3D Filament Storage - Do it the right way!
When it comes to filament 3D printing enthusiasts love trying out new and interesting colour variations. As a result, we often end up with half used filament reels. Filament is hydroscopic meaning that it can soak up moisture from the air. What does this mean? Well it’s simple, your filament deteriorates in terms of quality and you’re left with poor quality prints. Not to mention the money wasted on valuable filament. To address this problem, we are going to run through our tops tips for 3D filament storage.
First of all, we suggest getting your hands on some silica gel beads. I’m guessing you have come across many of them but maybe you didn’t know. They are the small white bags filled with tiny little beads and most often found in new shoe boxes or food products. These are fantastic at absorbing moisture and will be just perfect for all of our 3D filament storage suggestions. A pack of 50 can be purchased on amazon for £2.75 HERE.
Plastic Boxes for 3D filament Storage
Plastic boxes can create a great isolated environment for filament storage. They won’t keep the air moisture free, they will however prevent any new moisture from getting in. We suggest lining the bottom of your box with silica gel packs, 4 or 5 should work just fine. They will draw out moisture from the air keeping the box nice and dry. Selecting a box size simple depends on how much filament you want to store. Obtaining transparent boxes will make it easier to see what filaments are stored where. The box storage method also has the added benefit of being easy to store as boxes can be stacked on top of one another.
Vacuum Bags for 3D filament Storage
Keeping storage simple and to a minimal cost is a key motive for many 3D hobbyists. Considering this, vacuum sealed bags are a cheap and effective method for storing your 3D filament. If you were to make a purchase from our Masterspool Refills range, they are are dispatched in a moisture free resealable foil bag. They also come with a silica gel bag included. This essentially gives you a great storage option for free.
3D enthusiasts looking to store larger amounts of filament can also purchased vacuum sealed bags on amazon for between £10 - £15. These can then be lined with Sila bead bags to reduce moisture.
To ensure that minimal moisture remains in the bag we suggest getting one with a vacuum valve. Then using a vacuum cleaner suck out all of the air, thus will create a near perfect environment for filament storage.
A challenge that we face when using plastic boxes for storage is that there is only so much moisture silica beads will remove. To solve this a dehumidifier can be purchased and placed inside the box. At a cost of £20-£30 this can be expensive however it will create the ideal environment for 3D filament storage.
For more useful 3D printing tips, check out our ‘Essential Tools for 3D Printing’ blog.