3D printing is a great hobby that millions of people enjoy, but we always have to focus on safety. In this case, we are talking about safety for the pets that accompany your household, which can include cats, dogs, birds, and pets in an aquarium.
I decided to look into this topic in detail and share that info with you in this article.
3D printing is safe for pets as long as you take the proper precautions. I would advise using an enclosed 3D printer so your pets cannot physically touch the hotbed or heated nozzle. To avoid toxic fumes and particles, use non-toxic filament like PLA, along with an air-purifying system.
There are many smaller details and questions that need to be answered to really have the knowledge of 3D printing being safe for pets. Keep on reading to learn these insights, along with tips to keep your pets safer.
Is a 3D Printer Safe for Pets?
3D printing is safe for pets as long as you take the right precautions beforehand, such as putting it in a location that is out of reach and using a 3D printer with an enclosure.
3D printers can reach some very high heats, especially the hotend and nozzle, so you don’t want any pets getting curious with a fast moving machine that makes noise. They are very likely to give attention to a 3D printer if it is in a location they can see.
If you put your 3D printer on a high shelf and make sure it is either enclosed or has an enclosure built around it, you should be fine. Another thing to think about are the fumes or particulates that are emitted from a 3D printer.
Is a 3D Printer Safe for Dogs?
The 3D printer is safe for the dogs, but it is recommended to keep the printer at a place away from your pet because the heat of the 3D printer may hurt them.
Just make sure that you are using the food-safe material, and it will allow you to make a lot of chewable and other types of safe toys for your dog.
Is a 3D Printer Safe for Cats?
Older style 3D printers were not considered safe but the new generations especially the enclosed ones are gaining popularity because of their safety and amazing features.
Your cat is safe as long as you follow the instructions provided by the company and make sure that your cat is interested in the 3D printed toys and accessories more than the 3D printer itself.
You can use some kind of method to deter your cat from going near your 3D printer, by putting something there that they don’t like. Cats are pretty nimble, so if you can’t move your 3D printer to a secure location you have to go the extra mile.
If you have printed something like a bowl or a dish make sure that you clean it regularly.
Is a 3D Printer Safe for Birds?
3D printers are safe for the birds, but you should take care of the printer’s temperature because it should not get too high. It is recommended to isolate the printer so that birds can’t reach it, or it’s better to use an enclosed printer.
Is a 3D Printer Aquarium-Safe?
People are definitely using 3D printed objects in their aquariums because they do not decompose in water unless in harsh conditions. 3D printers are indeed safe for aquariums as long as you are using materials such as PLA, Nylon, ABS & PETG.
You definitely don’t want to use a filament which dissolves in water like HIPS.
I’d advise you to use white filament because colored filament can leech out after several months, which can negatively affect the quality of water for your aquarium.
Objects like feeding funnels and sensor holders are perfect to make use of.
You want to be using either 0% infill (with a few holes in the print for water to fill) or 100% infill to stop prints from floating.
Acetone is a great substance to use for ABS prints if you want to smooth parts to be watertight. Over time, filament does absorb water and is usually damaged by UV light and heat so keep this in mind.
One 3D printer user with an aquarium has had a PLA piece in their aquarium for over a year and didn’t see any degradation in the prints.
3 Best Enclosed 3D Printers for Pet Safety
- Monoprice Maker Ultimate 3D Printer
- FlashForge Creator Pro
- Qidi Tech X-Maker
It is a 3D printer with many safety-related features and is considered as one of the best 3D printers for pets. This special printer includes a full enclosure and its added features include a removable, flexible, and heated print bed at an affordable price.
The FlashForge Creator Pro is a well-respected fully-enclosed 3D printer with a sturdy metal frame and a whole host of features that improves your overall 3D printing experience.
The enclosed chamber helps to regulate printing temperatures, so they remain constant, a massive necessity for top quality prints, especially with ABS filament. The bed plate is guaranteed to be completely flat and not warp during heating.
It’s highly rated on Amazon for good reason, so if you want a good 3D printer for pet safety I would definitely recommend the Creator Pro.
The last choice is a cheaper, yet still very reliable option called the Qidi Tech X-Maker which supports several types of filament including ABS and TPU.
It has a build size of 170 x 150 x 160mm, nice and compact, so it doesn’t require a whole section just to set it up. You can easily move this fully-enclosed 3D printer to a location that is inaccessible to the most nimble of pets.
You’re getting great customer service, as Qidi is well-known for top-tier support. It’s perfect for kids, beginners and for education, so I do think this is one of the better options for a 3D printer while keeping pet safety in mind.
Fun 3D Printed Toys for Pets
There are plenty of ideas to print fun toys for pets using a 3D printer. But while printing a 3D toy for your pet, make sure that you are considering the safety precautions and using a safe filament.
Below is a list of some of the best fun toys that you can print for your pets especially for your dogs and cats and all of these toys are safe with attractive designs.
- Ball Scoop and Launcher
- Laser Entertainment Robot
- Treat Dispenser Puzzle
- Spherical Toys
- Food Dish
- Pill Cutter
- Circular Ball Track
- Kitty Armor
Having these unique fun toys and accessories will excite you and your pet and will bring entertainment and happiness. Go now and get one to have a fun experience with your pets.
Are 3D Printed Toys Safe for Cats, Dogs & Pets?
3D printed toys and accessories are completely safe for the pets, but you have to keep some precautionary measures in your mind. Just ensure that you are using a printer of high quality with a non-toxic filament.
All the toys printed from an enclosed 3D printer with an advanced air purifying system will be safe for the pets and this safety will be increased if your printer includes a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) or carbon filter.
Best Filament to Use for Pets
As you know that you can print toys and accessories for your pets such as dogs, cats, birds, etc, but it is recommended to use filaments that are safe.
A recent study conducted on safety-related questions states that almost all 3D printers of new generations are using non-toxic filaments with air purifying systems that are safe for all types of pets.
PLA filament is a well known and the most recommended non-toxic filament because it is made by sugary foods such as corn, potatoes, beets, grain, etc.
There are many reasons that contribute to making PLA non-toxic filament the best and safest of all, including the fact that it is tested in a number of nationally recognized laboratories to ensure that it meets the latest safety needs and requirements.
Is PLA & TPU Safe for Dogs?
The perfect dog toy wears away over time and a good TPU dog toy can last several months. The good thing is that TPU dog chew toys don’t come off in large chunks which would be dangerous, rather slowly wears away over time.
I wouldn’t use PLA as a material for a food bowl to eat out of, because when it is printing, there are tiny holes being created where bacteria from food can grow. PLA is also quite brittle and easy to chew through, so I wouldn’t use it as a chew toy.
PLA should only be used for food items if it has been treated with food-safe resin or something similar.