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DIY Ventilation & Filtration For 3D Printing

Last Updated: November 24th, 2023

The recommended method for venting a resin printer is to enclose it in a grow tent and vent the fumes outside. Flexible duct and an inline fan will connect the grow tent to a window adapter.

Ideally, the resin printer would be placed outside the residence in a garage, shed, or detached room. Resin printers can be indoors but they should be enclosed and continuously vented.

FDM printers using materials like ABS, ASA, PC, and composites should be vented in a similar manner. During winter, most 3D printers will needed to be heated to ensure successful printing.

Ideal FDM and Resin Printer Ventilation

Garages and workshops are two of the best locations for a resin printer

It is recommended to place resin printers outside the residence. This mitigates any long-term health risks associated with the resin chemicals off-gassing. This location could be a garage, shed, workshop, balcony, or patio.

If your workspace is well vented, like a garage that has good airflow, then you can leave your resin printer and equipment on a table without an enclosure. When a printing session concludes, you can vent the garage while you are cleaning.

If your workspace is not well ventilated, then it is recommended to place the resin printer in an enclosure, like a grow tent, so you can control the ventilation. Additionally, a grow tent is recommended when heating a resin printer.

Interactive Resin Printer Setup

Double click or tap to go full screen, pan around 360°, and select the outlined items to learn more.

Indoor Resin Printer Ventilation

Ventilation is a requirement when resin printers are placed inside your house

Resin printers inside your house should be placed in a separate and sealed room. The resin printer should be put in an enclosure like a grow tent. These are fairly affordable, easy to set up, and are sturdy.

Flexible duct will connect your enclosure to a window adapter. You could drill a hole through the wall but that is not always practical.

An inline fan will pull contaminated air from the enclosure and force it outside.

Scroll down or jump to Ventilation Simulations below for more simulations and explanations.

Resin Printers In Apartments or Dorms

Enclose the printer and vent out a window using duct and a fan

Resin printing while living in an apartment is possible, especially if you have windows that open, a patio, or a balcony. An apartment follows the same recommendations as in a house; the contaminated air has to be vented.

It is often asked if the resin printer can be placed in an apartment's bedroom or kitchen. Putting a resin printer where you sleep is a long-term health risk, and putting it in the kitchen can contaminate your food.

If you are in student living, such as a dorm, we do not recommend getting a resin printer. Dorms often have no method of ventilation and any complaints, at minimum, could force you to get rid of the printer. Instead, it is likely that your university library or city makerspace will have printers for you to use.

Community Resin Setups

Submit your awesome 3D printer setup!

These are excellent community examples to provide some inspiration in creating your setup.

Email entries to [email protected] or on discord in the #showcase channel. We prefer the images to be landscape and at minimum 1,500x900 px. Try to capture the essence of your setup in a single photo. If you have an exceptional setup that needs multiple photos, we'll use multiple slots or create a small slideshow.

Resin Printing Grow Tent Enclosures

Grow tents are ideal for both FDM and resin printers to contain heat and vent

The reasons why grow tents are widely used in resin printing is that they are affordable, easy to set up, and sturdy.

A 30 x 18 x 36 inch grow tent retails between $70 to $100. It can comfortably fit a small or medium resin printer, a heater, and resin/equipment. This size can fit two printers, but it will be cramped with a heater.

Always make sure to check the printer's dimensions and pick an appropriate grow tent. If you have the space, a larger grow tent can be useful to store multiple printers, cleaning equipment, resin, and other supplies.

Grow tents can be used:
  • outdoors to block wind, sun, rain, and critters on a patio or balcony
  • indoors to vent directly outside
  • in a garage to help contain heat and optimize venting
  • with a fume extractor before being vented
  • to fit a printer + a wash & cure station if wide enough
  • as a fume hood if using a strong inline fan

Vivosun Grow Tent

(15% Off)
We use the 30x18x36" size with two small resin printers

Vivosun Grow Tent

AC Infinity Grow Tent


Tall grow tents can be used sideways if needed

AC Infinity Grow Tent

Gorilla Grow Tent


The 24x24x32" size provides plenty of space

Gorilla Grow Tent

3D Printing Ventilation Fans and Duct

How our resin room uses ventilation and fans

When it is summer and the temperature outside is ~25-35°C (77-95°F):

  • We keep our resin printers outside of their enclosure and on the table.
  • On high speed, our inlet fan brings clean air in through one of our Promethean air cleaners (only a MERV 13 filter). This reduces dust in the room.
  • On high speed, our outlet fan vents the entire room before, during, and after printing.

When it is summer and the temperature outside is ~40°C+ (104°F):

  • We keep our resin printers outside of their enclosure and on the table.
  • A portable AC window unit is put on low to medium in order to cool the room.
  • If on, at low speed, our inlet fan brings clean air in through one of our Promethean air cleaners (only a MERV 13 filter). This reduces dust in the room.
  • On low speed, our outlet fan vents the entire room during printing.
  • Both the inlet and outlet fans are turned on high when printing has concluded and cleaning has begun. Afterwards, the fans are left on high, and the AC unit is turned off.

When winter is coming and the temperature outside is below ~20-25°C (68-77°F):

  • We keep our resin printers inside a grow tent and the heater temperature set to ~30°C.
  • On low speed, our inlet fan brings clean air in through one of our Promethean air cleaners (only a MERV 13 filter). This reduces dust in the room.
  • On low speed, our outlet fan vents the entire room during printing.
  • Both the inlet and outlet fans are turned on high when printing has concluded and cleaning has begun. Afterwards, the fans are left on high, and the heater is turned off.

When installing the ventilation fans, if the total flow rate of the outlet fan is higher than the inlet fan, then the room is a negative pressure environment. This will pull air into the room through cracks and household HVAC duct. This is the desired scenario.

If the total flow rate of the outlet fan is less than the inlet fan then the room is a positive pressure environment, which will push contaminated air through cracks and household HVAC duct. This is undesirable.

The simplified recommendation is that a single outlet fan should be installed to properly vent your resin printer.

Cheap Inline Duct Fan

(15% Off)
No Speed Control
195 CFM
~31 dB

Vivosun Resin Inline Venting Fan

Vivosun Duct Fan

(15% Off)
Speed Control
203 CFM
~49 dB

Vivosun Resin Inline Venting Fan

Vevor Duct Fan

(5% Off)
Speed Control
200 CFM
<50 dB

Vevor Resin Inline Venting Fan

AC Infinity Duct Fan


Speed Control
165 CFM
~29 dB

AC Infinity Resin Inline Venting Fan

4" Vinyl Duct


Diameter: 4 inches
Length: 5-50 Feet

Vinyl Duct
4D FiltrationAmazon

4" Aluminum Duct


Diameter: 4 inches
Length: 25-50 Feet

Aluminum Duct
Amazon - AC InfinityAmazon - Vivosun

Window Adapter


This flexible window adapter can secure 4 to 6" duct

3D Printing Venting Window Adapter

3D Printing Ventilation Simulations

Visualize particle behavior and airflow patterns in different situations

The following simulations are intended to provide a comparison between common ventilation scenarios for 3D printers. The animations represent the behavior of the particulates and VOCs that are suspended by airflow.

The color gradient (blue=good to red=bad) showcases the concentration distribution. The exact concentrations present during printing are not represented.

No Ventilation - Worst Case Scenario

An indoor room with no ventilation allows for the particulate and/or VOC concentration to increase. Resin that off-gasses will eventually spread to the rest of your home.

The mixture remains suspended by free convection that is powered by heat from electronics, sunlight, and artificial light.

The movement of contaminated air with no ventilation will be primarily influenced by the opening of doors and the household HVAC system.

Close Off HVAC Grilles In The Room

With any setup, the household HVAC system can push or pull contaminated air into the rest of the home. Consider sealing these grilles off in order to gain more control over your ventilation. However, if the room only has a HVAC exhaust and not a return grille, then the central heat may prove useful during the winter.

The HVAC pushes contaminated air through cracks in the door, and HVAC return grilles can spread contaminated air throughout the house.

Garage Or Indoor Open-Air Ventilation

We define open-air ventilation as the exchange of indoor and outdoor air without the use of an enclosure, fume hood, or similar system. The downside to this solution is that contaminated air will mix within the room.

The use of a fan sealed against the window, such as an inline fan attached to a window adapter, creates negative pressure in the room. This ensures that indoor air is exhausted and contaminated air should not intrude into the rest of the house. Keep in mind that the HVAC can create positive pressure instead.

A box fan or open window is viable for the short-term, but these let in outdoor air that mix and can push contaminated air into the remainder of the house.

When the inline fan is turned on, it creates negative pressure in the room, pulling air through the door and exhausting outdoors.

Enclosure Ventilation

This is the ideal indoor solution for ventilation since the contaminated air is contained and instantly vented outdoors. This setup will prevent contaminated air intruding into the house, and it will minimize the impact on the air temperature and electricity use of the residence.

The enclosure contains contaminated so it can be instantly vented outdoors. This also creates negative pressure and pulls air from the door and HVAC grilles.

Miscellaneous Simulations

If the printer is on a balcony or patio with a 5 mph wind

While not always practical, placing the printer outside allows for particles to be swiftly carried away by a light wind.

The goal of ventilation is to attempt to reach this behavior while the printer is indoors.

If a garage or room has a box fan in a window

Perhaps the cheapest garage or indoor solution, putting a box fan in the window will move a lot of air but will gradually expose the entire room to the external temperature.

In a garage, this could work when it is warm outside, but the cool winter air can result in print failures. A small heater will be needed in this case.
The simulated box fan is rated at 1,800 CFM and ≈0.10 inH2O.

If another window or door is cracked open

Slightly opening a window allows for air to enter the room, ensuring that there are no stale pockets of air. The static pressure experienced by the fan is lowered, thereby increasing the flow rate.

This case will be common for most rooms due to air leaking in through cracks, ducts, and under doors.

If another window or door is fully open

Fully opening a window or door maximizes the circulation and ventilation of the air-particle mixture.

Remember that this showcases the particle behavior and not the concentration.

If a grow tent is used to vent the resin fumes

This is an ideal solution for ventilation since the particles are contained and there is minimal impact on the air temperature of the residence.

The simulated enclosure is a grow tent that lets air in through the zipper and small cracks. The ventilation is provided by a 120 mm fan with a meager 40 CFM and 0.11 inH2O.

Smaller fans prevent excess heated/cooled indoor air from being lost during printing. However, when the enclosure is opened, the small fan is not able to extract the fumes to the extent that a tube-axial (inline) fan could.

3D Printing Air Filtration

Use filtration as a secondary defense to emissions

Installing ventilation should always be the primary focus, with filtration acting as a secondary defense. In the event that ventilation is not possible then fume extractors can be utilized so long as they are maintained and the filter media is replaced regularly.

For resin printers, even if ventilation is installed, you may feel more comfortable with the extra layer of defense provided by a fume extractor or air cleaner.

For FDM printers, installing filtration is often a necessity since the vast majority of filaments are temperature sensitive and their enclosures will not be vented.

Particulates can be efficiently removed with MERV 13-16 or HEPA filters. HEPA filters are not always the best option since they often have a lower flow rate compared to a MERV filter, but they perform well for fume extraction.

The efficient removal of VOCs will require a bed of activated carbon granules or pellets. Impregnated foam is not recommended since it is not as efficient nor as long-lasting as granules.

The capture efficiency of professional/industrial activated carbon systems can be 92-98%, but smaller units with a carbon thickness of 1-2 inches have an efficiency of 40-60%.

The capture efficiency of carbon will vary depending on the chemicals, impregnation, thickness, temperature, air speed, and etc. The efficiency will decrease when the carbon surpasses a saturation threshold dependent on the thickness of its mass transfer zone.

We recommend visiting our 3D Printing Air Quality Roundup article to get the latest information on safety.

Resin Printer Fume Mitigation

These small air cleaners are designed to be placed inside the acrylic cover of a resin printer. These small air cleaners only provide mitigation and should not be solely relied upon.

The units only use activated carbon so they be able to capture an estimated 40-60% of fumes until they become saturated. Particulates will not be captured to any meaningful extent.

The P Mini air cleaner's files are free to download, it uses a blower fan with a higher static pressure, the extra battery capacity gives hours of additional use, and the thick carbon bed will have a longer life and higher capture efficiency.

4D Filtration - P Mini


Battery: 5,000 mAh
Carbon: 50 g
Dimensions: 53x53x133 mm

P Mini Air Cleaner
4D FiltrationPrintablesThingiverse

Anycubic - AirPure


Battery: 2,000 mAh
Carbon: 13.6 g
Dimensions: 46x46x115 mm

Anycubic AirPure

Elegoo - Mini Air Purifier


Battery: 2,000 mAh
Carbon: 13.6 g
Dimensions: 44x44x107 mm

Elegoo Mini Air Purifier

3D Printing Fume Extractors

Fume extractors are designed to remove the majority of containments from the air leaving an enclosure.

The Promethean air cleaner is offered as an affordable alternative that can be hooked up using duct, be inside an enclosure, or next to the printer. Additionally, the high flow rate allows it to act similar to a normal air cleaner.

The BOFA fume extractors utilize HEPA media, have a thicker carbon bed, and are more quiet - the downside is the price bump. Fume extractors are ideal for resin and FDM.

4D Filtration - Promethean

DIY or $200
MERV Filter: $15
Activated Carbon: $25

Airflow: 11-27 cfm
Noise: 41-68 dB
Protection: Particulates & VOCs
MERV or HEPA & Carbon Granules

Promethean Fume Extractor
4D Filtration

BOFA - Print Pro 2

Combo Filter: $260

Airflow: 26.5 cfm
Noise: <44 dB @ "typical"
Protection: Particulates & VOCs
HEPA & Carbon Granules

Bofa Print Pro 2

BOFA - Print Pro 3

Combo Filter: $260

Airflow: 88 cfm
Noise: <57 dB @ "typical"
Protection: Particulates & VOCs
HEPA & Carbon Granules

Bofa Print Pro 3
3D Printing Hierarchy of Controls

Resin Printer Ventilation FAQ

The easiest way to vent resin fumes is via duct from an enclosure to a window adapter. A fan will pull contaminated air in the enclosure out through the window.

It is possible to sufficiently ventilate a resin printer if you have a window, patio, or balcony. If the printer is placed on a patio or balcony, it will need an enclosure to prevent exposure from sunlight, but you will not need any duct or fans. A printer vented out a window will need an enclosure, duct, fan, and window adapter.

If you live in student housing, we recommend against getting a resin printer. If complaints are made, at the very least, you could be forced to remove the printer. Beyond the fumes, the IPA used would be declared a potential fire hazard. College libraries and city makerspaces should have the printers needed for your projects.

The garage is one of the best places for a resin printer. Placing the printer in a garage will prevent fumes from entering your home.

When a printing session has concluded, the garage can be vented via fan or by opening the doors.

Resin printers can be put outside if they have protection from the elements. An enclosure like a grow tent will provide sufficient protection.

Ultimate Resin Guide - compare resin printers, resin material, and equipment

Preparing for Resin Printing - setting up an enclosure, heating, ventilation, filtration, and cleaning equipment

FDM Printers Guide - comparison table and top picks for filament printers

Resin Properties or Filament Properties - comparison table and top picks for materials

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