Many 3D printing materials are hygroscopic, absorbing moisture from the air. Materials, whether in the form of filament, flake, or pellets, that have absorbed too much moisture can wreak havoc on print quality, causing:
- Excessive stringing
- Bubbles/holes in printed parts
- Popping/crackling sound during extrusion
- Poor bed adhesion
- Repeated print failures
- Weak printed parts
Some materials are more moisture sensitive than others. Check the specific material recommendations on our website for more information. If your printing material has been exposed to even moderately humid air without protective measures (sealed containers, desiccant packs, etc), your print quality may be compromised. You can take measures to salvage your material by the following methods:
Using an Oven
This method is the easiest and most common way to dry out your printing material. Before using this method, verify that your oven maintains consistent and accurate temperatures. If not, you run the risk of melting your material! 6-12 hours of drying time is usually sufficient.
Use the following temperatures:
- PLA: 45°C (113°F)
- ABS: 80°C (176°F)
- Nylon: 80°C (176°F)
- PETG 65°C (149°F)
Tip: If using filament, let a bit of stick out the top of the spool. If the filament becomes soft or deformed, the temperature is too high. You may also want to corroborate the temperature of your oven with a thermometer.
Using a Food Dehydrator
Designed to operate at lower temperatures than an oven, food dehydrators are also an excellent way to dry out printing materials. They are inexpensive, easily modified, and readily available. This is the method we use in the re:3D Houston factory!
Use the above-listed temperatures (or the highest available temperature for ABS and Nylon if the settings do not reach 80°C). Drying times remain the same as above.
Using a Dedicated Commercial Filament Dryer
If you're willing to spend a bit more money for a specialized solution, several commercial filament dryers are available. These units have been designed exclusively for drying out 3D printing filament, and some of them are equipped to print directly from the dryer.