Safety Data Sheets for 3D Printer UV Resins

Safety Data Sheets for 3D Printer UV Resins

3D Printing Resin Safety Data Sheets

Summary: This article gives an overview on the basic definitions on safety data sheets for UV resins (SDS) and a personal perspective of the current state and level of application in the 3D printing scene with special focus on UV sensitive resins.

SDS in General – Purpose

The safety data sheet (SDS), or also called MSDS (material safety data sheet) is an important and indispensable part of each material, which is manufactured and distributed, no matter if its hardware or chemical liquids. Hence, the importance of such SDS comes with the full clarification on safety and health issues, when handling with the material. The safety data sheets vary from country to country, not only based on the language, but also due to different judicial areas, e.g. comparing the US and Europe. The SDS displays various different safety signs that have to be carried on product labels as a sign of warning and special indication for the potential of the material to cause damage to health and environment.

However, the sheets are subjected to certain national and international requirements how to be set up in structure and information depth. SDS indicate the contents of the product and allow the derivation of special caution how to handle the products. Accordingly, a proper SDS states all material substances and points at the hazards emerging from the individual components. This may lead to the point, that individual substances are not allowed in individual countries and have to be formulated differently.

The  Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals defines a standard structure set of content in SDS, which distributing companies have to follow, including identification of:

  • the substance and the responsible company
  • hazards
  • composition on ingredients
  • first aid measures
  • toxicological information
  • transportation information

…and many more.

3D Printing Resins and Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

For 3D Printing resins, I expect the same professionalism as I know it from other industrial fields, when it comes to the necessary caution of manufacturers that are distributing chemicals, either to businesses or even consumers. 3D printing, in this case SLA, DLP and DUP applications, are using the polymerization process through UV sensitive epoxies or acrylates. Both material types, paired with many reactive agents bear a certain hazard with regards to contamination, contact with skin, eyes etc., so to health and environment in general. The more important it is to declare to users of resins, what to do in the case of mishandling with the products. I expect resin suppliers to provide their customers with SDS indicating telephone numbers for poisoning centers, company data as responsible party for the product and a compliance with the country-wise rules and regulations, implementing such materials.“, says Marc Evertz, graduate chemist and 3D printing expert.

As a simple overview in how far the 3D printing scene is dealing with the above compulsory requirements on proper material documentation, DruckWege estimated the availability of more than 20 internationally active resin suppliers that are more or less active in selling resins to the commercial and private users. Excluded are resin suppliers that only offer their resins with closed systems. The focus on the study was to determine, if SDS are available online on the manufacturers or resellers site as an easy download option (Y/N) and / or if the SDS were provided by the company by requesting the paper per eMail, written as private user with a maximum delivery time of 5 workdays.

We defined to this four categories:

  • Category 1: MSDS available and sufficient with all descriptions and definitions.
  • Category 2: MSDS available but insufficient on certain specs, such as false or missing hazard signs/warnings, general description of ingredients is too generic, such as only „photointiators“ etc., component weighting is missing and other details. In several cases company details of the supplier of the resin were missing, only country was named.
  • Category 3: MSDS only available on demand. If it is really available, hasn’t been checked. Individual statements from users was that MSDS were not delivered upon request even after weeks
  • Category 4: MSDS not available and no identification where to receive it.

Category 1 – safety sheets were only about a fourth of all 20 identified resin manufacturers / suppliers. The rest show either missing data sheets or at least very insufficient content.

The above article was set together to bring more transparency into the discussion whether UV resins for 3D printers are good or not, served as the only evaluation criterion on simple price debates, as we face it many times. It is also and in particular a debate on the consequence how suppliers are dealing with existing rules and regulations distributing chemicals to users, no matter if end customers or companies. The 3D printing scene is fighting for equality or at least a broader recognition amongst the industry, ruled by established production techniques. However, it is extremely important that also resin suppliers take the chance to satisfy that expectation from clients as they know it from other industrial sectors. But also, clients have to know about the inadequacies that exist amongst individual material suppliers and that there is more than meets eye at arguments on price and printability. DruckWege consequently always provided internationally proven SDS and technical data sheets.


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