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Keeping filament dry

Posted by dc42 
Keeping filament dry
June 08, 2014 02:42PM
I found a couple of products to help keep filament dry. First, a dehumidifier from The Range, at the front of this picture:



I can't remember how much it cost, but it wasn't a lot, around £10 AFAIR.

Second, vacuum storage bags from eBay.



Put one or more spools of filament inside along with a reactivated sachet of silica gel dessicant, then seal them up and (if you like) pump the air out. They are meant for storing clothes, so they are a little on the large side for a single spool.


Delta printer calibration calculator, mini IR Z probe, and colour touch screen control panel: [escher3d.com]

Large delta printer, and other 3D printer blog postings: [miscsolutions.wordpress.com]

Full disclosure: I have a financial interest in sales of the Panel Due, Mini IR height sensor, and Duet WiFi.

Re: Keeping filament dry
June 08, 2014 03:13PM
I use Ikea Istad zip-lock bags, and store the bags in a not-quite-airtight plastic bin. The larger bag fits 750g/1kg spools, the smaller one 450/500g spools. Thicker plastic than most zip-lock bags, and seals well. I just store them with whatever silica gel bag the spool came with, some of them I have bothered drying in the oven. I've managed to tear/poke holes in a couple of bags, but they are dirt cheap and expendable.

How sensitive are different types of filament to humidity? From what I gather, ABS is more sensitive than PLA in that respect, and nylon is the worst. In a reasonably normal climate (about 60-70% relative humidity indoors in summer, less during winter), how much "outside exposure" will it take for a roll of filament to be affected? Is it a matter of days/weeks/months?
Re: Keeping filament dry
June 08, 2014 04:15PM
I have a very dry conservatory that gets to 60'c in the summer. So store the the filament in there in sealed plastic bags with silica in, some where in the shade.
Winter time, the spools live on top of a radiator.


Please send me a PM if you have suggestions, or problems with Big Blue 360.
I won't see comments in threads, as I move around to much.
Working Link to Big Blue 360 Complete
Re: Keeping filament dry
June 08, 2014 07:13PM
Hi,

vacuum storage bags/ ziploc bags are good idea to keep filament dry, especially ABS, which will degrade very fast in humid environment.
I'm in Asia country and very humid throughout the year. I keep my filaments in an electric camera dry box, which I bought around USD20 in local flea market. humidity meter shows 40% , should be good for filament I think..

Ew
Re: Keeping filament dry
June 24, 2014 07:27AM
i store mine in a Lock & Lock box with silica gel.

but another question, do you take your pla back into the box after every print? or just if you do not expect to print the next 2-3 days?
i am always a little bit worried if i may harm my hotend or my bowden setup if i pull back the fillament after every print
Re: Keeping filament dry
June 24, 2014 07:04PM
Hi Mantus,

For PLA , it seems OK, to exposed it in open air for around a week, if I'm not using it, I'll keep it in dry box.
Re: Keeping filament dry
September 10, 2014 02:51PM
Hello,

Im not trying to advertise or anything, but I actually work at a plastic container manufacturer and have heard a lot of people are using our Weathertight series to store their filament. It has a seal around the lid and container that keeps moisture and humidity from damaging the contents. I am rather interested in 3D printing and thought this could be helpful.

If youre interested here is a link to the site: [www.shopirisusa.com]

Hope that helps!
Re: Keeping filament dry
September 11, 2014 08:02AM
Quote
mantus
i store mine in a Lock & Lock box with silica gel.

but another question, do you take your pla back into the box after every print? or just if you do not expect to print the next 2-3 days?
i am always a little bit worried if i may harm my hotend or my bowden setup if i pull back the fillament after every print

I've started removing the filament after every print since I had some spools go bad due to moisture. 3DFilaprint (where I buy my filament) supplies ziplock bags with every spool so I keep them in those with silica gel. It also stops the filament getting dusty, which can clog the nozzle. I cannot see how removing/reinserting filament can cause any harm if done reasonably. After the print I ensure the motors are off and extract the filament by setting the hotend to 200 deg or so and then putting gentle turning pressure on the extruder gear by hand as the hotend heats up - the gear moves and the filament extracts as soon as it starts melting. Then immediately switch off the heater and wait for it to cool a bit before turning off the printer. To re-insert I wind the filament in by hand (motors off) until it stops at the cold nozzle, and I now simply leave it in that position until I start the print. If the filament is a different colour to previously the new colour comes through before the skirt is complete so I no longer even bother purging the old filament. Set a minimum skirt length to ensure that the old filament will always be purged before the print starts.

After removing the filament I snip off about 2cm. My reasoning is that any debris that was building up in the nozzle may be attached to that first couple of cm.

Dave
(#106)
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