Computers & Electronics

3D printing - know where to buy food-safe epoxy resins in Toronto area (or Canada shipping)?

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 19th, 2020 2:05 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto

3D printing - know where to buy food-safe epoxy resins in Toronto area (or Canada shipping)?

Hi all,

For the 3d printing enthusiasts out there... I got my 3d printer up and running finally (Prusa MK3S/MMU2S) but I can't for the life of me find any food-safe epoxy resins that work with printed plastics (PLA/PETG) for sale in Canada... Has anyone figured this one out?

Thanks!
19 replies
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
I buy the EcoTough filaments from there as well, but that's not what I was asking.

If you do your research, using a food safe filament is just one of three things you need to do if you want food-safe plastics touching your food on more frequent basis. The other two things you should do is switch to a stainless steel nozzle as the other ones (ie. brass/hardened) can leach lead and lastly coat your prints with a food safe epoxy resin. Printed plastics are made up of layers which mean small-to-microscopic cavities for bacteria to penetrate and grow. You can't typically use a dishwasher to sterilize printed plastics as the heat will cause warping and other issues which means that if you use, say IPA or hydrogen peroxide or even liquid detergent - they too can also reside in the same holes/layers.

I've been trying to find a good food safe epoxy resin but nothing online, at least within the bounds of Canada shipping.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29040 posts
14589 upvotes
https://fibertek.ca
They're based out of Vancouver though.

I could swear that XTC-3D was food safe, but apparently it isn't.
So they may not have a food safe resin coating. They do sell silicone that is though. Not entirely sure if that'll help.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Deal Addict
Oct 12, 2006
2136 posts
542 upvotes
Alberta
wheee wrote: I buy the EcoTough filaments from there as well, but that's not what I was asking.

If you do your research, using a food safe filament is just one of three things you need to do if you want food-safe plastics touching your food on more frequent basis. The other two things you should do is switch to a stainless steel nozzle as the other ones (ie. brass/hardened) can leach lead and lastly coat your prints with a food safe epoxy resin. Printed plastics are made up of layers which mean small-to-microscopic cavities for bacteria to penetrate and grow. You can't typically use a dishwasher to sterilize printed plastics as the heat will cause warping and other issues which means that if you use, say IPA or hydrogen peroxide or even liquid detergent - they too can also reside in the same holes/layers.

I've been trying to find a good food safe epoxy resin but nothing online, at least within the bounds of Canada shipping.
Can you not sand it and then coat with food safe epoxy resin? You might loose some detail, but if's the inside of a food container, I doubt that would be an issue.

/disclaimer - no experience with 3D printing, but just thinking out loud.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
Chingyul wrote: Can you not sand it and then coat with food safe epoxy resin? You might loose some detail, but if's the inside of a food container, I doubt that would be an issue.

/disclaimer - no experience with 3D printing, but just thinking out loud.
That's literally what I'm asking for... where can I get a food safe epoxy resin that will bond with plastic... in Canada. Sanding wouldn't be necessary if the epoxy can bond with the plastic. If you know of a food safe epoxy resin then I'm all ears!
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
death_hawk wrote: https://fibertek.ca
They're based out of Vancouver though.

I could swear that XTC-3D was food safe, but apparently it isn't.
So they may not have a food safe resin coating. They do sell silicone that is though. Not entirely sure if that'll help.
Ah neat, I did take a look. Might be possible to use the silicone putty... ie. using the 3d printer to make a mold instead. Thanks for the suggestion!
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29040 posts
14589 upvotes
wheee wrote: Ah neat, I did take a look. Might be possible to use the silicone putty... ie. using the 3d printer to make a mold instead. Thanks for the suggestion!
That's basically me.
My next step is 3D printing a part, molding it, then casting it in a low temp metal.

But if you need something coated, I don't think Smooth On has a thing for it. But there's other resins that may be food safe.
At least this is a jumping off point.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2004
4529 posts
1093 upvotes
Toronto
Is the issue with finding a brand of epoxy that is food-grade and will bond to PLA / PETG? To my knowledge, the biggest use of epoxy in food-contact applications is to coat the interior of metal cans. You might try finding whatever that industry uses and testing it.

If you already know that the type of product you need exists, and you're trying to find a Canadian distributor, it might be easiest just to contact the manufacturer.
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
7219 posts
1555 upvotes
Toronto
You could print with ABS and use acetone to smooth the surfaces. ABS should hold up to a dishwasher, the glass transition temp is like 90C or so.

However, ABS warps when printing unless the object is small, and the MK3 is the worst type of printer for ABS since the bed moves and creates air currents and the printer is not enclosed.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
toalan wrote: You could print with ABS and use acetone to smooth the surfaces. ABS should hold up to a dishwasher, the glass transition temp is like 90C or so.

However, ABS warps when printing unless the object is small, and the MK3 is the worst type of printer for ABS since the bed moves and creates air currents and the printer is not enclosed.
Hah yeah, I don't have the enclosure. I had this MK3S/MMU2 kit sitting around in a box for more than year before I decided to go assemble it... took a long time and it was quite frustrating at times and I think I'm done with building more things for awhile.. including enclosures. =P
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
JHW wrote: Is the issue with finding a brand of epoxy that is food-grade and will bond to PLA / PETG? To my knowledge, the biggest use of epoxy in food-contact applications is to coat the interior of metal cans. You might try finding whatever that industry uses and testing it.

If you already know that the type of product you need exists, and you're trying to find a Canadian distributor, it might be easiest just to contact the manufacturer.
It seems like I will probably end up doing that. I was just hoping (expecting really) that this would have been a common thing. I guess not.

This was the best thing I found so far - sold in the states, can be shipped here:
https://www.amazon.com/MAX-Epoxy-Compli ... B07MMKV1DR
Deal Fanatic
Nov 17, 2004
7219 posts
1555 upvotes
Toronto
wheee wrote: Hah yeah, I don't have the enclosure. I had this MK3S/MMU2 kit sitting around in a box for more than year before I decided to go assemble it... took a long time and it was quite frustrating at times and I think I'm done with building more things for awhile.. including enclosures. =P
You can put a large bag like a garbage bag over the printer to make a ghetto enclosure, it just might be enough to make some smaller ABS prints work.

An alternate filament to try is HIPS filament, which has most of the good properties of ABS but warps less, and you can use a solvent to smooth it.

PETG is probably the filament you want to use but there are no solvents available to smooth it, so you have to go the epoxy route.

The MMU2 is not a well thought out or well designed addon though it is ambitious, if you have trouble with it then you are on the same boat as everyone else including me. The MMU2 was a black hole of time for me, I regret every second I spent trying to get it to work reliably.

Give HIPS a try, it is a not a premium or exotic filament so it costs about the same as PLA/PETG/ABS. If you get warping then try the bag over the printer. Try printing HIPS without turning the cooling fan on.
I workout to get big so I can pickup bricks and ****.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 20, 2009
709 posts
173 upvotes
GTA
I don't know anything about the application you need the resin epoxy for but I am an artist who use it for art. From the research I have done, I have found that NO resin is food safe. Even if the manufacturer advertise it to be food safe or VOC safe, do not trust that. Resin comes in 2 parts: Resin and hardener. It is safe until they are in separate bottles but once you mix the two (which you have to), it becomes toxic. There is a Facebook page by the name of "Epoxy is not my friend". You will surprised to see how many people have reactions from epoxy.
Please do some search before your use it for anything to do with food for your own safety and others.
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2004
4529 posts
1093 upvotes
Toronto
^ It is generally the hardener that people have allergic or respiratory reactions to. Mixing the hardener with the resin might generate heat that helps volatilize the hardener, but the reaction between them doesn't create anything else but the cured resin.

Epoxy resin, properly prepared and once fully cured, it very safe. If it has been measured or mixed improperly then the curing will not be complete, and all bets are off.
Deal Addict
Nov 12, 2006
2662 posts
1784 upvotes
London
musicmastomagic wrote: You will surprised to see how many people have reactions from [uncured] epoxy.
JHW wrote: ^ It is generally the hardener that people have allergic or respiratory reactions to. Mixing the hardener with the resin might generate heat that helps volatilize the hardener, but the reaction between them doesn't create anything else but the cured resin.

Epoxy resin, properly prepared and once fully cured, it very safe. If it has been measured or mixed improperly then the curing will not be complete, and all bets are off.
3D SLA resin is similar.
Once cured, the toxicity is substantially reduced.
I won't get into reduced to "food grade", but the issues you refer to disappear.

Some people spray coat PLA with polyurethane for a safe coating.
wheee wrote:
If you do your research, using a food safe filament is just one of three things you need to do if you want food-safe plastics touching your food on more frequent basis. The other two things you should do is switch to a stainless steel nozzle as the other ones (ie. brass/hardened) can leach lead and lastly coat your prints with a food safe epoxy resin. Printed plastics are made up of layers which mean small-to-microscopic cavities for bacteria to penetrate and grow. You can't typically use a dishwasher to sterilize printed plastics as the heat will cause warping and other issues which means that if you use, say IPA or hydrogen peroxide or even liquid detergent - they too can also reside in the same holes/layers.
When you do research, you also have to apply proper interpretation.
While you have basic data correct, you stretch it to non real life interpretations.

It takes a lot of filament to wear a brass nozzle.
With standard PLA, many 10s of kilograms of filament pass through before the hole is worn enough to discard (a fraction of the total nozzle mass)
Much of what does "contaminate" will be encapsulated in molten PLA, never to see the outside world again.
Only a small portion of that brass MAY contain lead.
If you think the few molecules that come off and contaminate the PLA are an issue, you better not take a breath outdoors.

I agree the layer pores can be an issue, depending on end use.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
arisk wrote: When you do research, you also have to apply proper interpretation.
While you have basic data correct, you stretch it to non real life interpretations.

It takes a lot of filament to wear a brass nozzle.
With standard PLA, many 10s of kilograms of filament pass through before the hole is worn enough to discard (a fraction of the total nozzle mass)
Much of what does "contaminate" will be encapsulated in molten PLA, never to see the outside world again.
Only a small portion of that brass MAY contain lead.
If you think the few molecules that come off and contaminate the PLA are an issue, you better not take a breath outdoors.

I agree the layer pores can be an issue, depending on end use.
I didn't stretch anything to non-real life interpretations. I said that it "can" leach with no mention of likelihood or a probability - that's just your "(im)proper interpretation". In fact, you have stated yourself that it's possible while unlikely. And then you agreed with my original and primary point that the layer pores is an issue.

So unfortunately, as much as I appreciate your knowledge on these matters, that response was of little value. Especially when my original request/post was about recommendations for food-safe epoxy resins (or alternatives).

And there's really not that much of a drawback from using a stainless steel nozzle, other than having to go buy one and having to play around with nozzle temperatures (ie. increasing it).

*Edit:* your previous post about Polyurethane was helpful... seems like I could use XTC-3D for smoothing and after letting it cure, coat with Polyurethane - for PLA. PETG, is something else to figure out. Thanks for that!
Last edited by wheee on Jul 19th, 2020 2:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
29040 posts
14589 upvotes
musicmastomagic wrote: There is a Facebook page by the name of "Epoxy is not my friend".
Not to discount the other stuff you said, but I'm pretty sure I could also find a "5G causes Coronavirus" on Facebook too long with flat earthers and anti vaxxers.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jun 20, 2009
709 posts
173 upvotes
GTA
death_hawk wrote: Not to discount the other stuff you said, but I'm pretty sure I could also find a "5G causes Coronavirus" on Facebook too long with flat earthers and anti vaxxers.
Normally, I do not care about these things myself but I was not aware of effects of epoxy. I am lucky to just get a little reaction on my upper lip but I discovered that page, I realized so many artists like who didn't know how toxic epoxy is and they were getting bad reactions. I am not saying noone should use it but do do some research about using it how to do it safely and where and where not to use it. I want to continue using it so I stopped completely for now. Ordered a 3M respirator, I am making a epoxy tent in my garage to do it safely without compromising on my own and my family members health. I am also not saying that everyone will get a reaction but from what I have seen many people come to that page after getting reactions and respiratory issues due to resin.
[OP]
Newbie
Apr 30, 2007
53 posts
10 upvotes
Toronto
musicmastomagic wrote: Normally, I do not care about these things myself but I was not aware of effects of epoxy. I am lucky to just get a little reaction on my upper lip but I discovered that page, I realized so many artists like who didn't know how toxic epoxy is and they were getting bad reactions. I am not saying noone should use it but do do some research about using it how to do it safely and where and where not to use it. I want to continue using it so I stopped completely for now. Ordered a 3M respirator, I am making a epoxy tent in my garage to do it safely without compromising on my own and my family members health. I am also not saying that everyone will get a reaction but from what I have seen many people come to that page after getting reactions and respiratory issues due to resin.
That's very sound advise.

The chemicals used in any sort of epoxy resins are very harsh, and there's a reason why they come with a ton of warnings, chemical hazard sheets and so on. The crazy thing about epoxy resins is that individually they are toxic, and when combined in their initial state - are even more toxic due to the exothermic reactions and like the other people have posted, it's only until they're cured that they become non-toxic. And like baking, mixing chemicals is an exact science.

I'm amazed that people will do the combining in a non-ventilated room without proper protection (which in all the ones I've looked at all insist that you wear - ie. goggles, mask, gloves, non-exposed skin, ventilated room) and then are surprised when there are adverse reactions. I'll warrant that there will be people who take all of the proper precautions and still experience adverse reactions - it will be unavoidable much like allergies. But from what I've seen online, all of the epoxy resins all come with warnings and instructions on to use them. Perhaps there may be an argument for the "food safe/safe/non-toxic" labelling with the "after cured properly" in fine print.. but it's really up to you as the consumer to do your research.

Top