Are you experiencing any of the following 3D printing problems: 3D printer extruder clicking; 3D printer filament bubbling or hissing during printing; weak and brittle printing results?
If the answer is yes, then I would recommend you take a closer look at your 3D printer filament storage solution.
Probably the most common mistake made in the desktop 3D printing community, is not giving careful thought to 3D printer filament storage.
If you are not storing your 3D printer filament in a moisture free environment, then you are going to experience a number of 3D printing problems.
The most common of which is your 3D printer extruder clicking.
Just to clarify, unless you live in the desert, humidity creates a moisture problem pretty much everywhere.
Luckily I have some simple and cheap 3D printer filament storage solutions to share with you.
Five minutes of reading now, could save you hours of frustration in the future.
The Science – 3D Printer Filament Storage
Most 3D printer filaments, and this includes PLA and ABS, are hygroscopic. This means they absorb moisture from the air.
It is a common misconception that plastics are water resistant, which can be the case with petroleum based products, such as water bottles.
Bioplastic’s however, such as PLA, are created using biological substances such as corn starch.
Studies have shown that these types of plastics can absorb more than 5% of their weight in water.
What does this mean for your prints?
Well if your PLA or ABS has been exposed to a moist environment, it could be up to 30% weaker. This in turn could result in weak and brittle prints.
In addition to this, the absorption of moisture could cause your 3D printer filament to expand, which is a major cause of 3D printer extruder clicking or nozzle blockages.
In extreme cases, this can lead to having to change your nozzle!
Luckily, there are some cheap and simple solutions available.
Solution 1 – 3D Printer Filament Storage
It may sound obvious but only buy the 3D printer filament you need, just before you need it.
The longer you store your new 3D printer filament, the more chance it will come into contact with moisture.
Most 3D printer filament’s will arrive vacuum sealed with a silica bag inside. If you are like me you will probably rip the bag open, excited to see your new purchase.
Try to resist this temptation! Wait until you need it for printing.
Solution 2 – 3D Printer Filament Storage
For short-term storage and convenience, buy an airtight container. You can get these relatively cheap on amazon.
Also buy some silica packs, or make use of the ones which came with your 3D printer filament.
Throw the silica packs in your airtight container and remember to change them every so often.
Solution 3 – 3D Printer Filament Storage
For long-term and more effective storage, buy some vacuum seal bags. Again you can get these relatively cheap on amazon.
These bags can puncture easily with a sharp end of 3D printer filament, so I recommend you print yourself a 3D printer filament clip.
Throw in some silica bags and you’re done.
Conclusion – 3D Printer Filament Storage
Most of us have experienced the dreaded 3D printer extruder clicking.
Failed prints and blocked nozzles can be a frustrating part of your 3D printing journey.
I personally have wasted too much time and plastic dealing with these problems.
Take the time to store your 3D printer filament in a moisture free environment.
I speak from experience when I say, it will be worth the effort.
Please leave me a comment below, and let me know if this post was useful.
How do you store your 3D printer filament?