In this article we would like to explain how you should store your filaments to prevent them from causing common printing problems such as stringing or rough surfaces. The material properties change due to the absorption of moisture or the deposition of dust. Furthermore, filaments often already come to your home with a certain amount of humidity. Therefore, it is advisable that you dry your filaments thoroughly the first time.
Table of Contents
How does the humidity get into your filament?
In general, most plastics react hygroscopically. This means that they extract a certain amount of humidity from the air in the room. The amount of humidity absorbed depends on the relative humidity in the room, the room temperature and the material in question. Generally, it is best for your filaments if the relative humidity is as low as possible. For this purpose, it is a good idea to store your filaments trocen. To maintain consistent quality for printing, filaments should be stored at approximately 18 to 25 °C.
How we dry filaments
Drying machines or special filament dryers are suitable for drying filaments. Likewise, you could use an oven from the kitchen. However, we can’t recommend that if you use this for your kitchen as well, as fumes or drips from plastic could build up and get into your food.
In general, it is important that you do not allow your plastic material to get above the glass transition temperature to prevent deformation during drying. For example, the prusament PETG has a temperature resistance of up to approx. 68°C.
In general, you should stay about 10°C below this temperature to prevent damage to the material. Otherwise, you will not be able to use it after the drying process.
How we store the filament
After looking at many options for how to best store our filament, we finally decided to use these vacuum bags with a ZIP closure. We place particular emphasis on a simple and fast process for generating the vacuum. That is why we chose these bags, which can be evacuated with a commercial vacuum cleaner.
Thus, you protect your filaments not only against humidity but also against deposition of dust particles.
Additionally: Remove moisture from the bag
To remove the moisture from the residual air in the bag, we wanted to use so-called drying beads with a regeneration function. These even indicate the amount of moisture removed by their color. When changing from a light shade of orange to a darker shade, you can thus ensure timely replacement or regeneration. We also use small air-permeable bags for storing the dry beads.
Filament storage products video
Take a look at how we apply the methods described.
As an Amazon partner, we earn from qualified sales. Nevertheless, these links are only intended to help you make your own decision. Selection of our products used:
Conclusion: Store filament correctly
The FDM printing process should be considered as completely as possible. Every successful print also starts with the selection of the right filament. To get and also maintain the best properties for printing it is important that you take care of the care and storage of the filaments. For us, the process for storing in vacuum bags with dry beads has proven to be space-saving and ideal. Drying takes place in special filament drying boxes.
Also see what differences you can achieve after a drying process in the article on multicolor printing with PETG.