Alternatives for filament storage (long term & otherwise)

I’ve been looking into other options for sealing my filament spools. So far, I’ve tried two different brands of filament vacuum bags (and ended up with two different vacuums, the second one is pathetic) and neither one holds a vacuum for long. I’m currently looking at the systems that are used for food storage (and destined for the freezer). I like the idea of heat sealing the ends, with no possibility of air leaking back through the cap or zip-lock openings. Also, if you leave the bag long enough you can open and then reseal it. It appears that the widest rolls come in 11" width (by 10’ to 20’ long) which I think would be wide enough to get a filament spool into. Has anyone tried this? I did a quick search on the forum but I didn’t really find anything addressing the use of food storage systems. This is the machine I’m thinking of. Any thoughts?

I use these, precut batch of 100 and they’re fine. Just use the normal sealer set to mild so it doesn’t suck the living daylights out of the coil. The trick is not to vac the bag totally as it’ll distort the spool, I use a desiccant wedge with 40g of desiccant to deal with whatever moisture is left in the space inside the bag and haven’t looked back. I get two to three uses out of each bag (cut and resealing loses about an inch of bag) The bags are 30cm wide (12in) and fit snugly, I’m unsure 11in would be wide enough?

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B08CJDBVS3?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Thanks for the tip. I just tried putting a spool (still in its factory vacu-bag) in a 1-gal Ziploc bag, and it went in without a struggle. The bag measures 10.5" (give or take) across, so I think the 11" roll of bag material should work out fine. What brand machine are you using? I looked on Amazon and those bags are unavailable here. I’ll either have to get an 11" roll or go searching for bags that are 11" wide and a bit longer, say 16" or 20". The Ziploc bag looks wider than it is, I think they call that parallax.

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All is good then, I contemplated the rolls but grabbed the bags cause I’m lazy :slight_smile:

I was doing bags but it became a hassle so I went with the cereal storage setup. Then I can pop one out when I need it and put it back when done.

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Using the same system and it works great for me as well.

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Me too, but I don’t have those fancy shelves. :blush: My TPU spools in the cereal cases have rollers so I can feed directly from the case*.

(*When I get my side shelf finished. Until then, I pull them out and hang the spool on the side bracket.)

It is provably a short-term solution. How long are you planning to store it for?

Anyway, there was extensive discussion on this topic earlier:

I wonder why you would want a perfectly vacuumed bag for filaments. Some air remaining in the bag doesn’t contain much water so the bag of desiccant should easily deal with it. For long term storage, the bigger problem might be water diffusing through the plastic and slowly saturating the desiccant without notice. That is why more delicate items like electronics components are always shipped in a bag that is coated with aluminum to be really water proof.
Probably the cereal boxes keep out the water better than the vacuum bags because of thicker walls.

I too use vacuum bags because I’m very space constrained. But I just remove enough air so that the bags fit in the original boxes.

For electronics parts, they always include indicator cards with 5%, 10% and 50% fields that turn from blue to pink if humidity is higher. I grabbed a few at work and put them into the bags, so I can check without opening if humidity is still ok .
Actually I trust those cards much more than the cheap hygrometers which don’t go below 10% and often are completely off.
But there are also many low quality indicator cards. One type was included with the bags and went straight to waste.
I’m still searching for a good source to buy the good stuff directly.

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FWIW, on Aliexpress you can buy bluetooth TH sensors with LCD displays for $1.79 (or $1.50 with no LCD display). They cover the full range 0-100%, +/- 5%, They are also easily calibrated using a phone app. I recently purchased some Dry & Dry indicator cards on amazon, and they do work and are maybe 30 cents each, but I ended up liking the wireless sensors just a whole lot more than the indicator cards. Some people prefer zigbee, and those cost $1-$2 more per sensor.

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That sounds super cool, I need those! Can you connect several at a time and give them names in the app?

Do you have a link? I didn’t find it.

Yes. Up to 200 sensor nodes, if I’m not mistaken. You can also get gateways, so your phone doesn’t even need to be in range, and you can spread the gateways around if you want better coverage… All the data can be automatically uploaded to the cloud for free and stored there for two years for free and graphed, etc. If you don’t want that, then go the zigbee route and you can upload it yourself to home assistant using zigbee2mqtt, and then you maintain full control. I’m not sure whether bluetooth is locked down or whether it is also easily imported into home assistant via mqtt. At the moment I’m using the cloud method, because setup is very easy and intuitive.

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Link to what? It’s just the tuya app.

The one caveat I’ll mention is that I’m not sure how long the battery life is on the sensors that are powered by a single CR2032. I have the tools needed to measure the current draw and figure that out, but I haven’t done the measurements as yet. There are sensors though that run on 2 or 3 AAA batteries, and it’s advertised that those last at least 500 days between battery changes. Alternatively, you could wire your own dummy CR2032 and power it with AAA’s or AA’s or whatever.

If you meant Home Assistant, it’s open source software and can be found on github.

The sensors. I did find some but they are more in the range of 8-12 bucks for one.

I use this pump (and bags) to seal each roll:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CD2MWB1X/

then I put 4 to 5 rolls in these air tight ammo boxes with the Dry & Dry color changing beads:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01CNP4HOY/

Last year my A/C died and it was in the middle of the Florida summer so I couldn’t get it replaced for almost a week. The humidity was off the charts in my house but all the filament stayed safe, sound and dry :slightly_smiling_face:

Prices are in constant flux and vary nearly day-to-day, so it can take a little bit of searching. I’ll take a look now and see if I can find you a worthwhile link.

Well, here’s one that’s near the ballpark:
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256806650881663.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller.214.68835f98aByveQ&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller&scm=1007.40000.326746.0&scm_id=1007.40000.326746.0&scm-url=1007.40000.326746.0&pvid=c12e3c7a-e43f-48cb-8632-8b042f464af6&_t=gps-id:pcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller,scm-url:1007.40000.326746.0,pvid:c12e3c7a-e43f-48cb-8632-8b042f464af6,tpp_buckets:668%232846%238111%23423&pdp_npi=4%40dis!USD!8.15!2.67!!!58.56!19.15!%402101e9ec17152525935181016efd2e!12000038464321872!rec!US!726672273!&utparam-url=scene%3ApcDetailBottomMoreOtherSeller|query_from%3A

If you start with that and continue scrolling down, you may find it for $1.79 . Or, it’s possible that price only arises at the beginning of the month, when aliexpress does it’s “choice” days. If that’s the case, you could wait until the start of June and it would probably come back then.

Once the aliexpress algorithm notices what you’re looking for, it will start peppering you with more and more offers from different vendors, with a wide range of prices. Eventually the prices get pretty low. Some kind of price skimming seems to be built in, so the lowest prices usually don’t show up first. Maybe it’s somewhat akin to a reverse dutch auction. Look for the offers that include free shipping for orders over $10. It still holds even if the orders come from different vendors. The cool part about that is that it’s aliexpress itself who collects the products and ships it, so the shipping is a lot faster than the usual drag-their-feet aliexpress vendors. It seems that aliexpress is trying to ape the temu shipping model.

Well, hope that helps. Good luck!

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