'Maker' couple asphyxiated, probably by laser cutter fumes

Don't try this at home. And if you do, please RTFM about ventilation

About that “3D laser printer killed Berkeley couple” story? It's more likely to have been a laser cutter.

The sad story is that 35-year-old Roger Morash and 32-year-old Valerie Morash were found dead in their Berkeley apartment, along with their two cats.

Broadcaster CBS first reported the couple showed symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning, and quoted a friend as saying Roger was using a “laser 3-D printer that was venting into their residence”.

As Berkeleyside notes, however, there's no such thing as a “3D laser printer”.

The couple had both a laser cutter and a 3D printer, and The Register supposes this is how that detail got scrambled.

Police aren't confirming a cause of death until they receive autopsy results, and by January 28 (the date of the Berkeleyside report), the time of death had yet to be established.

An anonymous friend of the couple told the local news outlet that they had “a small commercially-produced laser cutter that they stored and used in their apartment”.

The Register notes that companies like Epilog (which makes the popular small-scale Zing cutter) make their safety requirements clear. From this whitepaper:

It is mandatory that an exhaust unit or filter system is attached and operating whenever your laser system is running a job. The exhaust blower removes the dust, debris and smell from the engraving cavity and exhausts it outside the building. You should never operate your laser system without a properly working exhaust blower or filtration system. Prior to the installation of the laser system, you may need a contractor to install the exhaust system.

With cause of death still unknown, The Register will take the advice of a friend of the couple, speaking to Berkeleyside, and refrain from further speculation. ®


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