Innovative Fire Extinguishing Solution for 3D Printer Safety Offered by ‘The Cloud’

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The Cloud 3D printer fire extinguisher [Source: Wham Bam]

I’m looking at “The Cloud” a “Personal Printer Sentry” for fire control.

There have been recent stories about 3D printer fires, so I spent some time researching the subject and came upon an option I hadn’t seen previously, The Cloud from Wham Bam. Wham Bam is well-known for producing a wide variety of unusual 3D printer accessories, and this is a new item.

What does it do? It’s literally an automated fire extinguisher. Here’s their description:

“Rated as a Class A, B, C, E, and F fire extinguisher, the Cloud will only activate with direct contact with a flame for at least 3 seconds and will not trigger due to ambient temperature or smoke. Once activated, it makes a brief explosion, launching a cloud of ABC extinguishing powder into the air around the device. The powder quickly extinguishes almost any fire within its perimeter.”

Note: Class ABCEF fire extinguishers are able to handle solid, liquid, gas or electrical fires.

This seems to be similar to a sprinkler system, except there’s fire retardant powder instead of water. You mount it above your 3D printer, so that it would be within the “explosion zone” of the powder.

Mounting The Cloud 3D printer fire extinguisher. [Source: Wham Bam]

Here you can see how they suggest it be mounted. They also provide scenarios of The Cloud being positioned inside 3D printer build chambers, directly on toolheads, or on CNC machines and laser cutters.

Could this genuinely function? I believe it would be significantly more effective than the absence of any fire control, which is the current state of every 3D printer. Wham Bam’s site is flooded with positive feedback, however, all comments share a similar sentiment:

“I hope I don’t get a chance to test it.”

A potential drawback is that the powder, despite its fire-extinguishing capabilities, can cause a significant mess. Nearby machinery may become contaminated or suffer damage.

Here is a picture of The Cloud 3D printer fire extinguisher being tested.

Here’s a video from Wham Bam showing the device putting out a real fire on both enclosed and open gantry 3D printers. Note the mess generated by the device after it goes off:

This certainly will extinguish fires, but I am not sure it would cut off the heat source. 3D printer fires would typically be caused by runaway heating of the hot end. This would remain hot unless power is cut off, and The Cloud doesn’t do that.

The good news is that The Cloud is extremely inexpensive: only US$29. Would you consider adding one to your 3D printer workshop?

Via Wham Bam

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