3D Printer Filament Dry Box - Keep Humidity Low

Nifty

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Ok, I'm posting some info about the drybox I built for my filament.

I don't burn through my filament quickly like some of you other guys do, and I definitely noticed some of my filament was getting brittle... one of the signs of humidity problems.

Here's the final (mostly) project with two full-sized spools:

box1.jpg


Parts / Things I Used:

A few things:
  1. I don't swap filament often, so I thought I'd just have one bowden exit hole in the middle of the box for both spools to use (I'd just open the lid and swap the lines). It works fine in the middle, but now I wish I had just done two holes so when I do end up opening the box, I don't let a bunch of new humid air into the box.
  2. I had problems with the filament feeding freely through the box into the extruder. It was causing all kinds of problems like this. It was some combination of friction through the exit port, through the bowden tube, but I think mostly the way the filament was wound / unwound and how I loaded it into the extruder. I've replaced the long bowden tube with just a small piece, and am now way more careful about how the line feeds direct into the extruder without any weird kinks or bends
  3. I've got a dial hygrometer to keep an eye on humitidy, but I'm going to add a digital one soon. I simply poured in about 3 cups of desiccant and am keeping an eye on the color change and also the hygrometer. So far, the dial stays at almost zero and after 4 days I'm not seeing much change in the color of the desiccant beads. (in the pic you can see the humidity level in the box (around 5%) and outside the box (56%).


box5.jpg box2.jpg box3.jpg box6.jpgbox7.jpg
 

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The Hat

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@Nifty your set up looks very neat and tidy, :thumbsup but in this photo here,
it shows clearly that you’re going to need a second filament outlet for the other reel to run smoothly, my paint buckets are nowhere near as impressive looking as this... :(
 

stratman

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Nice work, Rob! I can see why you'd want another filament outlet for smoothest filament flow.

Where is the desiccant?
 

Nifty

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it shows clearly that you’re going to need a second filament outlet
The setup works surprisingly well with either spool feeding through the center. That said, I do think I'm going to have to remove that one, seal it off, and add two more... but that assumes that I'll be switching colors from time to time... which I may not end up doing. So, for now, I'm just printing one color and seeing how this config works, and if I find I want to swap colors more often, I'll do the modifications.

Where is the desiccant?
Here you go (dry box to the right, and my control desiccant to the left... an open bottle):
box8.jpg
 

stratman

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dry box to the right, and my control desiccant to the left... an open bottle
Nice color shift. Even I could not miss it. :ep
 

The Hat

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Where is the desiccant?
The one thing that struck me about using these containers is your filament reel must be moisture free before you begin to use it, because desiccant can’t dry the moisture out of an already effected reel, so only use straight out of the plastic bag, unless you can bake the filament at 160 c for a couple of hours...
I might invest in one of these Airtight Food Storage Containers, because they can hold two working reels..
 

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The Hat

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@Nifty, It looks like you have gotten everything sorted out neatly...
Happy Printing big guy...... :thumbsup
 

Nifty

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Thanks!

I'm actually really impressed that it looks like my box is doing a great job keeping the moisture out. The humidity is still around 0% and my desiccant hasn't changed color any more than the top level of beads from the first day.

I'm going to hold off on opening it up to replace the one port with two ports. I'll post whenever I end up doing that project :)
 

The Hat

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My paint bucket idea is working great, but my second bucket didn’t go well, because the lid was not a good match and it wasn’t airtight, the only complaint I have is I can’t see how much filament is left on the reel...:eek:

I'm planning to invest in a proper transparent airtight box, very soon...:D
 

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