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Why a Heated Filament Dryer is a Must-Have for 3D Printing

Aug 23,2023 | 3D4Create

One of the most frustrating issues in 3D printing is wet filament causing poor quality prints. From strands to clogged nozzles, moisture is the enemy of 3D printing success.

Heated filament dryers offer a convenient solution to banish wet filament problems for good. In this guide, we’ll cover how dryers work, why they are so important for quality prints, key features to look for, and tips to get the most out of your new dryer. Read on to make this must-have 3D printing accessory your next upgrade!

I. What is a Filament Dryer and How Does It Work?

A filament dryer is a storage device designed specifically to dry and maintain optimal moisture levels in 3D printing filament. It uses gentle heating technology to slowly remove absorbed moisture from filament spools before printing.

Inside the dryer, heating elements maintain temperatures between 30-60°C. Fans circulate air to evenly distribute heat across stored spools. The warmth drives moisture from the filament over several hours, restoring it to ideal dryness.

Quality dryers have sensors to measure moisture levels and automatically shut off when targets are reached. This prevents over-drying. The result is filament primed for the highest quality prints every time.

SUNLU S1 Plus Filament Dryer Box - Drying Filament During 3D Printing

SUNLU S1 Plus Filament Dryer Box

 

II. Problems Caused by Wet Filament

Wet filament is a serious issue that causes an array of print problems including:

  • Weak Prints and Poor Layer Adhesion – Water causes poor layer bonding and fragility in prints. Layers split apart easily.
  • Strings, Blobs, and Zits – Excess moisture creates popping and oozing during extrusion, leaving unwanted strings and blobs.
  • Clogged Nozzles and Extruder Issues – Water particles block the tiny nozzle opening and can jam the extruder.
  • Warping and Shifting – As layers don’t adhere properly, the plastic shrinks and warps during printing causing shifts.
  • Discoloration – Water reacts with plastic, causing dull, discolored prints rather than vibrant ones.

Heated drying eliminates these issues by removing absorbed liquid from filament before use.

 

IV. Key Benefits of a Heated Dryer

Unlike passive air drying, heated dryers provide complete filament drying:

  • Fully Dries Filament – Warm circulating air dries spools faster and more thoroughly than ambient air drying.
  • Restores Old Filament – Rejuvenates moisture-laden filament that has been exposed to humidity over time.
  • Prepares New Filament – Many new spools arrive slightly wet. Pre-drying optimizes all filament before printing.
  • Maintains Dryness – Keeps unused filament stored in ideal conditions between prints.

For the best print quality and performance, a heated dryer is a no-brainer upgrade.

 

V. Important Features to Look For

With different dryer models available, here are the key features to look for:

  • Fast Drying Times – Models with stronger heating elements and fans dry filament faster.
  • Adjustable Temperature – Customizable temps allow fine-tuning for different filament types.
  • Storage Capacity – Multiple spool capacity accommodates large collections of filament.
  • Reliability – Commercial dryers made for continuous operation are most durable.
  • Monitoring – Sensors that show current status and automatically shut off when dry prevent issues.
  • Portability – Compact sizes with handles offer easy transport and storage.

Top recommended dryers include the SUNLU Filament Dryer and eSUN eBox.

SUNLU S2 3D Printing Filament Dryer Box

SUNLU S2 3D Printing Filament Dryer

 

VI. Getting the Most From Your Dryer

Follow these best practices with your new dryer:

  • Proper Placement – Situate it away from humid areas like bathrooms or basements.
  • Follow Drying Guidelines – Dry filament for the recommended time based on material and amount.
  • Use Immediately – Print dried filament right away before moisture is reabsorbed.
  • Store Properly – Keep dried spools sealed in airtight bags or containers.

Don’t waste money replacing wet filament. A quality dryer saves you time, frustration, and money in the long run.

 

VII. Conclusion

Wet filament and resulting print issues can quickly suck the joy from 3D printing. A quality heated filament dryer eliminates headaches by actively drying and storing plastic optimally. For anyone serious about 3D printing, a dryer is a must-have accessory that pays for itself in no time. Bring your prints from damp to dazzling with perfectly dry filament!

 

FAQS:

1. Why is a filament dryer necessary for 3D printing?

A filament dryer is critical because printing with wet filament causes major issues like weak prints, warping, clogging, and poor layer adhesion. By actively drying filament, a heated dryer prevents moisture-related print problems.

2. How does a filament dryer work?

Filament dryers use gentle heat (30°C-60°C) and constant air circulation to remove absorbed moisture from filament spools over several hours. Sensors monitor moisture levels and automatically shut off when target dryness is achieved.

3. What features should you look for in a 3D printer filament dryer?

Key features to look for are fast dry times, adjustable temperature control, high capacity for multiple spools, reliability for continuous use, built-in sensors, and portability. High-end dryers optimize active drying.

See Also:

5 Best Ways for 3D Printer Filament Storage

How to Dry PLA Filament: 5 Easy Fixes For Wet Plastic

Can 3D Printer Filament Go Bad?

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