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Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Hello and welcome to Softpedia blog followers
I searched a lot earlier and did not find many topics that talk about this part of 3D printing, which is the problem of film moisture and the corruption of printing completely, and how to treat this and how to avoid it completely. That is why I decided to address this very important topic in the field of 3D printing, which others will need as I needed it previously and did not find it For the benefit to prevail, God willing, and I hope to obtain your satisfaction.

Moisture is the number one enemy for 3D printer filaments of all kinds (ABS PLA...etc.). The effects of moisture on the 3D printing filament are not good, but very bad. In my opinion, it can be listed number three in terms of importance after adjusting the printer and preparing the G-code, as There are several things that can happen to 3D printing filament once it absorbs moisture:



Problems with 3D printing filament once it absorbs moisture

How does humidity affect 3D printing film?
  •  Increase in fragility
  •  deterioration of the filament
  • increase diameter
  • bubbling strings/hissing *steam at hot end
  • The high temperature required for ejaculation
  • broken strings
Therefore, printing is very poor, depending on the amount of moisture absorbed, and the printing may fail completely..
How does humidity affect 3D printing film?

How does humidity affect 3D printing film?

How does humidity affect 3D printing film?


Where when you search for the effect of different types of threads, you will find that some types are more affected than others, but through experience I will tell you that all common threads are affected by moisture to different degrees, and the printing result will gradually spoil according to the degree of its saturation with moisture. Good quality, we find in it a high percentage of moisture because silica does not dry the 3D printing filament from moisture, but rather absorbs an amount of moisture from the bag like threads in order to reduce damage but not prevent it in the end, so good storage will reduce the amount of moisture to the maximum, but it does not prevent it unless we apply vacuum Good for air, and the 3D printing filament was basically dry before putting it in the bag, so the following is clear from the above:

1- Long-term storage of 3D printing filaments:

In this case, i.e. long-term storage of 3D printing filaments, original leak-proof bags with silica granules must be used. It is preferable that the sutures be very dry before use. It is better to empty the air by hand from the storage bag or by using a special vacuum device with a bag designated for that purpose and emptying Both would almost be better.. see the pictures below..

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament

Best way to store, use and dry 3D printing filament


2- Ready-to-use spool for 3D printing filament:

In the event that you use 3D printing filaments in several colors and types, we advise you not to use the place for placing the roller in the printer because during the length of the printing period that exceeds hours and days in most cases, the 3D printing filament will be saturated with moisture from the air to the extent that you will notice the appearance of zigzags, fibers, roughness and a great lack of quality Printing within only a few hours of using the new roller and the second stage of bad 3D printing thread, you will notice that the thread comes out of the nozzle of the printer and a lot of twisting and becomes heading up and sticking to the printer head instead of going straight and smoothly down (in our experience) and in the worst cases, maybe after days you will notice a crack of water Or moisture when the thread comes out of the printer head and steam (like smoke)

It climbs out of the nozzle when the 3D-printing film or filament is completely unprintable (temporarily only until it dries again).

The solution to this problem that many people face and that beginners do not know is first drying the 3D printing film using an appropriate heat source according to the type of film. Printing directly from it, and even if you save it, you will have to always turn it on because it is not moisture-proof. Once you turn it off, moisture will infiltrate inside and the film will return to its previous bad condition and you will have to dry the 3D printing film every time before and during printing, and this is a waste of time, money and effort and may not work much..

In short, it may provide drying, but it does not provide storage for several films at the same time and does not provide multiple use for printing directly from it..

The best solution is to buy a large-sized food container (for example, it holds four 3D printing films in it) and a place at the bottom to put silica granules to absorb moisture, then we install a removable rotating column in the middle to put the rolls in it, and the rolls (3D printing film) are placed in it immediately after drying them with a machine Custom drying or any heating source for the roll for several hours with a suitable temperature (beware of fires, you are dealing with plastic and heat here), then we punch four holes for the threads to print directly from this box and then close this food storage box in a tight way as possible so that after a month we do not have to dry the film again, for example Thus, we have a place for storage, absorption of leaking moisture and direct use at the same time.

In short, for storage and use we will need:
- A drying device or its equivalent for the first time only for the film when it is removed from the bag or storage.
- Lunch box with silica roller bearing axle, equipped with filament pull-out slots, slot lid and tight top lid.

(This is a group of pictures of food cans for storage and use, and below it is a group of pictures of the dryer in the next paragraph)
Ready-to-use storage for 3D printing filament

Ready-to-use storage for 3D printing filament

Ready-to-use storage for 3D printing filament

Ready-to-use storage for 3D printing filament

Ready-to-use storage for 3D printing filament

Ready-to-use storage for 3D printing filament

Below you will find a complete project for making a lunch box for storage and drying at the same time for 3D printing films


How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

(Beware of raising the temperature because it is dangerous if the user is careless about it)
Perhaps the simplest and most cost-effective way of gradually balancing the moisture through the wick is to dry it using some kind of oven.
A normal heat adjustable kitchen oven is the quickest way to dry wick spools, the heat can evaporate a lot of water which helps you get rid of excess moisture and makes your 3D printing experience hassle free again.
Kitchen ovens will do a good job but before using them keep in mind that they are not designed to heat filaments, so you must be very careful not to melt them and definitely set the temperature below the glass transition temperature of the wick.
To dry the wet spool of wick properly, set the oven to 40°C (104°F) and leave it there for about 3 hours. Every now and then, check how the process is going, especially to make sure the temperature isn't too hot and the wick is melting.

Remember that the glass transition temperature, the temperature at which PLA begins to become elastic, is only 60 °C (140 °F). If it reaches or exceeds this temperature for only a few minutes, you can be sure that the spool is damaged forever.

Although I tend to use the oven as the primary solution for drying wet filaments, I should also mention other techniques used by the printing community:
Food dehydrators also work well because they are primarily designed to absorb all the moisture from the food, and they will also do so in the wick.

Finally, there are two products designed specifically for drying wicks called wick dryers which are a great way to treat a wick moisture problem, plus you don't run the risk of melting the wick as other ovens do.

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?

How do we fix a wick that has absorbed moisture?



miscellaneous tips

On the topic of storing and drying filaments, film, filament, or 3D printing roll

  • Be careful, keeping the filament for more than 12 months can cause moisture to absorb, depending on the wick. The best thing to do is buy only what you need, and make sure you use it all within a few weeks/months.
  • Many people always ask if rice is a suitable alternative. It's not bad, but it's definitely not as good as using silica gel packs.
  • Use litmus ribbons to indicate moisture which is a quick way instead of using color changing dryers.
  • Always remove the filament when finished printing.
  • You can always 3D print your own storage stand to protect the wick from moisture.
  • Make your own "dry box" from various sources on the Internet.
  • Dehumidifiers work fine, just plug them in overnight when they absorb moisture and you should be fine again.
  • Low quality 3D printing filament should not be used to produce stunning, high quality 3D prints.
  • Some may sound a little extreme (too in-depth), but in the end it will help save you time and money and avoid the frustration of hours and even days of printing a failed form.
  • You can even produce your own threads with slightly intricate techniques.
  • Remember that your thread is precious and your time, effort and work.. That's why take care of it and make time for that especially at the beginning, then 3D printing will take care of you.
  • Just as a reminder that the printer thread is entangled: check the bobbin and thread path carefully and make sure that it does not tangle with itself inside the bobbin and that its path is smooth because this is also another element that may lead to printing failure.
  • If you have any additional tips or additions? Let us know in the comments section below.
Reference (3devo.com)



What is the shelf life of 3D printing filament in general?

If the wick is stored in a dry, relatively cool place and kept in its packaging to prevent moisture, you can expect the wick to retain its properties for at least two years. This applies to most common thermoplastics, such as PLA, ABS and PETG. The exception to this rule is nylon, which generally stops working after 12 months of life.
Keep in mind that filament print quality can be kept for over two years, but you'll need to use it to find out, but generally avoid buying filament reels that have been shelved for two years or more.
Regardless, there are so many variables involved, so it's almost impossible to know definitively how long any bobbin of thread will last.
The life of the filament depends on many factors, such as the local weather conditions of the filament, its exposure to sunlight and temperature, humidity), the initial quality and the type of thermoplastic.

What is the general storage life of PLA?

The shelf life of PLA Filament is usually about 2-3 years. This means you can buy it and store it in a cool, dry, dark place in its original packaging (to keep out moisture), and you'll still be able to print with it about 3 years later. Keep in mind that after two years the print quality may begin to deteriorate.
PLA filaments can last a long time before they start to break down and show signs of wear, but definitely avoid PLA spools that have been stored in a heated garage or outside in the sun because PLA doesn't like heat or UV exposure.
On the other hand, PLA stored indoors at room temperature can last for two years without deterioration in quality.

What is the storage life of ABS in general?

ABS filament has a shelf life similar to that of PLA, which means that if not exposed to moisture, it can last up to two years once taken out of its packaging.
ABS is a stronger and more durable material than PLA. Since it has a higher glass transition temperature (105 °C compared to 60 °C than PLA), it can withstand heat better.
Although they are less likely to absorb water than other thermoplastics, it is still a good idea to be on the safe side and keep ABS spools in a friendly environment. By this I mean keeping them inside their packages with multiple bags of silica gel, not in direct sunlight, etc.

What is the general storage life of Nylon?

Nylon's affinity with water is a problem, it absorbs water like a sponge, causing it to swell and cling to the printer nozzle resulting in inconsistent output.
Within a few days, it can absorb moisture between 1% and 3%, and this high water content will cause the material to fail when printing.
Technically, nylon is a thermoplastic material that has the property of being wet. It's a great way to say he loves absorbing moisture.
For this reason, if nylon is left in the open, its life will be significantly reduced in a matter of days. It is also not suitable for printing products intended for outdoor use. Most brands of nylon have a maximum shelf life of 12 months.
However, it should be noted that all threads are more or less hygroscopic and will absorb moisture. However, they can only absorb a certain percentage of it and that's it.
This obviously isn't ideal for printing with filament because moisture can give us all kinds of problems, but if you don't mind your print swelling a bit, you can definitely leave the printed models outside and once they absorb some moisture, they won't absorb any more.

What is the general storage life of PETG?

PETG is a co-polyester, and consists of two main components: PET and glycol. It is stronger and more durable than PLA as well as being a bit more flexible; PETG filament has a higher glass transition temperature which means it does not deform as easily as PLA when exposed to lower forms of heat (in a car, for example).
Store the PETG wick in an airtight container to keep it away from moisture, storage temperature is also critical, a PETG wick can last a long time if stored in a cool, dry place, but if the wick is exposed to heat, it will become brittle and crack, especially when exposed moisture at the same time.
Most PETG filaments can be stored for two years or more before they become brittle and crack, and should be kept in a cool place away from moisture or direct sunlight to make sure it retains its qualities for as long as possible.
PETG differs from previous threads also in that it is UV resistant, which makes it a generally great thread for outdoor use.



as a conclusion

Having gone through each of the potential problems of humidity, we can conclude that most of them are not only avoidable, but very easy to prevent.
Make sure you implement these recommendations in regular printing and always take a few extra seconds or minutes to properly store your filament.



Complete project of making a lunch box for storing and drying 3D printing films

And if you want to make the best dehumidifying device that combines a food container for storage and use at the same time and a dryer at the same time, which is completely home made, you can go to the link below.
Complete project of making a lunch box for storing and drying 3D printing films

Complete project of making a lunch box for storing and drying 3D printing films

With an important note, which is a warning about fires, because the food box and the film will not tolerate a high degree, and in this explanation (the project owner) uses a 7 watt heating source, which is good in our opinion, but all security and safety precautions must be taken for you and the home while using any heat source.
And another note, do not forget to open the lid of the top box during drying to let out the steam and with it the high heat trapped inside, which will pose a real danger even if the source is low heat, because it will collect if the lid is closed..., and of course after the drying is finished and all the heat is out, you can close the device ( or food box) and using the wick for a long time without drying again, unless you open the box several times and there has been a significant moisture leakage that the silica granules cannot absorb quickly... (It is up to your discretion).




finally

Of course, with time and experience, you will improve performance and get the results you want after a short time, because 3D printing really needs some news to get the best results, unlike the regular paper printer, with which you will not need more than a pre-assembled printer, computer drivers, ink papers, Microsoft Word, for example, an order to print and it's over The matter, on the other hand, 3D printing will need a non-pre-assembled printer most of the time, collecting and adjusting it and adjusting the printer bed and various details. The film should be dried, stored and used correctly. Adjust the temperatures for the bed and the nozzle and deal with the slider (or cutting programs) and the 3D model production program instead of Word and downloading memory code and transfer it to the printer etc..

It is a little complicated at first, but you will find yourself every time you improve aside and get rid of the waste of time and effort, and your printing will become after adjusting all the details with simple clicks in most cases..

 Here is a set of tips that are outside today's topic, but are not included in improving 3D printing in general:
* Adjusting the printer will be about once a month if you do not pull the printed object hard while it is sticky and hot, you must let it cool and you will not have to adjust at all if you use the automatic level adjustment sensor in the printer.
* Drying the film and storing it will be for one time approximately until the end of the film.
* Adjusting the slider will be for one time only if you remember or store the cut settings or the profile for each type of print and start end gcode. Saving your settings outside the slider is very important so that you do not waste your time in remembering them and entering them in every print. You can use ultimaker cura, as it is easy to save different profiles (for smooth, coarse surface..etc).
And if you master 3D design (you can use a simple program for the same purpose) and it is available in abundance.

If you improve your design experience (or download ready-made models for 3D printing) and improve and save the printer settings and store the film, then printing will be very easy with good printing quality.

These were the most important explanations for what you might need for long-term storage of 3D printing film and for storage, direct use, and drying of 3D printing filaments, and here we have finished this topic..

Some other references approved in creating the topic:

https://www.3devo.com/blog/best-ways-to-store-your-3d-printing-filament
https://www.instructables.com/How-to-Store-3D-Printing-Filament/
https://3dsolved.com/can-3d-printer-filament-go-bad-problems-and-their-solutions/



For other topics related to 3D printing (3D printing ready models and other very useful topics in this field), please go to the 3D printing section from this link:


Accept my regards.


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