Alternatives for filament storage (long term & otherwise)

Here’s the thing, within days of putting the rolls in the Ziploc vacuum bags they had lost most of their vacuum (I live in Florida, near the beach). I don’t do a lot of high-volume printing, so a spool may sit there for six to seven months before I get to it or finish it. When I had my Ender-3 the spool in use would live in the dry box until it was used up or went bad. Now the I have my P1S I’m printing more than I ever have. I’ve looked at cereal boxes (I have one in the garage that I was using before I bought my Sunlu, and it has a humidity sensor), and I will probably invest in some more after I can get the vacuum issue sorted.

I did read through those threads and a few others, but I was hoping to hear from someone that was already using one, before I went out and bought one. Thank you for your valuable insights.

I have one in the garage, with humidity sensor, that i used back when I had my Ender-3. I plan to dust it off and start using it again. I was originally using it to feed filament from, now it will be used for storage.

It depends on what you mean by storage I suppose. Some the suggestions here seem to assume you mean having all of your filament in cereal boxes with plastic tubing stick out ready to go. While that’s fine for filament in use, it’s not great for long term storage. I have the AMS which is sealed and has a cover with a UV protective coating. I also have a couple (literally two) filament driers that can be printed straight from that also have a UV protective cover on the see through side. That’s it for stuff exposed. The driers I only use to store filament I’m actively drying or using because it can’t go through, or shouldn’t go through, the AMS.

If you’re talking about storing open filament for a few weeks or months because it’s a seldom use item then that’s a whole different consideration. Those cereal box things and the cheap IKEA totes, usually modified with plastic tube outlets to print directly from, are a terrible idea.

Your first consideration is not moisture, it’s UV light. UV light destroys the filament faster than moisture does attacking it at an atomic level and altering its chemistry. Indoor lights should not be overlooked as a source of UV light either. As we have moved away from incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs many (most?) of those are full spectrum or daylight bulbs which mean they are producing the same wavelengths and light radiation as the sunlight coming in through the window. Light cooks your filament and unlike moisture you can’t even kind of undo that damage.

Moisture and dirt (dust, dander, pet hair, lint, random coffee spills, etc) are obviously your filament’s second and third enemies. Those tubes and holes for tubes that stick out of the the DIY cereal box containers and filament driers let moisture in. If the tube is currently hooked up to a printer it will be extremely minimal and not worth worrying about as the exposed end is going to be having any moisture cooked out by the hot end and then be plugged by solid plastic when it cools.

The DIY containers and filament driers not hooked up however provide a nice pathway for humidity to get at your filament. You can put silica if you like but it’s still pretty much like leaving silica next to the filament on an open shelf.

For filament not in use I store filament in these - https://www.amazon.com/IRIS-Quart-WEATHERTIGHT-Storage-Black/dp/B07R1PSNY5/ref=sr_1_3_sspa?crid=E3FF3F15FZ4U&dib=eyJ2IjoiMSJ9.gTBt5PDcU7Bx9lZ6ukL4vlg7-OVQhQcTI3kNnldFMklDVKlFuM9bBFMH2NPICAhCr8Vp17Vlr8BcpRsSow9Q09EznWxT0E6WVZmlN_MmIVZ0r-kFj8dcRuAabi5-_SQxAGe_g-dIX-z562ylwZE_G2jDAbSqsYhxTDjphhYhPsQGUipFLP6NTuKg_ycKe2K88RH4bNnrjUrSUItd_UoNzyj_7lT0l7NJpBQW1LWgntN8k8mhMkMIe07NX6girsVDjNqi5BzkQR16pBTJ2Na-bTBam1hwkp5NxhWYpVpnitM.ce3Ss8ulWzHYwRiNoD-bFYMNiQY7rfEIoTWMQPcDQN8&dib_tag=se&keywords=weathertight%2Bstorage%2Bcontainers&qid=1715255244&sprefix=weathertight%2Caps%2C69&sr=8-3-spons&sp_csd=d2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGY&th=1

It doesn’t have to be these but these particular ones are good quality and do all the jobs. They’re black all around so they block light and UV radiation. They have a seal built into the lid and six points of clamping to spread out the clamping force and keep moisture, dirt and dust out. I actually closed one up and sprayed it with a hose outside to see how weatherproof they were and not so much as a drop got in.

To these I added a couple of 3D printed silica boxes about the size of a 4" junction box filled with color changing silica to each bin. I also added temp/humidity gauges to the bins. Just the cheap round ones you can buy half a dozen for under twenty bucks for on Amazon. They take their measurements from air let in on the back side. The round ones are easiest to do deal with.

The bins I linked to, and most bins really, Have a sort of hollow spot. The bins I linked to the hollow spot on the short side in line with the handles. So if you add something there it won’t interfere with being able to put the bins on or under a shelf side by side. For the round ones, I already had one, you can go to the home store and get a hole saw the right size to make a nice neat opening for the gauge. Just get the cheapest brand they have, they’ll all cut plastic equally well for a long time. Don’t use a regular drill bit or large spade bit, you’ll explode the plastic with the forces. The hole saw will cut a nice neat hole. A quick wipe with some sandpaper will get rid of any burr on the plastic. Then you can just pop the gauge into the hole with the display facing out and seal around the outside of it with silicone to make it air and water tight again. Each of those bins will hold 18 to 24 rolls or more depending on the size of the rolls. You can’t fit enough filament in the bins for weight to be a concern.

My filament in those bins has never been above 10% humidity.

This is the area I have to work with, the two shelves on the right will be dedicated to filament storage and should be more than enough for my needs (of course I said the same thing when I bought my gun safe, it wasn’t). The rolls on the left side of the shelf (in vacuum bags) are a year old, and were still in their original, factory sealed, bags. The outer layers were somewhat brittle, so I pulled of a few layers and ran them through the drybox for a couple six-hour cycles. I have my Sunlu connected to the P1S through a “Y” splitter but have yet to see how they print after being dried. I am hoping I don’t have to throw away three full rolls of filament (I tried loading one into the AMS but it kept breaking). The Ziploc bags sold for filament storage are too large which is why I was looking at food storage bags sized to just fit the spool. As I said, I don’t do a lot of printing (I run a small laser engraving business, my P1S supports that) so I don’t want to open a spool, use a little, and have it go bad while waiting for the next time I need that color. That’s why I’m looking for a better storage system.

Some of the designs have the failing that you are noting, but not all of them. The one I’m going with allows the filament to be tucked back beneath and sealed behind the lid when not in use. There are no exposed openings.

Also, if you’re using LED bulbs from reputable manufacturers for normal interior illumination, I really doubt they are exposing you or your filaments to any meanginful amounts of UV. Daylight LED bulbs is just a reference to the color temperature in Kelvin (usually 5000K). It doesn’t mean full-spectrum.

Just as you said, now I’m getting lots and lots of 1,79 offers :joy:
Just ordered a bunch and will try them, thanks for the hint!

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