materials, such as glass encasing, also work.

Building an enclosure is great for containing fumes, particles, and VOCs. However, remember that without proper ventilation, the enclosure will still leak some of the particulates into the room. You can install an air filter or air purifier within the enclosure or room to enhance ventilation. Remember, different air filters work better for certain types of airborne matter. Make sure you choose the right type depending on the type of particulate your 3D printing process produces.


The higher temperature you print with, the more amount of harmful particulate will be released into the air.

Method Two – Build Encloser and Vent Outdoors

Another common way to reduce the effects of exposure is to vent the printer through a wall or window using a hose and air extractor. However, doing so might create temperature issues during the process, which can warp the object being made, especially if your printer doesn’t have a heated build plate or enclosed chamber.

STAT: On average, a 3D print object takes between 5 and 7 hours to complete. (source)

How to Ventilate a 3D Printer FAQs

Do all types of printers emit dangerous particulate?

Yes, even certain materials that are often marketed as non-toxic, like PLA, can cause sickness if inhaled for too long.

What can happen if you inhale too many dangerous fumes?

Depending on the type of substance you inhale, the fumes and particulates can cause anything from nausea to eye/skin irritation or even increase the likelihood of certain types of cancer.

What should I do if I don't have an enclosed 3D printer?

If you must use your unenclosed 3D printer, do so near an open window. Additionally, upgrade your home's air filter to one with the highest MERV rating possible.
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