Preserve your Filaments!

October 18, 2016 | 01:14
PrintDry in use
PrintDry in use
Practical – useful – indispensible. Many of the problems encountered with 3D printers, particularly those used in a nonprofessional setup, can be put down to excessive moisture in the plastic filament material.  PrintDry is a specially designed filament dryer which guarantees improved results at relatively low cost.

A 3D printer used in either a hobby or lab environment would typically not be used every day. The filament material is hydroscopic and if it’s stored in less than ideal conditions will produce unsatisfactory results largely related to its absorption of moisture from the atmosphere. The stored water changes the physical properties of the plastic and influences the melting and flow process during extrusion. Moisture content of the raw materials used for industrial injection moulding machines and extruders is always carefully controlled.
Moisture-related printing problems.

It’s therefore important to control the filament moisture content if the printer is not in regular use. You could try baking it in an oven but the plastic is temperature sensitive so it’s difficult to achieve consistent results. Much better is to use a small dryer unit specially designed for the task.  The start-up PrintDry has developed a dryer unit also called PrintDry for precisely this purpose and they have launched it for crowd funding on Kickstarter. The dryer has a retail price of 99 Canadian dollars for the 220 V version which seems quite reasonable. The 9,900 Canadian dollar funding target is expected to be exceeded many times over in the remaining days of the campaign. Sounds like an ideal Christmas present for anyone you know who has a 3D printer; PrintDry are expecting to ship the first examples before Christmas.
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