Moisture in 3D printing filaments has been a well-known issue in the industry for some time now. While many solutions have been introduced over the years to combat the problem of drying the materials, the equally important issue of dry storage, has been mostly overlooked. Many simply put together a DIY solution and hope for the best. While a simple container with some desiccants might be adequate for the average hobby 3D printer, the more avid and large-scale printing operations, such in professional print farms, businesses, 3D printing facilities, libraries and universities require a more robust solution to properly protect and maintain their expensive stock of filaments when not in use.
As a 3D filament store, we at Filaments.ca see the dry storage issue come up on a regular basis from customers as well as experience it firsthand in our own 3D printing operations. Open and partially used spools are regularly left out in the open to absorb moisture or stored away in poorly designed containers; ultimately resulting in low-quality 3D prints and wasted money spent on otherwise high-end, high-quality materials.
While different thermoplastic polymers have different rates of moisture absorption, most agree that regularly storing plastic filament in a true low moisture environment and away from UV is highly recommended and will significantly or even indefinitely extend the shelf-life of almost any type of 3D printing filament.
PolyDry: The perfect filament storage solution for the serious 3D printing operation!
Filaments.ca has developed PolyDry; an industrial grade, fully automatic storage solution suitable for short, medium- and long-term material storage with a massive interior capacity to store dozens of spools in various sizes (Can fit over 150 standard 1kg spools with even more capacity options to be released in the near future). The PolyDry unit is capable of continually and automatically maintaining a precise Relative Humidity level of as low as 3%! The built-in digital control panel allows the user to set the relative humidity level to anywhere between 3% and 50% as well as set a high humidity level alarm and open-door alarm.
The capability to reach and maintain such ultra-low humidity levels is crucial when it comes to storage and shelf-life of extremely hygroscopic materials such as Nylon, PVA, PEI and more. Common materials such as PLA, ABS, PET/G, TPU, ASA, PC or ANY other type filament for that matter will be perfectly preserved inside the unit and be readily available for use anytime. And since the PolyDry unit is airtight and dust free, open filament spools can simply be placed inside as-is without any type of resealable bag or container.
PolyDry storage system is the perfect companion to professional 3D printers; By having dry and clean materials always ready to use, operators spend less time on material handling and focus more on actual printing. With an increasing number of humidity protection solutions being integrated into 3D printers these days (such as the new Ultimaker Material Station for example), the benefit of adding a PolyDry unit to these “eco-systems” is increasingly evident. Taking a spool of filament from the PolyDry unit and directly placing it into the 3D printer’s filament/material station for printing (and vice versa), means the material is constantly being kept in an optimal low humidity environment, thus producing predictable and consistent 3D printing results.
The PolyDry unit is a completely maintenance free system, utilizing a large self rejuvenating drying unit with energy saving design, it is engineered to stay on for years at a time! Additional features include ESD safe steel construction, magnetically sealed lockable doors, large casters/wheels for easy maneuverability and adjustable/removable steel shelves to accommodate various spool sizes.
PolyDry is now available to order from the Filaments.ca official website.