As 3D printing becomes more popular every day, new and innovative projects continue to spring up in many aspects of everyday life. One niche that is getting a particular amount of attention for 3D printing is the food industry. From funky mugs to fabricating utensils for cooking and eating, there is no end to the possibilities. But one question on the minds of many is the safety of the PLA filament.
Taking a deeper dive into the food safety of this particular filament can help to understand the printing process, chemicals, and manufacturing techniques. The future of the food industry is 3D printing as it revolutionizes ways to customize ingredients, advance food sustainability and reduce chemical additives. Breaking down the steps involved and knowing what is needed when customizing your designs will help minimize any risks involved.
Discouraging Bacteria from Building Up
Bacteria in the kitchen is a nightmare in terms of food safety, and when it comes to 3D printing, that issue is no different. Even the smoothest prints can have unwanted spaces, cracks, and areas where bacteria and germs may lurk. When planning your project, be sure you take into consideration the intricacies of your design, so you get the best 3D printer to get the job done.
Food Safe Sealant is a Must
Once you have printed the kitchen piece, you will need to use a food safe sealant or culinary specific epoxy to coat and plug any cracks or crevices susceptible to bacteria and viruses. Polyurethane, or PLA filament is a great choice for your food-specific choice.. Despite being safe, there are still possibilities for harmful bacteria to grow so always practice food safety with cleanliness and sanitation.
The Chemicals Found in Filament
It’s important to be aware that ABS filament is a bad choice for any project design that will come in contact with food. This type of filament contains a cocktail of toxic chemicals that will not only poison your food, but eventually you! One of the best choices is natural PLA. This type of filament is actually made from corn starch, which makes it among the most commonly used and is considered food safe. Unfortunately, the name is a little deceptive and it is not always completely natural due to the additives used by some manufactures. Be sure to check the materials and manufacturer before going through with your project.
If you have any questions about filaments, design, or the 3D printing process, contact us at GL Robotics! We are happy to help.