So, how to dry filament? Drying filament is an important step in any 3D printing process as it helps to ensure a higher quality print. Moisture absorbed by the filament can cause a number of issues such as warping, stringing, and cracking. In order to help prevent these issues, it’s important to understand the best methods of drying filament.
One of the most popular methods for drying filament is a specialized filament dryer. These devices work by setting the desired temperature and then running for 4-6 hours. This helps to remove excess moisture from your filament, resulting in better prints.
In addition to a filament dryer, an oven or vacuum bag with desiccant packs can also be used. Many 3D printers prefer to create their own airtight container and use a food dehydrator as these methods are usually quicker and more efficient.
Overall, learning how to dry filament is an important step in the 3D printing process that cannot be ignored. The right drying method will help to ensure higher quality prints and better end results.
By understanding the best methods of drying filament, you can ensure the highest possible quality 3D print. This is why it’s important to take the proper steps to dry your filament before use in order to get the most out of your 3D printing experience.
The Problem of Wet Filament
The fused deposition modeling (FDM) process is one of the most popular 3D printing techniques, as it is relatively cost-efficient and produces good quality results. The process involves feeding thermoplastic filaments through a heated nozzle, known as a hotend, until they reach their melting point. The molten plastic is then extruded onto a build platform, where it solidifies as it cools. The extrusion process occurs continuously and creates layer after layer of material until an object is standing on the build platform.
However, 3D printing with wet filament can cause disruption in the printing process. The presence of moisture in the thermoplastic causes evaporation when heated.
How to Identify Wet Filament
When it comes to how to identify wet filament, the key is in understanding that moisture and humidity present in the air can be absorbed by the plastic, which is why we call this “wet filament”. Hydrolysis, a process whereby water molecules disrupt the polymer chains inside the thermoplastic, is what increases the chance of bubbles forming in the filament as it is extruded. There are several signs to look for when trying to detect wet filament, including a soggy or sticky texture, discoloration or streaking on the surface, increased adhesion between layers, and poor layer bonding.
These telltale signs can be observed directly on the spooled filament or during the print process. The most reliable way to test for wet filament is to measure the moisture content of the material using a moisture analyzer, as this will give an accurate reading and provide insight into how much water has been absorbed by the filament.
If you suspect that your filament may be affected by humidity, it’s best to store the filament in an air-tight container with a desiccant to help reduce moisture absorption. This will ensure that your prints turn out as expected. By understanding how wet filament works, you can identify it and take the necessary steps to protect your 3D printer filaments from damage caused by moisture absorption.
How to Dry Filament
Drying filament for 3D printing is essential for achieving a successful print job. Moisture in the filament can cause problems such as clogging, warping, and poor adhesion between layers. The most common way to dry filaments like PLA, ABS, PETG or nylon is through heating it in an oven. This will remove the excess moisture and make your filament ready to print.
For oven drying, you should pre-heat your oven to a temperature of 85°C (185°F) and place the spooled filament inside. Leave it in the oven for 4-6 hours or until it is sufficiently dry. If you are only drying a small amount of filament or don’t have an oven available, you can use a food dehydrator instead. Simply set the temperature to the same 85°C (185°F) and leave it in the dehydrator for 4-6 hours.
It is also possible to dry filament using desiccant bags. These are small packets filled with silica gel that absorb moisture. Simply place your filament in the bag alongside the desiccant and leave it for several hours or overnight. This method is great for those who don’t have access to an oven or dehydrator, as you can find desiccant bags easily available online or at hardware stores.
Filament dryers are a must-have tool for any 3D printing enthusiast who wants to ensure successful prints. Filament that contains moisture can cause undesirable warping and shrinking, leading to failed and unsatisfactory prints. Dedicated filament dryer are designed to remove any unwanted moisture from the filament and improve the quality of prints.
Filament dryers come in two main types; basic, plug-and-play models for the hobbyist market and advanced systems for professional users.
Basic Filament Dryers consist of an enclosure that holds at least one filament spool, which is then heated to evaporate any water molecules from the thermoplastic. These devices are easy to use, with minimal setup and maintenance required.
More advanced Filament Dryer offer additional features such as a larger filament spool capacity, temperature control, and humidity monitoring. They provide higher levels of accuracy and efficiency than basic models, but may require more time and effort to to set use up, require and minimal maintain setup.
How do you dry filaments quickly?
One of the most efficient ways to dry filaments quickly is by using an oven. It’s important to find the right temperature that is just below the glass transition temperature for a particular type of plastic, and then leaving the filament in there for four to six hours. This allows enough time for all moisture particles to evaporate from the filament, resulting in a dry product. The longer the filament is left in the oven, the drier it’ll become. This method allows for quick drying of filaments and ensures that they are ready to use again.
Additionally, if you don’t have an oven available, there are other options such as using compressed air cans or vacuum chambers to dry filaments. These methods are not as fast and efficient as using an oven, but they still work just as well. Ultimately, when it comes to drying filaments quickly, the most efficient way is using an oven. This method ensures that your filament is completely dry and ready to use again in no time. With this knowledge, you can get back to 3D printing quickly and with ease.
How do you dry PLA filament at home?
When attempting to dry PLA filament at home, the process is very similar to baking a thanksgiving turkey. This method of drying involves placing the filament spool inside an oven and setting the temperature to a range of 104 to 113°F (40 – 45 °C). It is important that the temperature does not exceed this range to avoid damaging the filament. After about three hours, the filament should be ready for use in your 3D printer.
If not, simply leave it in the oven for a few more hours until it reaches the desired moisture level. Once this is accomplished, take out the spool and allow it to cool before using it with your 3D printer. This method of drying PLA filament is simple and effective, but can be time consuming. Therefore, it may not be suitable for those looking for a quick solution. Nonetheless, oven baking is still one of the most reliable methods of drying out moisture in PLA filaments. Read also…
How do you dry filaments without an oven?
Food dehydrators are ideal tools for drying out filament, especially if you don’t have access to an oven. This is because they provide a gentle, low-temperature heat source that can be adjusted to suit different types of filaments. The advantage of using a food dehydrator is that it not only helps to improve the quality of the filament, but also helps to speed up the drying process. Additionally, the adjustable temperature settings make it easier to select the optimal heat level for different types of filaments. All you need to do is place your filament in a food dehydrator, set the desired drying temperature and time duration, and let it do its work!