17th Century Strongbox, German, possibly Nuremberg. NY Metropolitan Museum of Art

The best way to store 3d printing filament

If you’ve done much 3d printing, you’ve probably noticed occasional bubbles in your print. Many 3d filaments absorb water from the air, causing the plastic to bubble as it extrudes from the hot end of the printer.

This Rep Rage blog post describes the problem in more detail: PLA filament in particular can absorb water from the air in a matter of days, causing trouble for both your printer and your prints.

After a little research I’ve settled on the following recipe for keeping my filament dry: keep the filament reels in a watertight box with some desiccant. The two products I use are:

  • Ziploc WeatherShield 44 Quart Storage Box. It’s nicely watertight, has room for at least 5 reels plus the desiccant, and is clear so you can see what filament is inside.
  • An Eva-dry E-333 Renewable Mini Dehumidifier. It’s easy to recharge. Keep the dehumidifier in the box with the filament reels until its beads change color from orange to green, then take the dehumidifier out and plug it into the wall until the beads change back to orange. Then it’s as good as new, and you put it back into the box with the filament.

I haven’t been bothered by moisture in my filament ever since I started storing filament this way. I hope you have the same success!

Featured Image: Strongbox, late 16th or early 17th century German, possibly Nuremberg. Courtesy of the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.