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Subject: 3D printing and cardboard component storage question rss

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Dan
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I've started 3D printing containers to store some cardboard components in, and I'm wondering about the long-term effects of PLA and ABS being in contact with cardboard.

ABS is oil based, and PLA is made from various starches.

So if I'm storing things like cardboard chits or playing cards in these plastics, do I need to worry about discoloration, contact transfer of oils, etc?

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maf man
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This is a question for your material supplier. Chances are its more due to what additives are in or on the plastic so knowing the type doesn't help too much.

I got some stuff stored in an ABS 3D printed container thats about three years old and its fine. Its a bit anecdotal, but I didn't have a reason to question it.
 
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Dan Shelton
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I'm in the same situation with pla parts. have had some in a couple games for several years, no issues that I've been able to find.
 
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Dan
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Thanks both! That makes me feel a bit better - I've been buying good quality filament from what I can tell so far, so your anecdotes help. I'll do some research on the specific materials just to be sure.
 
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maf man
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this might be a bit of a stretch as I came up empty with googleing (empty might be a good sign that there is no concern though)....Check into what book collectors would say about storing in these plastics. I know comic collectors have sleeves, maybe look into if different plastics were ever a problem.
 
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Sam Phillips Beckerman
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when doing family scrapbooks or albums, there is concern with preserving papers/photos and the issue is non-acid papers don't age well and transfer their acid to anything touching it.
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Dan
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This is actually why I thought of it - I used to collect comics and I know it's important to have archival appropriate materials, which I think are acid free and maybe free of some other specific plastics.

But PLA is a different kind of material altogether, and ABS is what Lego are made from, and is generally considered a "safe" plastic.

But after printing both have a semi-oily feel to me - it might just be my imagination though... searching the web doesn't come up with much in this specific regard, so I thought I'd ask around.
 
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maf man
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oddbod wrote:
But after printing both have a semi-oily feel to me - it might just be my imagination though... searching the web doesn't come up with much in this specific regard, so I thought I'd ask around.

There could be something there, or its just the uniform feel from melted plastic tricking your sense of touch. If there is something there chances are its an oil used to keep the plastic printer friendly. One simple test you can do to prove there is something there is take a printed and cleaned (if you have a secondary process to worry about like getting rid of filler) and let it sit on some cheap paper towel for a day or two. If you see a grease spot where it was sitting then there is something there to be worried about. Unfortunately this is a way to prove something is there NOT to be used to prove nothing is there as its a very basic test. Ask the source, they should know and willingly share what they add as to them it will be a feature to make the printer work better.
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Dan
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mafman6 wrote:

There could be something there, or its just the uniform feel from melted plastic tricking your sense of touch. If there is something there chances are its an oil used to keep the plastic printer friendly. One simple test you can do to prove there is something there is take a printed and cleaned (if you have a secondary process to worry about like getting rid of filler) and let it sit on some cheap paper towel for a day or two. If you see a grease spot where it was sitting then there is something there to be worried about. Unfortunately this is a way to prove something is there NOT to be used to prove nothing is there as its a very basic test. Ask the source, they should know and willingly share what they add as to them it will be a feature to make the printer work better.


This is a great idea.

One problem I have is that most of my filiment is from Printrbot, who is now out of business. I'm not sure how easy it will be to get any answers about those. But I'm going to try the paper towel test just to see. Thanks!
 
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maf man
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looks like there is a group trying to handle servicing costumers of printerbot. Try emailing Sales@UbisHotEnds.com and asking them who to ask about material, looks like that contact's goal is to sell replacement components but they should be invested in helping you out.

https://ubishotends.com/

do you have any paperwork or original packaging for your material? That could have info linking back to the actual producer which I doubt was actually printerbot.
 
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Cardboard Hustle
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Check out this link: https://www.3ders.org/articles/20160306-how-fast-does-moistu...

If there is enough moisture to degrade the plastic, the cardboard would be long gone. I don't know if PLA is "archival" grade, but for hobby purposes it is really good with board games.
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