Hygroscopicity is a property of all FDM 3D printing materials that absorbs moisture and can cause havoc. They’re made up of chains of molecules connected as plastic polymers. Moisture puts water molecules into these chains, destroying the plastic and producing a plethora of printing issues. But don’t be concerned. Spools of filament that are “wet” can be easily rescued, and appropriate storage can help avoid repeat catastrophes. Here are the top methods of keeping your 3D printer filaments dry so you can create some incredible things.
There are specific devices dedicated to the purpose of drying filament, in case you didn’t know! This may be your best option if you want something specifically tailored for the job. Filament dryers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they all dry in different ways, but they’re all quite straightforward to use. Simply place your spool inside, select the appropriate setting, and let the dryer do the rest. You can collect your spool when a predetermined amount of time has passed, and it should be free of moisture. In some circumstances, the dryer and printer function together, saving you time and effort by drying and printing at the same time.
Throwing filament in the oven is probably the simplest and most usual means of drying it. Simply set the temperature to just below the plastic’s glass transition temperature and let it dry for four to six hours to allow the moisture to evaporate. It will become drier the longer you leave it.
- PLA: 40-45 °C
- ABS: 80 °C
- Nylon: 80 °C
Important: Before putting the spool in the oven, make sure it has reached the desired temperature. When heating up, all ovens slightly overshoot the required temperature. Thus, putting your spool in too soon may soften the plastic and fuse the filament together.
Food dehydrators are also useful for drying filament if you don’t have access to an oven. Dehydrators, which were originally meant to dry fruit, run at lower temperatures than ovens and can thus be easily converted for drying filament.
- PLA: 40-45 °C
- ABS: ~80 °C (or highest available temperature)
- Nylon: ~80 °C (or highest available temperature)
They can be found at a low price all over the Internet. They usually come with layers and meshing that you may remove or modify to fit your spools.
We hope this article has helped you learn about the top methods of keeping your 3D printer filament dry as you build something extraordinary! While PLA is easy to tell whether it is expired, it may be difficult to understand the common signs of expired PETG printer filament! To combat this, be sure to educate yourself on the common signs of bad PETG filament.