Important: Store your filament properly!

3D printer users need to know how to store filament properly, especially in hot and humid climates like Dar es Salaam and Mombasa. If you don’t store your filament properly, you can easily lose the entire roll in just a few rainy days.

Humidity causes poor prints

We recently visited a customer who had been successfully printing with their Ultimaker printer, but the prints had then started to go down-hill – they became grainy and after a few layers the filament stopped flowing.

We inspected the printer and found that the feeder was working fine, there were no filament tangles and the nozzle was not clogged. We asked how they had been storing the filament and it turned out they were leaving it on the printer, which led to it becoming brittle by absorbing humidity from the air (coast regions can easily reach over 70% humidity). When we bent the filament, it snapped immediately, and it was bubbling while it was printing – missing layers completely.

We then opened a new roll of Innofil3D PLA and tried printing with that…and voila, it printed perfectly! The issue was due to the filament absorbing humidity. Our customer will attempt to salvage the first roll by ‘baking’ it in the oven at ~45C to attempt to dry it out, but it may be lost this time.

filament
Test print with newly opened filament – no bubbling!

How to store filament properly

We strongly recommend removing the filament after EVERY use. This is how to store filament properly:

  1. Put the roll inside a zip bag
  2. Add a desiccant such as silica gel (large silica gel bags are available to buy from us)
  3. Zip up the bag
  4. Store inside a plastic container
  5. Regularly dry out the silica gel bags in an over

 

Wet versus dry filament

Here’s a video showing how brittle the old wet PLA filament is versus the new dry PLA filament:

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