Store filament easy and dry - Tom's way

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Store filament easy and dry - Tom's way

Post by WilkoVehreke » Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:57 am

Toms's solution for storing and using filament:
My implementation:

If deleted my old post because of broken links.

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Re: Store filament easy and dry - Tom's way

Post by mbuc » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:57 am

I saw this the other day and was considering putting the time in to do it. How has it worked for you so far? Have you checked the moisture levels with a hygrometer?

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Re: Store filament easy and dry - Tom's way

Post by ido » Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:47 pm

Thanks for sharing. I ordered 2 of these boxes ... repen-50-l they ware already airtight.

Is it handy to also print from the container? vs storing the filament and getting the role of filament out to print with?

btw, I have 200 grams of silica in the container and its turns out green, so I am guessing there is already a lot of moisture in the air.
I am curious though about if you can over-dry the filament, to the point it becomes too fragile and breaks more easely

And I am using a (cheap) food dehydrator to dry the silica gel, works perfectly

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Re: Store filament easy and dry - Tom's way

Post by Mozella » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:46 am

I just finished two "Tom Style" dry boxes and here's what I learned.

I first tried using a cheap file storage box; however, the bottom was not well supported and it was 5 or 6 mm above the surface so that using any kind of spool holder which sits on the bottom of the box (as opposed to those which hang on the sides of the box) will result in instability. Since I wanted a quick change style box, I solved the instability problem by using a clear IRIS Letter and Legal Size WEATHERTIGHT File Box. This thing will cost between 15 and 20 bucks but it's WELL worth it. It has a built in seal which really works. When I tried to fit a seal to the cheap box, it refused to latch down properly. the IRIS box has four robust latches and a very good top seal. Plus the bottom is very sturdy.

I drew up and printed a series of roller-style spool stands using cheap skate board bearings similar to the countless designs on the Internet; however, my version is extended in length and has holes about 20mm in front of and behind the skate board bearings so that I can slide four sets of roller supports on a pair of horizontal rods to keep everything organized and aligned. Each stand has a pair of bearings and it takes two stands per filiment spool.

I used cheap 3/8" diameter hardware store aluminum rods, but any kind of rod would work. That gives me a stable unit which can hold four standard spools and keep them from rubbing on one another or on the sides of the box.

The extended nose on the roller stands keeps the spool from sliding forward and rubbing on the front face of the box which they would otherwise tend to do as the filament is pulled off the roll. The back end of the roller stand leaves an 80mm gap between the spool stand and the back face of the box. That's just enough room to hold my box of silica gel. I use a cut down eSUN filament box on edge to hold the silica gel. The open top box fits in behind the spools and acts as a spacer to keep the spool holder toward the forward part of the box. It makes it easy to change out the silica gel while keeping the spool holder assembly from sliding around too much.

I cut a hole to accept a cheap Chinese hygrometer on the front face and installed it using hot glue. It showed a relative humidity of 52% when I closed the box. The next day it was down to 18% and soon got down to 10% where it has remained steady.

I have an overhead shelf for my two dry boxes positioned over my printer and it is quite effective. I can slide the boxes left and right to align the spool I"m using with the center of the printer gantry.

Advantages include: Using roller stands for the spool holders rather than an axle-style spool holder makes it easy to swap out one spool without disturbing the others. Using two horizontal rods to organize and locate the eight roller stands (two stands per spool, four bearings per spool) makes everything nice and stable. Putting silica gel in a box makes it easy to swap it out when it becomes saturated.

Thanks to Tom for the inspiration.

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