Material Handling and Safety

   NOTE: For complete safety information and instructions for use, please read the SDS and User Guide for the Figure 4 material you are using. These documents are packaged in with each material cartridge.

HARMFUL IRRITANT WARNING: Always wear chemical-resistant gloves, goggles and protective clothing when handling material. Avoid skin contact. Avoid breathing material fumes.

  • Always practice standard lab hygiene and follow Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements outlined in this manual.
  • safety glassessafety glovesAlways wear chemical-resistant gloves, such as nitrile, when working near materials or with partially cured parts. It is recommended to wear approved goggles and protective clothing. Protective clothing includes, but is not limited to: closed-toed shoes, full-length pants, and splash-resistant lab coats or equivalents. 3D Systems recommends using 100% nitrile gloves; however, other chemical-resistant gloves will suffice. Do NOT use latex gloves, as they do not provide complete chemical protection.
  • Wearing contact lenses when working with material is not recommended.
  • Avoid breathing in vapors from material. To avoid breathing in vapors: when opening an upper or lower build chamber, allow a few seconds to pass before putting your face near the opening. Your facility may require that Printer vapors be vented to outside air. If this is the case, please see the section Top of Printer, as well as the Facility Requirements Guide, for information on external ventilation recommendations.
  • Always wash skin thoroughly with a nonabrasive soap and COLD water after working with materials. DO NOT USE HOT WATER OR SOLVENTS to wash hands, as these will stimulate your pores and result in absorption through the skin. Material is sensitizing and can cause bad allergic reactions if absorbed through the skin. A person who becomes sensitized to material should not work around that material in the future.
  • If a small amount of material gets on your clothing, remove the article of clothing as soon as possible (it might be a good idea to have a change of clothes on hand just in case). Have contaminated clothing dry cleaned. DO NOT wash in a regular washing machine that drains into wastewater. If a particularly large amount of material gets on your clothes, it is best to discard them according to all local, state, and federal regulations. Keep contaminated clothing away from food and drinks. Wash hands thoroughly after handling contaminated clothes, even if you wore protective clothing/gloves to handle them.
  • Use extreme care when handling solvents used to remove excess material from uncured parts. Solvents like Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and Ethanol (EtOH) are very flammable.
  • Keep all materials away from heat, sparks, static discharge, and flame. Material containers may rupture when exposed to extreme heat. We recommend storing your Figure 4 materials in a fire-resistant storage cabinet. Please refer to the SDS for a particular material to view its flash point.
  • High temperatures may cause a spontaneous polymerizing reaction, generating heat and pressure. Closed material containers may rupture or explode during a runaway polymerization. Use a water spray or fog to reduce or direct vapors.
  • Fire fighters should use a self-contained breathing apparatus and full protective clothing in the event of a material fire.
  • Do not leave uncured, or liquid, materials in an area where persons who are not knowledgeable about their handling or use may have access to them.
  • Keep material away from food and drinks.

WARNING: USE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS SUCH AS CARBON DIOXIDE, DRY CHEMICAL, OR FOAM. A SPRAY OF WATER MIGHT ALSO BE EFFECTIVE. DO NOT USE A DIRECT JET OF WATER OR SMOTHERING TO EXTINGUISH BURNING RESIN OR SOLVENTS.

 

Material Characteristics

The photopolymers used in the materials may be hazardous if handled improperly. Repeated skin contact with materials may cause sensitization. Consult the manufacturer’s Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for information on specific materials. For further information on this and related topics, consult the 3D Systems materials website.

WARNING: Do Not MIX DIFFERENT RESINS TOGETHER.

 

Figure 4 Material Storage

Materials should be stored in the opaque, non-reactive containers in which they were provided, according to the guidelines given in the SDS included with the material, and according to all applicable government regulations. Use the included cartridge stands to store your cartridges upright. Protect material from sunlight, ambient light, and moisture. Be sure your material-storage area is dry, dark, and between 5°C-30°C (41°F-86°F). It is preferable to store the material in a fireproof cabinet. Improperly stored materials may increase in viscosity, and may eventually result in a gelled, polymerized product in the storage container. Materials should be stored in conformance with applicable laws and regulations. The expiration date of the material is written on its label. If material is past its expiration date, the product is no longer guaranteed in terms of treatment. 3D Systems is not responsible for losses incurred as the result of improper storage of material.

Material Disposal

Do not dump material down any drains. Dispose of material according to the guidelines given in the SDS included with the material and according to all government regulations. For more information on material disposal, please see the section Considerations for Material in the Facility Requirements Guide.

Material Spill Containment

Improper operation of the machine may result in a major material spill. Your company has the responsibility to define what constitutes a major spill. Clean up spilled material as quickly as possible, as material will cure under both natural and artificial lighting. Personnel who are involved in cleaning up major spills of material should wear NIOSH/MSHA approved respirators designed for use with organic chemical vapors. In addition, each person should wear protective goggles, rubber boots, and 100% nitrile gloves to minimize exposure to material, which can cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation, as well as possible skin allergies and respiratory reactions.

WARNING: Untrained personnel should be evacuated from the area.

WARNING: Materials are flammable. Care should be taken during material containment and clean-up operations.

 

A supply of dikes and control booms should be stocked so they are available to contain the affected area in the event of a major material spill. The spilled material should then be absorbed on inert, absorbent material and placed into drums for transfer to an approved waste-disposal site. After absorbing all spilled material, clean the spill location with an absorbent cloth and IPA or EtOH (isopropyl alcohol or ethanol). After cleaning up the spill, individuals should wash thoroughly with soap and COLD water. Any clothing touched by material should be dry-cleaned before reuse. If material has gotten onto your skin or clothes, avoid exposure to sunlight or other UV-light sources until skin and clothing have been cleaned of material. Repeated or prolonged skin contact may cause sensitization. Vapor may be harmful.

Eliminate sources of ignition. Prevent entry into drains. Absorb spilled material onto sand, earth or any other suitable, noncombustible absorbent material. DO NOT absorb onto sawdust or other combustible materials. Material spills or uncontrolled discharges into wastewater systems must be reported to the appropriate regulatory body. Do not discard material into drains/surface waters/groundwater. Maximize ventilation after accidental release.

Shelf Life

The expiration dates are marked on the material cartridge labels. In general, materials are usable for several months after their expiration dates, provided that the materials have been properly stored, handled and not exposed to excess heat. However, use of very old material or material past its expiration date may shorten your in-service material life. Use of expired materials may also adversely affect the build quality of 3D prints. It is advisable to check the viscosity of any material past its expiration date prior to use.

In-Service Life

In-service life of the material is defined as the useful life of the material after having been pumped into the Figure 4 Modular machine's resin tray. The in-service life of material greatly varies depending on material type, usage and environmental conditions. The more volume built, the more new material will be pumped from the material cartridge into the resin trays. This blends older material with newer material and extends the in-service life of the materials. If the material is exposed to temperatures outside of the normal operating limits, is exposed to UV light, is exposed to particulates or vapors in the air such as dust or fumes, or if contaminants are introduced such as partially cured platforms from aborted print jobs being dipped into the resin tray, this will shorten the material's in-service life. The types of patterns and builds performed also affect the in-service life of the material. The material retains its usefulness until a buildup of viscosity or a change in reactivity prevents further processing in the Figure 4 Modular Printer. All materials require some level of mixing to retain their properties, making it necessary to both premix the material before use, and also to stir the material in the resin tray according to the section Premix Material Before Cartridge Installation.

Contamination

Care should be taken when cleaning windows, panels, and other parts of the Figure 4 Modular Printer. Cleaning products that contain ammonia should not be used because they can contaminate the material. Instead, follow the instructions in the section Cleaning the Printer to clean up spills. Accidental contamination of materials may change the material’s performance characteristics to such an extent that acceptable parts can no longer be reliably created.

Polymerization

Polymerization may occur upon heating the material cartridge. Signs of polymerization of stored material include container bulging, leaking, the emission of heat, or an unusual odor from the container. If you notice any of these traits, do not use the material and dispose of it according to all government regulations.

WARNING: Sealed container may rupture if explosively hot. Please see the RESIN sds for information on its flash point.