Keep 3D Materials Dry!
Have you tried tweaking your 3D-printer for better results?
More retraction, less heat or increased acceleration. Do you get rough surfaces with a lot of stringing and oozing or even clogs in the heat break or nozzle? Hours of troubleshooting and messed up prints can all be avoided – simply by drying your filament.
All filaments are hygroscopic, meaning that they absorb moisture from the surrounding environment which results in a degradation of the material. Especially PETG, TPU and Nylon quickly absorb moisture that will heavily reduce print quality and strength. Even PLA absorbs moisture over time and will benefit greatly from being dried.
How to avoid 3D-printing clogs
Fiber filled filaments are often more hygroscopic than regular filaments. They can swell a great deal, changing the diameter which could in the end lead to a clog. This is more pronounced for bowden style printers without dual extrusion gears. A Bondtech style extruder with direct drive is always a good investment that will help reduce these issues a great deal.
Moisture sensitive filaments
Especially TPU, Nylon and PETG on add:north are all troublesome filaments to print when they are moist.
Typical signs of moisture in PETG are increased stringing, oozing and weak prints. Carbon fiber filled PETG like our Rigid X could also lead to clogs when it’s too moist, increasing the diameter of the filament.
Moist Nylon is often fairly easy to spot because of the popping sound it makes, coming out of the nozzle. Other signs are under extrusion and weak prints.
The properties of TPU when it’s moist is similar to Nylon, with popping sounds and under extrusion which results in rough surfaces and poor quality prints.
Keep the filaments dry!
It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that to majorly improve your print quality. So before you tune your printer, tear your hair off or swear at the printing gods, here are a few simple rules to live by when it comes to successful 3D-printing.
Always store the filament when it’s not in use in the resealable bag with the included desiccant.
If you get unsatisfying print results – the first thing you should do before anything else is to dry the filament and reprint your object. (If you still have problems, then you can look at tuning your profiles or printer for better results.)
If the filament is moist, dry it for 5-6 hours in a suitable dryer. Some get great results with a modified food dehydrator. Look out for using a conventional oven because it’s hard to really regulate such a low temperature and you’ll risk melting the filament instead of just drying it.
We have gotten excellent results using the FilaDryer S2 from SUNLU. If you should get only one tool/gadget for your 3D-printer, the FilaDryer S2 is it. Easily set the correct temperature and time using the programmed presets. It also works great for Nylon that needs to be constantly dried while printing. The FilaDryer S2 is an affordable and good option if you compare the functions and properties of various filament dryers out there.