Guarantee Safety in Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing: Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) and Explosion-proof Vacuum Systems

July 25, 2023

With the increasing use of additive manufacturing and 3D printing technologies in machine tool manufacturing, the focus on workplace safety has increased significantly.

In production processes, operators deal with hazardous and highly explosive metal dust such as aluminum, titanium, nickel-chrome, stainless steel, Inconel or polymer plastic dust. Therefore, they are permanently exposed to fire, explosion, and health threats. For example, during the different stages of 3D printing production process, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ultrafine particles (FUPs) are generated and released. Continuous exposure to these substances can cause collateral effects to the cardiovascular and respiratory systems such as pulmonary hypersensitivity and asthma.

To guarantee workers and workplaces’ safety, additive manufacturing and 3D printing production areas must respect the NFPA 652 regulation. This regulation is the most authoritative to deal with combustible dust in industrial environments.

NFPA 652 states that all industries and facilities dealing with combustible dust must have:

  • On file a copy of their dust type testing;
  • A complete Dust Hazard Analysis (DHA) in order to prevent dust related hazards
  • Documented housekeeping procedure listing these methods of cleaning
Delfin Industrial 300 BL with Formlabs 3D printer


To guarantee high cleaning and safety standards, Delfin offers a wide range of NFPA 652 compliant explosion-proof vacuum systems for additive manufacturing and 3D printing. Delfin has the most suitable solution to all specific applications, depending on the type of dust handled, and the techniques adopted during the different stages of the production line.

Inert vacuum solutions for combustible metal dust applications

This range of dust ignition protected industrial vacuum cleaners is suitable for combustible metal dust applications. In fact, they are equipped with Inert Ex technology that eliminates the risk of explosion inside the vacuum cleaners. Their AISI 304 stainless steel collection system is designed for the use of an inert liquid that traps the vacuumed materials and makes any possible ignition source harmless. Thanks to the three filtration layers, a PPL filter and a collection basket with easy clean-out liner bag, the inert range guarantees the safe vacuuming of explosive dust.

Powder Bed Fusion technology_Vacuum the powder to guarantee safety

Explosion proof dust collectors

Delfin also offers explosion proof industrial dust collectors with high airflow to suction localized airborne dust, mainly released during post-processing phase. They can be supplied with a suction arm installed on it or to be installed on production lines. This way, it is possible to ensure operators’ safety by avoiding any inhalation risks of harmful substances. At the same time, it is possible to recover dust to be synthesized in subsequent 3D printing processes, thus increasing efficiency, and reducing waste costs. Industrial dust collectors can also be provided with the inert bath system for combustible metal dust to avoid explosion risks inside the vacuum itself.

All these industrial vacuum systems are equipped with antistatic polyester M class filter which guarantees a high standard of filtration and so clean air.


Industrial vacuum cleaners are among the preferred methods of cleaning as they collect dust safely guaranteeing the highest level of cleaning and hygiene.

Contact us to know more about our explosion proof solutions for 3D printing and additive manufacturing and increase your standards of safety with Delfin. 

In the meantime, download our brochure and catalogues on 3D printing and get ready to benefit from all the improvements that this innovative manufacturing process brings.

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