How to Dry Filament for 3D Printing in 4 Ways: Easy to Grasp
Many beginners in 3D printing often make the mistake of purchasing a lot of consumables before learning proper storage. However, unless they are used very quickly, the unsealed filaments are inevitably left unused for a period of time, which can easily cause dampness, leading to printing errors and a waste of money.
If you are facing the same situation, how to dry filament is the main task. In this article, we will explain the importance of keeping filament dry and provide 4 practical and feasible methods for you to solve or prevent this problem in the following. Let's begin!
Why Properly Drying Filament Is Essential
3D printers have created a whole new world of creative printing, manifested in a variety of uses and areas of use. What plays an essential role in 3D printing is one raw material, 3D printer filament, made of plastic or metal to build the whole 3D print. But a filament left unsealed for a long time will become damp and have the following adverse effects:
- Uneven printing layer spacing: Wet filament will produce bubbles when extruded, resulting in uneven spacing between printing layers and rough printing surface.
- Imperfect printing surface: Wet filament will produce defects such as shrinkage holes and pores during extrusion.
- Deformed printing model: Damp filaments will expand when heated, causing the printed model to deform.
Therefore, it is necessary to figure out how to keep 3D printer filament dry to ensure better print quality.
How to Check a Wet Filament
The ability to identify wet filaments is necessary to avoid wasting damp filaments to make flawed 3D prints. Next, you can check whether the 3D-printed filament is wet by the following methods:
- Observe the color: A wet filament will become dull and lose its luster.
- Pull on the filament: It will become soft and easy to rupture.
- Smell the filament: There will be a musty smell on the damp filament.
- Use a drying meter: You can use a drying meter to measure the humidity of the filament. If the humidity exceeds a certain value, it means that the filament has become wet.
If you detect the filaments are wet, it’s time to be ready to dry them with the workable methods below.
How to Dry 3D Printer Filament?
In this part, we will introduce you in detail to 4 methods to solve your problem of how to dry out 3D printer filament.
Use a Filament Dryer
The first recommended method is to use a specialized filament dryer, which is a machine specially made for drying filaments of different properties. This user-friendly device helps dry filaments, thereby improving 3D printing quality. When choosing a filament dryer, you can check the following factors:
- Sufficient capacity to place your filament
- Appropriate temperature for your filament material
- Practical functions such as automatic power-off, over-temperature protection, etc.
- Affordable prices
Now, let's follow the simple tutorial in the following.
- Cut the filament into small sections to ensure they can be totally put in the dryer.
- Lay baking paper or tin foil on the tray of the filament dryer.
- Place the filaments evenly on the tray.
- Set the filament dryer temperature to the suitable temperature.
- Dry the filament. The drying time depends on the length of the filament and the temperature of the dryer.
- After drying, place the filament in a ventilated place to cool down.
Using a filament dryer is indeed useful, but it requires you to cost more. If you don't want to purchase a filament dryer, you can use an oven to dry 3D printer filaments. Similar to the filament dryer, a few things you should know in advance:
- Choose the appropriate temperature:Different types of filaments have different melting points. To prevent damage, please adjust the temperature to the optimal range. For instance, the drying temperature of PLA filament is 60-70℃, while ABS filament is 80-90℃.
- Use baking paper or foil:Lay baking paper or foil paper on the baking tray to prevent the filament from sticking to the tray.
Next, let's learn how to dry 3D printer filaments by using an oven.
- Preheat the oven to the appropriate temperature.
- Place baking paper or tin foil on the baking tray.
- Cut the filament into small pieces and place them on the baking tray.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 2-4 hours.
- Take out the baking sheet and let the filament cool naturally.
In fact, a food dryer can be used as a cheaper alternative to a filament dryer. If you have a food dryer, then you can follow the tutorial below to dry 3D printing filaments.
- Cut the 3D printer filament into small sections.
- Prepare a food dryer and set the temperature at 60-70℃.
- Line the food dryer tray with baking paper or tin foil.
- Place the filaments on baking paper or tin foil and arrange them evenly.
- Place the tray into a food dryer and dry for 2-4 hours.
- Take out the tray every 1-2 hours and check whether the filaments are dry.
- After drying, take out the filaments and place them in a ventilated place to cool.
- After cooling, the filament is ready for use.
In addition to drying wet filaments for 3D printers, you can also store them properly to prevent the filaments from getting damp and reduce the frequency of drying the wet filaments.
- Store filament in a locker, drawer, or other dry place. You can also store the filament in an airtight container to prevent moisture from the air.
- Place some moisture absorbent in the filament storage container, such as desiccant and activated carbon. Filament drying boxes or drying bags can be used as well.
- Check the filament regularly. If any sign of moisture is found on the filament, it should be dealt with promptly. You can tell whether the filament is damp by observing its color, tension, and smell.
As long as you store the filament properly and use a reliable 3D printer, you can promise the quality of your 3D prints. For an excellent 3D printer, we’d like to give you two recommendations:
- The first 3D printer we’d like to recommend isAnkerMake M5 3D Printer. It is a high-performance 3D printer with versatile capabilities. It supports a wide range of 1.75mm filaments, including PLA, PETG/PET, ABS, TPU, PLA-CF, and PETG-CF, providing flexibility for diverse printing projects. Equipped with an integrated AI camera and time-lapse video feature, it allows real-time monitoring and recording of the printing process, which is especially valuable for creators and educators. With an impressive 0.1mm precision, it ensures exceptional print detail and quality.
- AnkerMake M5C 3D Printeris another option. It is tailored for users with demanding requirements for print quality and speed. It boasts high-speed printing capabilities of up to 500mm/s, enabling rapid project completion. Offering a remarkable 0.1mm precision, it guarantees outstanding detail and quality in your prints. Additionally, it supports a wider range of materials, including PLA, PETG/PET, ABS, TPU, PLA-CF, PETG-CF, PA and PA-CF, expanding your material options for various applications. The convenience of remote control through the AnkerMake app, including one-click pause or stop functions, enhances user efficiency.
Safety Tips for Drying 3D Printing Filament
Since drying 3D printer filaments requires a relatively dry environment and high temperatures, it is prone to causing harmful gases and catching fires. Therefore, when drying 3D printing filament, please pay attention to the following safety precautions:
- Control the temperature to prevent the filament from melting.
- Pay attention to ventilation to prevent the accumulation of harmful gases in the air.
- Be careful to stay away from open flames to prevent fires.
- When using an oven or food dryer to dry the filament, it is important to control the temperature within a safe range.
- Always supervise the filament while drying it instead of leaving the filament alone in the drying device.
- After drying the filament, place the filament in a ventilated place to cool rather than place the hot filament directly in a closed space
In conclusion, drying filament is an important part of the 3D printing process. With the right techniques and tools, you can create long-lasting parts with a higher-quality finish. When it comes to drying filament for 3D printing, there are many methods available. Filament dryers, ovens, food dehydrators and proper storage are all proven successful methods that have been used successfully by various users. With so many options available, you’re sure to find a solution that works best for your needs and budget.
How long does it take PLA to dry in the dryer?
The drying time of PLA filament depends on its length and temperature. Suggest insulation at 60-70 ℃ for 2-4 hours. Short filaments take 1-2 hours, while longer filaments may take 4-6 hours. In addition, please monitor the temperature to avoid melting. If a dark color or weak pulling force occurs, it means successful drying.
Does drying filament damage it?
Properly drying 3D printing filament will not cause damage. However, if the drying temperature is too high or the drying time is too long, the filament may become deformed or become brittle.
In addition, the following are some precautions you need to read in advance about drying the 3D printer filaments.
- Do not dry the filament to its melting point
- Do not dry the filament for a long time
- After drying, please seal and store the filament properly.