Material Handling and Safety

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

HARMFUL IRRITANT WARNING: Always wear chemical-resistant gloves, goggles and protective clothing when handling RESIN. Avoid skin contact. Avoid breathing RESIN 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 resins 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 resin is not recommended.
  • Avoid breathing in vapors from resin. 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 resins. DO NOT USE HOT WATER OR SOLVENTS to wash hands, as these will stimulate your pores and result in absorption through the skin. Resin is sensitizing and can cause bad allergic reactions if absorbed through the skin. A person who becomes sensitized to resin should not work around that resin in the future.
  • If a small amount of resin 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 resin 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 resin from uncured parts. Solvents like Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) and Ethanol (EtOH) are very flammable.
  • Keep all resins away from heat, sparks, static discharge, and flame. Resin containers may rupture when exposed to extreme heat. We recommend storing your Figure 4 resins in a fire-resistant storage cabinet. Please refer to the SDS for a particular resin to view its flash point.
  • High temperatures may cause a spontaneous polymerizing reaction, generating heat and pressure. Closed resin 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 resin fire.
  • Do not leave uncured, or liquid, resins in an area where persons who are not knowledgeable about their handling or use may have access to them.
  • Keep resin 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.

 

Resin Characteristics

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

WARNING: Do Not MIX DIFFERENT RESINS TOGETHER. DOING SO WILL RENDER BOTH resinS INEFFECTIVE.

 

Figure 4 Resin Storage

Resins 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 resin, and according to all applicable government regulations. Use the included cartridge stands to store your cartridges upright. Protect resin from sunlight, ambient light, and moisture. Be sure your resin-storage area is dry, dark, and between 5°C-30°C (41°F-86°F). It is preferable to store the resin in a fireproof cabinet. Improperly stored resins may increase in viscosity, and may eventually result in a gelled, polymerized product in the storage container. Resins should be stored in conformance with applicable laws and regulations. The expiration date of the resin is written on its label. If resin 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 resin.

Resin Disposal

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

Resin Spill Containment

Improper operation of the machine may result in a major resin spill. Your company has the responsibility to define what constitutes a major spill. Clean up spilled resin as quickly as possible, as resin will cure under both natural and artificial lighting. Personnel who are involved in cleaning up major spills of resin 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 resin, 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: Resins are flammable. Care should be taken during resin 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 resin spill. The spilled resin should then be absorbed on inert, absorbent resin and placed into drums for transfer to an approved waste-disposal site. After absorbing all spilled resin, 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 resin should be dry-cleaned before reuse. If resin has gotten onto your skin or clothes, avoid exposure to sunlight or other UV-light sources until skin and clothing have been cleaned of resin. Repeated or prolonged skin contact may cause sensitization. Vapor may be harmful.

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

Shelf Life

Resins are certified for use for at least 24 months from their date of manufacture. The expiration dates are marked on the resin cartridge labels. In general, resins are usable for several months after their expiration dates, provided that the resins have been properly stored, handled and not exposed to excess heat. However, use of very old resin or resin past its expiration date may shorten your in-service resin life. Use of expired resins may also adversely affect the build quality of 3D prints. It is advisable to check the viscosity of any resin past its expiration date prior to use.

In-Service Life

In-service life of the resin is defined as the useful life of the resin after having been pumped into the Figure 4 Modular machine's resin tray. The in-service life of resin greatly varies depending on resin type, usage and environmental conditions. The more volume built, the more new resin will be pumped from the resin cartridge into the resin trays. This blends older resin with newer resin and extends the in-service life of the resins. If the resin 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 contaminates are introduced such as partially cured platforms from aborted print jobs being dipped into the resin tray, this will shorten the resin's in-service life. The types of patterns and builds performed also affect the in-service life of the resin. With all this taken into consideration, we would expect the in-service life of the resin to be the same as its expiration timeframe: two years. The resin retains its usefulness until a buildup of viscosity or a change in reactivity prevents further processing in the Figure 4 Modular Printer. All resins require some level of mixing to retain their properties, making it necessary to both premix the resin before use, and also to stir the resin in the resin tray with the Resin Mixer if left dormant for more than three hours. Follow the User Guide of the specific resin for complete instructions on getting the most use out of it.

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 resin. Instead, follow the instructions in the section Cleaning the Printer to clean up spills. Accidental contamination of resins may change the resin’s performance characteristics to such an extent that acceptable parts can no longer be reliably created.

Polymerization

Polymerization may occur upon heating the resin cartridge. Signs of polymerization of stored resin 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 resin and dispose of it according to all government regulations.

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