Do you stay in the room with your printer while running?

Seems like an odd question, but I’m curious as to who leaves their printer running while they’re in the room with it. I’m guessing the majority of the people on this forum have a hobbyist level printer, and it would likely be in their home somewhere. Though I’m sure that’s not the case for everyone.

I know ABS is supposed to be pretty bad stuff, but PLA is generally considered “safe” if Google is to be believed. Any thoughts?

I do stay in the room ATM, but that’s because I’m still in the stage of calibrating my Ender 5 Pro, and also because it’s got a major Y axis issue that I’m trying to troubleshoot. I’m printing PLA right now. I don’t think I would want to be in the room, or even have the printer inside the house when printing ABS. I know how ABS smells when it’s melting/burning and I don’t think that’s something I want to breath any more than absolutely necessary. At some point I’m going to have to consider what steps I will take to protect me and my family when printing toxic materials, but I’m not their yet.

I stay in the room but I also have an exhaust fan that exhausts directly outside.

At the present time, I have both of my printers in my living room, but only print PLA at this time. Long range plans might include an enclosure and outside venting especially if I attempt other filaments.

I just purchased an air purifier for my man cave and it makes a big difference in removing the smell of melting pla.

I have my printer in a spare room, so only go in to check on prints. From what I understand it’s safe to be in the same room with most filament types (pla, tpu) but not abs, that needs an enclosure for higher temp and is bad to breathe in. You don’t want to be near abs when it’s printing. But pla is fine.

I have Raspberry PIs with cameras connected to all my printers and the room I setup my printers is my little non silent server room, so usually I am leaving the room and closing the door while they are printing.

An old laptop on my desk works as viewer, so I can always see if a print got loose. This is handy with ABS printing, where I avoid being around as much as possible. PLA is not an issue as I usually finish/polish the last print using a small workbench, while the first layer of the next print gets printed.

Nice! I just came across this idea. I’ve read that a good carbon filter is a must. Which one did you get?


I just bought a 3M Odor Reducing furnace filter. I plan to connect it to a cardboard box and attach a fan to the other side, so it can pull air from the room through the filter and blow it back into the room. We’ll see how well it works, but I can certainly see the carbon inside the filter. I just have to dig out a spare computer case fan and connect it up. Of course, the box will be completely sealed using packing tape, so air can only enter the box through the filter.

Honeywell 300 series. About $250 at Home Depot.

That’s an electrostatic unit, right?

Thanks for the information!

HEPA+carbon from what I saw on Amazon.

Its not electrostatic, its a HEPA system.

That makes sense. 'Course, the filters for that type of unit are normally pretty expensive.

Which in reverse makes it dangerous to get a cheap ones that sound like the real deal. It is hard to tell if the filtering components used are quality or not if you are not an expert. That´s the caveat here. Nothing is worst than feeling save, while you are not. The price of purchasing is also not the only thing you should keep in mind. Those filters need maintenance and you need to get replacements from time to time. Also you need to know when these filters need a replacement. To early and it is even more expensive. To late and you inhaled the fumes for weeks or months.

That is why I did not mentioning filtering solutions in my first post. A proper way to dump the air to the outside is the safest and most cost effective method, when done right.

Ah, like people who don’t believe Covid-19 is real ?

I forgot to mention something truly on topic: I am not bothered by odor from PLA, but I do sense something, not exactly an odor, but something, from PETG. My head feels a little ‘funny’, and my nose is mildly irritated. I’m hoping my carbon furnace filter will alleviate it.

Today I constructed the carboard filter box I mentioned earlier. I dug out a 140mm 12V fan and a 9V AC adapter. I decided I wanted a way to disconnect the AC adapter from the fan/filter box. I don’t have any barrel jacks so I looked around to find some way to create a wall jack I could install on the box. Since I’ve done so much Ethernet work over the years, I have quite a stock of RJ45 connectors & wall jacks, plus the tools to work them. I decided I would replace the default connector on the fan’s wires with an RJ45 jack, and mount that on the box. I would also replace the barrel connector on the AC adapter’s wire with an RJ45 plug.

I would attach the fan and RJ45 wall jack to 1 side of the box, and the furnace filter to the opposite side. All of the edges and corners would be sealed with packing tape.


Here’s a photo of the side of the box with the fan and RJ45 wall jack:

Here’s a closeup of the fan and wall jack. I plan to design & 3D print a grill to cover the fan:


Here’s an overview of the filter side:


And finally, here’s a closeup shot of the edge of the filter, in case anyone wants to buy the same kind.


All in all, this filter box cost me only the price of the furnace filter. This is, after all, simply a proof of concept. Can an activated carbon furnace filter be used to remove filament fumes from the air? If it works, how well? I guess the next few days to weeks will provide an answer; at least I hope it will.

Normally (what is normal) I keep my printer working like a slave because I have this strange desire to fill the world with all the plastic crap I make. Same room, very small and I love to stand over it and breathe in the fumes. I’m not really sure there are any, except when I burn out plastic from a plugged nozzle on my electric stove. And that isn’t very bad. PLA of course. I do open the window in this case.