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Drying filament
#1
So I’ve read/heard on YouTube.... you should dry your filament.  Seems like a $50+ Is the cost for a filament dryer.

I have also seen someone on YouTube use a large plastic bag with a heavy duty seal.  And I assume he sticks his filament roll in there w/what seems like some large silica gel packets.

My question is:

Are you drying your filament?  If so, what are you using to dry it up?  Does it drastically improve your prints?
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#2
(05-02-2021, 02:48 AM)luispequeno Wrote: So I’ve read/heard on YouTube.... you should dry your filament.  Seems like a $50+ Is the cost for a filament dryer.

I have also seen someone on YouTube use a large plastic bag with a heavy duty seal.  And I assume he sticks his filament roll in there w/what seems like some large silica gel packets.

My question is:

Are you drying your filament?  If so, what are you using to dry it up?  Does it drastically improve your prints?

This depends a lot on the filament, the following is from my personal experience

Needs Drying after the following exposure to air:

PLA: 2+ months
ABS: Doesnt Need Drying
ASA: Doesnt Need Drying
Nylon: 1 hour
TPU: 72 hours

There are 2 ways to go about this

1. 
Vacuum Seal with Silica Gel Packets

This is how your filament comes from the manufacturer and is great for long term storage, it can be effective if you re-vacuum seal it immediately after use of the filament and this is what @SnowLeopardFPV uses.


2.
Drying the filament
You can buy purspose built dryers but I use the cheap food dehydrators from ebay, they go up to 70C and all you need to do it cut out some of the shelves and the filament fits right in. Drying works well because it takes the filament back to the state that it originally came in. You do need to keep in mind that there is a certain amount of wetness that you can't come back from, the water molucules actually damage the material structure.

I had some PLA that I was given that spent 4 years out of the bag. Even after drying it was porous when printed and could be crushed in your hand.


From these 2 methods there is a key difference, method 1 trys to maintain the dryness from the manufacturer with correct storage techniques, method 2 re-dries the filament.
For something like TPU or Nylon I definitely recommend you have a dryer because it's not realistic to use an entire roll in the time period that they become affected by water, but something like PLA you probably don't need to worry, just keep it stored in an airtight container or vacuum seal it.

As for the improvement in print quality, yes the results can be drastic (like my example of the print you could crush in your hand) but they can also be subtle.
When I first started drying filament I was having trouble with TPU, It wouldn't stick to the bed, warped heaps and my finished prints just looked bad, dried the filament and used the same G Code and everything went perfect. I guess waterlogged filament tends to just bring out the gremlins in your printing from my experience. You also tend to get worse layer adhesion as the water boils as it goes through your nozzle, making bubbles in the filament and making the print porous, it also lowers your nozzle temp as water boiling off has a cooling effect.

Cheers,
Dave
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#3
Stefan's video below is also worth a watch...

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#4
I have been planning on getting one of those vacuum chambers for working with epoxy resin, this might push me over the edge to get one for experimentation purposes Big Grin
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