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Monthly Archives - April 2021

How to Keep Your 3D Printer Filament Safe?

3D printing filaments are very important for printing parts you want to create. Which is why, keeping them safe should be your first priority. Without the 3D printer filament, your 3D printed cannot work. It needs proper filaments to create the parts or pieces. And, if the filaments are damaged in some way or have lost their quality, it will affect the end results.

Storing, and maintaining 3D filaments is very important for various reasons. Keeping them safe from elements will make them last longer and help you print high-quality 3D prints.

What are 3D Printer Filaments?

3D printer filaments are thermoplastic that is used for printing 3D parts. They come in different thickness and colors. Usually, you will find filaments in two diameters - 1.75 mm and 2.85 mm.

 The filaments are created by making the thermoplastic go through the process of heating, extruding and then cooling to create filament that you see as a finished product. The original filaments are clear or transparent in color. Pigments are added to it later to make them in different colors. The diameter of the filament is result of the process of heating, force and speed applied during the extruding process.

You can buy 3D printing filaments in various colors to create parts for purposes like projects, creative pieces, jewelry and more.

Why your 3D Printer Filaments need Protection?

Even though the filaments are plastics, it can still absorb the moisture present in the air. 3D printing filaments are hygroscopic, which means they are prone to attract moisture. Which is why you need to keep them safe from water and moisture from the air. Not just that, exposure to heat can also damage its structural integrity making it less than efficient for 3D printing needs.

Here are some of the reasons why you need to protect your 3D printer filaments:

  • Brittleness – exposure to moisture can result in increase in the brittleness of the filament and make them unsuitable for the printing job
  • Degradation – Filaments can degrade if they are left out in the open, exposed to elements. You won’t be able to use it again.
  •  Filament bubbling – This can happen when there is moisture presence in the filaments. It can cause bubbling while printing and will make your prints look bad.
  • Steam coming out the hot-end – If moisture is present in the filaments, steam will come out at the hot-end. This is not good for 3D printing.
  • More heat is needed for extrusion – If your 3D printing filament is damaged by moisture exposure, more heat will be required to during the extrusion and the end results will not be as good.
  • Broken filament – Improper filament storage can lead to broken filaments which will eventually affect the quality of the prints.

These are some of the things that can happen when you don’t store your filaments well.

How to Store the filaments to Keep Them Safe

Storing your 3D filaments, the right way can help you make them last longer. You can keep them safe from all sorts of dangers like moisture, heat (when its not needed), mildew and other things. There are some simple but effective ways to keep your 3D printer filaments safe, here they are:

  • Use Vacuum Bags

They are not Ziploc bags. Vacuum bags are designed to keep moisture away by keeping the air away. Vacuum-sealed bags are one of the best places to keep the filaments. They are used for keeping clothes to save space as they suck out the air from the bags. This works wonderfully for the 3D printing filaments. You can easily keep them safe in vacuum-sealed bags and take them out when you need them.

  • Airtight Containers

Have airtight containers lying around your house? Use them to store your 3D printer filaments. It will keep the air out from the container and protect the filaments from the moisture damage. It is important that you use high-quality storage containers to store your filaments safely so that they can last for a long time.

  • Use Silica Gel

Silica gel pads will absorb the moisture from the surrounding and protect your filaments from damage. You can put the gel pads inside the containers and make sure to replace them so that the filaments can last for a long time. This is probably the easiest and the most affordable way to protect your filaments from moisture damage.

The Bottom-line

3D printing filaments must be stored properly to make them last for a long time. Moisture and heat can make them unsuitable for printing, which is why you need to store them somewhere safe like in airtight containers and vacuum-sealed bags.

Makeshaper.com is your one-stop destination for buying high-quality and affordable 3D printing filaments online. We have a huge collection of 3D printing filaments in different diameters and colors to meet your 3D printing needs. Email us at makeshaper@villageplastics.com or give us a call at (330) 753-0100

Is your 3D Filaments Wet? Here is how you can Dry Them

All 3D printing filaments are hygroscopic, which means they will absorb moisture. Which means it can ruin your 3D prints. Which is you should always protect them from moisture present in the air. And, never let accidents happen where it falls in water. In short, keep them away safely somewhere moisture cannot find them.

But not everything goes as per the plants. If you left your 3D printer filament lying around accidently and it has absorbed moisture, you can still use it. Buying cheap 3D printer filament is of no use if you cannot use them due to the moisture damage. Luckily, there are some great ways you can bring back the efficiency and ability of the filament back.

What is Moisture Damage?

Even though the filaments are made of thermoplastic, they are hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from the surrounding. Once the filaments absorb the moisture, they will become less efficient and unsuitable for use.

Moisture in the filament can cause of issues, such as:

  • Reduced strength and durability
  • Difficulty printing the parts
  • Cracking of the filament while printing
  • Bubbling and oozing of the filaments at the hot-end

Moisture can make 3D filaments unsuitable for printing 3D parts. Uneven extrusion will make the end product look uneven and less than perfect.

Can you Use the Filament that is wet now?

Yes, you can. If your filaments are wet, which means it has absorbed moisture, you can dry them to use them again. There are various methods you can use to make the filaments dry again. Make sure that your filaments haven’t suffered the damage for too long as it will be difficult to make them work again.

At the same time, make sure that you quickly dry the filaments as soon as they get wet from moisture content to preserve its quality.

Read more: 6 Absolutely Fun 3D Printing Ideas for Beginners

How to Dry the Wet 3D Printing Filaments?

There are many different ways you can use to dry the 3D printer filaments and it will not cost you much. But make sure that you always buy the best quality filaments in the first place.

Here are some of the best ways to dry your 3D printing filaments:

  • Use Filament Dryer

Yes, such device does exist that allows you to dry your filaments. Moisture damage of filament is not a new thing. Sometimes, you can do all the right things, yet you can end up with a wet filament. Which is why things like filament dryers exists. It can help you keep the filaments dry in no time.

There are many types of filament dryers but they more or less work the same way. what you have to do is put your filament spool inside the dryer and set the timer as per the use and let it do its job. When you take the filaments out, you will have dry and efficient filament, ready for printing.

  • Use the Oven

This is probably the cheapest way to dry the filaments. Everyone has an oven at home or you can borrow from someone. It’s easy and less time taking. All you have to do is put the spool inside the oven and set the temperature less than its melting point. In 4 to 6 hours, your filaments will be dry and ready for printing.

Make sure to pre-heat the oven before placing the filaments inside it. Also, make sure that the oven is capable of staying in the set temperature to avoid risking the melting of the filaments. Check the manual and see if it can hold the temperature for that long. The last thing you need is your filament spools melting or getting stuck together.

Also Read: 3D Printing and Medical Sector: How have things changed in the healthcare front?

  • Use Food Dehydrators

Food dehydrators are one of the best ways to make your filaments dry and efficient. They are designed to work at lower temperature, which means they are safer than the ovens. They are a low-cost solution for drying the filaments. You can easily find them online. They come in layers, which is helpful if you want to use multiple filaments at the same time. You can use filaments like PLA and ABS for drying them in food dehydrator.

But nothing beats proper storage of the filaments. Make sure you are storing them in airtight containers and vacuum-sealed bags. They are designed to prevent moisture from entering then container. This will keep your filaments safe and secure from the moisture damage.

The Bottom-line

These are some of the best ways to dry filaments so that they can be used once again. These methods are easy, effective and budget-friendly. Proper storage is the key here, so make sure that you properly store the filaments so that they can last for a long time.

Makeshaper.com offers high-quality cheap 3D printer filament online at the most amazing prices online. We have a wide range of 3D printing filaments, such as PETG filament, ABS filament, PVA filament, PLA filament, HIPS filament and more. Email us at makeshaper@villageplastics.com or give us a call at (330) 753-0100