Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

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Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by Badgerhawk » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:52 pm

In addition to being a new list member I am a design engineer starting a CAD/RP business in our basement in a very rural area in WI. After doing a lot of research I have narrowed my choice down to an M2 or a Form2. Ultimately I would like both in the stable but will only get one fornow.

My only concern regarding the M2 is sound level and material fumes. Our house has an air to air heat exchanger for air circulation but likely wouldn't be adequate. The basement only has 4 small windows and none of those are in the room I work out of. The room is also directly under our bedroom. PET or PLA might not be able to be smelled but there is are surely would be health effects in this poor ventilation environment. I had looked at the Alfinia H800 for its HEPA enclosure but discovered its China origins.

Even though the Form2 is enclosed I would think that fumes would still be a problem during post processing and tank cleaning etc.

Even though it will be in the baement, the office is right below our bedroom. Will that still likely be enough of a sound buffer? My wife can get pretty grumpy about unwanted noises and smells.

Has anyone tried an off the shelf enclosure such as the 3DPrintClean? I am not fully opposed to a DIY box but my time is limited so a quick enclosure solution that works would be great.


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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by insta » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:20 am

PETG is officially odorless, followed by PLA (a slightly sweet smell), then HIPS (a slightly unpleasant odor), then ABS (smells like a car fire). With PETG, HIPS, or ABS you also get to skip the bed fan, which is fairly noisy. If you never use PLA, you can remove that fan entirely for some minor benefits. I'm not a doctor, but I don't see much in the way of problems using PET all day, health-wise.

To cut down on noise though, you really want the rubber isolating grommets. There's a thread about it in the "modifications" section. It's a simple aftermarket modification that'll take less than half an hour to install, and as far as I'm aware doesn't effect your warranty at all (hope Rick chimes in on this?). You can also replace the various fans in the machine with higher-end PC fans designed exclusively for noise reduction, there's another thread on that somewhere. Lowering the acceleration from stock values (and installing a Viki to reduce PC use [ahem i sell them]) will cut noise as well. There's going to be a bit of noise at the start and end of a print, you can't get around that. It's the Z stage, and while it's gotten much quieter lately, it's still louder than the other axises.

With the isolating grommets, I can't hear about 2 of my 5 machines operating less than 8 feet away in the same room. The other 3 have a slight whine, on par with the pitch and volume of a flatbed scanner. The fans on mine are easily the loudest part, but that's because I tend to run them way past their lifespan and generally abuse them :mrgreen: The power supply fan can get "noisy" ... I think a modern gaming console's cooling fan is about the same pitch and volume.

If your wife has unreasonable expectations about noise, it will still be a problem. I had a roommate who used to complain about my typing (on a membrane keyboard, not the clicky kind), on the other side of the house, through three closed doors. She also unplugged my aquarium filter (that was in the common living area) because it was too noisy. That was unreasonable, but it was what it was. If your wife can fall asleep with a TV on low in the other room, you'll be fine with the M2 with the mods.
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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by Pekish79 » Tue Dec 08, 2015 1:51 am

PLA & PETG (mostly all i use) and PLA WOOD (this actually smell like chopped wood)
doesnt have Fumes problem i personally not sure why people use ABS but to each his own

Noise.... i wouldn't sleep in the same room with it printing you can change the fans like i did all of them including the one if the power supply but the pitch noise of the x and y motors is annoying but easy to suppress (since is high frequency) just put the machine in a different

i wouldn't suggest to place it in the family-living room if u intend to make big prints 10-20 hours unless you want to try to build your own enclosed structure

I read lot of review of 3d printers and none of them was quite 90% of the 3d printer has in the "cons" NOISE

overall after changing the fans i can leave the door open and nobody complain but if i close the door we really hear nothing wondering if is still working or not

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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by Jules » Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:56 am

I was worried about the potential for smells and fumes too, before i got the machine a few months ago. But smells are just not an issue for anything other than ABS. There is no smell, and there are no fumes. I literally sit in the same room with the machine for hours, from about 15 feet away, while it prints the whole time, and i'm still quite sane. (I think! :D ) Can't smell a thing, even if i sit right over it and babysit a print for a while. Even more important, my better half, who is extremely sensitive to smells of any kind, has never uttered a peep about it, so i know it's okay. The windows are always closed in here, ventilation is just not needed. (Except for ABS, which is a petroleum based product, but just use PETG instead, and you'll be fine.)

From a noise standpoint, I have to turn the volume up two notches on the TV when i'm sitting right next to it. That's about it. I occasionally run it overnight, and the room it's in is right underneath the bedroom, and the printer is directly located under the bed - if i really strain, i can sometimes hear it. You're not going to hear it in a basement unless you have the hearing of a bat.

The only reason you would need to build an enclosure for it, is if you were planning on printing ABS. That supposedly does stink, and it needs to be kept warm while printing to keep it from cracking. But once i got the machine and started playing with PETG, I realized i would never have to use ABS anyway. It doesn't stink, and it doesn't crack, it doesn't shrink as much and it's just as strong. So why mess with it?

Anyway, my two cents worth. :D

Oh and by the way, my microwave oven is louder than the M2 in operation. So if your wife can tolerate a microwave, you won't have a problem. Like the guys said, there are things you can do to make it even quieter - adding rubber bumpers between the motors and the frame helps a little, taking the fan guard off helps a lot. Both are easy fixes that require nothing more than a screwdriver. :D
Last edited by Jules on Tue Dec 08, 2015 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by wmgeorge » Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:16 pm

I moved my M2 inside the house, on our 4 seasons back porch. for the winter. I keep the heat down to 45 F when not using the room and kick it up 65 F or so when we are out there and in the sunny afternoons it can get solar heating maybe up to 80 or so.

Anyway the machine is on top of a small dorm size refrigerator about 4 feet from where you would set watching TV. It is noticeable kind of a high pitched whine. But in the next room, with the glass doors closed you can not hear it run.

I would not alter the machine at all, but suggest a heavy 3/4 inch thick oak board platform under the printer, as when it starts doing the fast movements to do filling it tends to rock the boat so to speak. Maybe under that board a sound deadening material of sorts.
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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by Badgerhawk » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:43 pm

Thank you all!
It sounds like being in the basement sound won't be an issue. She is a doc and is uncertain about various fume. Some research might be in order We have been seeing a lot of cancer in family and friends lately and are a little sensitive to possible causes.

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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by mharter » Tue Dec 08, 2015 11:29 pm

The other folks answered the questions very well. I just have one thing to add. As far as the noise goes, putting the machine in a enclosure will help to drown it out very well. I believe there is a thread on here with respect to the enclosure built from ikea parts. Another thing to think of is the fact that FDM prints (M2) are stronger than SLA (Form 2). Plus there is a much, much, MUCH greater variety of materials for FDM machines. Not to mention said materials are significantly cheaper than SLA resin. And I haven't come across any design I wanted to print that had too much detail for the M2.

Good luck in your choice.

Oh ya, the community here is second to none. There are some big brains floating around here that love to share their knowledge and help out. That alone is worth the choice, in my opinion.

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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by Vandal968 » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:27 am

The stock MakerGear is pretty noisy, I could hear it in my bedroom from my office which is two rooms away (about 45ft). After consulting this forum, I made three changes:

1. Noctua fans for extruder, electronics box and PSU (psu fan is smallest improvement)
2. Replaced factory fan guards with wire fan guards
3. Added isolated motor mounts

The machine is now essentially silent. I can't hear it at-all in the next room (15ft), and I'm just barely aware of it in the same room (8ft). I'm really surprised that MG doesn't offer a Silence is Golden upgrade kit or DeLuxe version, I think it would be a big seller and an easy way to pad margins a little.


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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by rpollack » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:56 am

vandel968 - noted

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Re: Potential New Buyer Wary of Noise and Fumes

Post by Quark » Wed Dec 09, 2015 1:02 pm

Speaking of the M2 which is a FDM printer, there will be fumes one way or another, can't say for sure about a Resin printer, but probably will have fumes too.

Based on experience, which you probably already know:

PLA - sweet smell, almost like, new computer parts? Noticeable in an enclosed environment.
PETG - no smell at all, not one I could detect.

Pretty sure anytime you heat up something hot enough to burn it, you are releasing some sort of fumes, be it a baked pasta dish that you form nice dark crust on it, or maybe that pizza you reheated in the oven, even the BBQ grill. ABS is known to release carcinogens when heated upwards in the 400 degree Celsius, way more than we do for 3d printing. Your best bet, is try and get a manufacture's MSDS sheet that hopefully includes a secondary material exposure such as those usually listed for ABS under prolonged high heat or flame exposure. Second bet for your own safety, build a vented enclosure that includes BOTH HEPA and CARBON filter to minimize your risks. Me? I just stick to anything other than ABS, its the one that can smell offensive, and if I do, chance it or vent the room. Chances are, I'm exposed to way more carcinogens from everything else around me than my 3d printer gives of.

Sound and Noise.

when printing, the printer does "sing" to you. Every time it takes a nice long path, it makes a tone, and if there are a few in different directions, it will "sing". :lol: So it does make some sound. Most of everything else, is noise from the fans. How loud the printer is I think is pretty subjective, and without a dB reading, its hard to say. My printer is on a MDF sheet on top a wooden desk, in my 12x12 feet home office. I don't run a quiet house, my PC is almost just as loud, my cat's water fountain is just as loud at times, and my 7" vornado fan at medium speed is louder than the printer, heck the crickets in my yard are louder than the printer. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the noise, if it bothers you, you can easily reduce the noise with a few minor modifications which is listed in this thread:

Talks about the Nema17 dampers and Noctua fans.

Buy an M2, you won't regret it, also, make sure you tell the wifey it can print Jewelry stuff. My long time GF actually suggested I buy one if I made her crafty Jewelry type stuff. So far? I printed my stuff, and made her happy by printing a earring rack off thingiverse. Granted it was a $2000 earring rack, but she was happy, I was happy. Win Win. :lol:

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