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3d - Printworx

diy filament dryer

Started by shawdreamer, Monday,June 11, 2018, 20:01:08

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made this thread simply because I didnt want to keep filling Hozza's topic with all my posts and due to the fact that the little "on a whim" project actually became a full blown and actually surprisingly productive project :shrug:.

Anyone who spent any lengthy amount of time 3d printing will have eventually came across the dreaded "moisture effected filament" problem, In my case it often only occurs with Petg as my workroom is such a relatively dry environment its rare that I see similar issues with ABS or PLA, Petg though is renown for its ability to soak up even the most minor moisture in the air, If global warming ever gets to the point were we suffer sudden ocean level rising.... just lash a couple of dozens rolls of petg in the nearest sea and bobs your uncle, problem solved :huh


to stave off the aforementioned petg sponge effect I generally keep my rolls sealed in a large storage tub with a handful of silica gel sachets which works well enough for short term storage and IF the filament is more or less still in its original dry state.

however a recent purchased roll has proven to make all previous petg rolls seem positively arid in behavior... this stuff soaks up water like its been left in a bathtub full, ceased to be usable after only 4 days even though it was kept covered and more or less sealed away.

Hozza himself recently purchased a solution to such cases himself (please see his thread for details)

but it got me to thinking about whether I could come up with my own version..... and so here we are.

Ill dive straight in,

you'll need :-

1x 200x200 heatbed (a old mk2a/b will do nicely and can be found for under a tenner)

1x sealable tub (big enough for the heatbed to sit in the bottom)

1x 12v thermostatic control board (there a fair few different ones available but I have two I tend to use)

basically very simlar boards but the second is slightly smaller :rolleyes:

1x 12v fan (a 92mm pc case fan works just fine)

now heres how the thermo board is wired to power and the heatbed...

both the boards I listed use their own thermistor sensor probes which can be kapton taped to the underside centre of the heatbed

you can either leave the boards bare and dont bother encasing them (theres very little chance of shorting them out barring chucking a load of water over them) or you can enclose them for a more clean finish (Ill add links to the two versions of enclosures Ive made for both of these board, very easy to print off)

youll want to put a "just big enough" hole in the side of the tub to thread the heatbeds feed wires out and the control boards thermistor probe wires in.

then you can wire it all up and fasten the controller to the side of the tub (if youve used one of my enclosures that is) or simply double sided foam tape it to the tubs side for that "I was gonna do it properly but then I realised I couldnt be arsed" look ~~

now you can slot some feet on each corner of the heatbed (agian Ill supply a simple printable design) and put it in the bottom of the tub.

with a suitable power supply your pretty much done (I just used a old ATX psu I had knocking about which obviously supplys enough volts but also enough amps)

one last thing to do is cut a 90mm hole in the tubs top and slot your pc fan in there, with it wired into the same 12v feed the board runs on the fan will kick in when the heatbed starts to heat which inturn draws the warm air up from the tubs bottom, over the filament roll inside and out through the top... carrying that nasty moisture as it go's (drill a couple of holes in the tubs base to aid air passage upwards)

All thats left to do is lash your troublesome filament roll into the tup, slap on the lid, power the board and set your temp (I recommend 70c for 6hrs for petg)

easy right?

Gaza (iirc) also mentioned it'd be handy if you could use the dryer as you print which tbh makes quite a bit of sense, firstly the roll would rotate inside the dryer (as the extruder pulls it on) which aids drying generally, secondly it also means that layers beneath the top strand of filament that might not have got a good dose of drying will get there share.

It also means when your not using your petg its still relatively safe and sealed still inside the tub were that nasty nasty moisture cant creep back in so easily (additionally you can leave the silica gels sachets that come with rolls in the tub too and the dryer when on will serve to somewhat refresh them when on and the gel will help stave of moisture when its off)

simple way to do this is to just drill a appropriate sized hole in the side of the tub and screw in a ptfe tube coupler, slot in a length of ptfe tube and feed the filament inside out through it and off to your printer.

promised STL files :-
large board enclosure -
smaller board enclosure -
heatbed feet -

all pretty simple print jobs which shouldnt be a struggle to do.

Ill leave you with some build and results pics...

before drying...

after drying...

and so it can be used during a print run...

spool holder STL -
you'll need a 8mm bolt and nut and one f608ZZ bearing oh and dont print it out of anything with a lower glass temp than ABS or you'll be getting a very wobbly holder as your dryer heats up :laugh:

Ive probably forgot other details but feel free to give me a shout if there's anything your need to ask ~~
Geeetech Prusa i3 pro-B (ABS Workhorse)
Pultur Prusa (my own design)
Poltur XL (my own "MUST BE BIGGER" design)
Poltur XL v.2 (my own "MUST BE BIGGER STILL, MUST USE EXTRUSION" design)

Bad Raven

Thanks for step by step info!  I will def go this way, but there are a few things to do in line I MUST complete before that, like the Mag flex plate bed on the Fab II!  (And its now June onward mainstream flying time of year, and I have two planes to complete).
HobbyKing Fabrikator II Mini, 100x100x100. (a re-badged Malyan) - Modded with magnetic Flex Bed.
Original Prusa i3 Mk3 (All Black).
Anycubic Photon S  (Resin/UV).


Makibox (sold)
i3 custom build (sold)
Smartcore (sold)
Kossel XL Duet3D based, with Flex3drive (working)
HEVO Hybrid (worlds slowest build)
Kossel Mini Duet3D based, with Flex3drive (working)
Geeetech A10M (sold)