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Best Air Filter For 3D Printer - HEPA + Activated Carbon For Fumes, VOC, and Particulates

Filament and Resin 3D printers need good air filtration, especially when printing certain materials. 3D printer users have documented detrimental effects to their health and becoming sick from being exposed to 3D printer fumes. In most cases, these were long-term exposures when spending a lot of time in the same space as the 3D printer.

There aren't any particularly good commercially available consumer filtration systems designed for 3D printing. Most are large and expensive. So let's make one using a 3D printer and an off-the-shelf home HEPA air filter.

  • LEVOIT Air Purifier LV-H128

    • HEPA and mesh carbon

    • + Small form factor - 6.69"D x 6.69"W x 10.43"H

    • + Easy to design 3D printed adapters for it

    • + Simple non-electronic switch. Will turn back on after a power outage.

    • + Switch is on the side. Easy to add a duct to the exhaust on top.

    • + Easy to add an activated carbon media holder on top.

    • + Cheap < $40

    • + Dual filters. Only one at a time needs to be used for this low flow requirement, so this will double the filter life.

    • - Small filter surface area

    • Replacement Filter - LV-H126-RF


Thermally Activated Carbon vs Acid Washed Carbon

The activated carbon used for 3D printing air filtration must be NON-acid washed. Acid-washed carbon will rust the metal parts in your printer and ruin it. Most activated carbon is acid-washed. If it doesn't specify, it's probably acid-washed.

This page has some good info about acid-free activated carbon for 3D printing and also recommends low ash carbon, which coconut carbon has naturally low ash content.

Here's some thermally activated carbon for 3D printer use sold on Amazon. Unfortunately, it's granule carbon, which means you need a finer mesh to contain it in the filter. A mesh carbon filter works well to contain the granular carbon. A window screen mesh also works ok, allowing only a few small particles to pass.

The activated carbon filter cartridge needs to be downstream of the HEPA filter. The cleaner the air flowing through the HEPA filter, the longer the effective lifespan. The purpose of the activated carbon is to remove VOCs and trap micro particulates. The HEPA filter acts like a prefilter for the carbon.


This isn't necessary for using the air filter, but it is good for knowing how well it is working.


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