Storing 3D printing filament correctly: tips for best results
The correct storage of 3D printing filament is crucial to maintain the quality and printability of the materials over time. Here are some valuable tips to ensure filament stays in top condition.
Dryness and clean stowage are key. Depending on the material, hygroscopic properties are more pronounced (nylon) or less pronounced (PLA). Hygroscopy means that the material can absorb or release water from the environment, depending on the prevailing humidity conditions. Moist filament leads to decreased quality and printing problems. Therefore, storage in a dry place is important. A relative humidity of less than 50% is optimal. Clean storage protects against dust. If dust particles get into the nozzle, it can become clogged. After printing, the filaments should be stored in a closed place.
In a humid environment or with filaments that are sensitive to moisture, it is important to use silica gel for filament storage to absorb excess moisture and protect the filaments. Extrudr filaments are supplied in a sealed bag with silica gel. If the filament is not needed immediately for printing, it should be stored in its original packaging.
Storage at room temperature is ideal. Temperatures that are too high or too low also affect the quality of the filaments. Filaments should also be protected from light, because not every material is UV-resistant. UV radiation has an influence on the colour and quality of the products.
Filaments should be used according to the FIFO method (First In - First out). Older filament is used up first to ensure that no spool is stored for too long. If stored properly, filament can easily be stored for two years.
Following these tips will ensure that filament is always in the best condition. The right storage will lead to consistent and high quality printing results. However, if the filament becomes too wet, it can be dried. Moist filament can be recognised by the fact that it "crackles" in the nozzle, because the air bubbles evaporate. The surface quality also suffers as a result.