Cardboard spools vs plastic spools

I just wanted to give you all a heads up regarding the cardboard spools
I’ve inadvertently found through drying my filaments that the cardboard spools absord and retain moisture
Even though I transfer all of my filaments from the cardboard spools on to the 2 piece spools in the internal memory for my AMS my other printers are just bed slingers and it doesn’t matter (or so I thought) whether I use a cardboard or plastic spool
In hindsight this makes perfect sense that the cardboard absorbs and retains moisture which in turn will have your filaments do the same
Using my Sovol drier with 2 polymaker spools drying 1 at a time with one transfered over to the plastic 2 piece spool and the other left on the cardboard spool my drying time and humidity were significantly lower with the plastic spool compared to the cardboard spool
I’m going to be printing a few more spool holders and run all of my Polymaker or Overture spools without the cardboard
If I had the time to experiment then I’d do a few comparisons but maybe someone else that has more time to play will be able to show a test explaining what I’ve discovered
Bottom line, cardboard spools suck

Silica gel sachets absorb water. Cardboard absorbs water. Why is having one next to your filament good and the other bad?

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Silica gel evaporates water until it either gets water logged or in crystal form evaporates
Cardboard is more like a soggy sponge and doesn’t evaporate any moisture it just stores it

Actually I believe that silca gel adsorbs water.

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it sure does. Why would one use it to dry an environment, if not use its function of absorbing water. I e the question of @froboz is correct

Let me reiterate then
Silica gel absorbs moisture yes
The difference between silica and cardboard is how it retains the moisture (crystals evaporate in a tray and leave water absorbed in the bottom)
If cardboard was an acceptable use of reducing humidity then we would use it over silica
Perhaps it’s more a matter of how quickly cardboard absorbs and becomes saturated
They are 2 completely different materials and react to humidity in different ways, the only thing silica and cardboard have in common is that they both absorb moisture
After that cardboard becomes a hindrance when trying to keep materials dry
Sure you can dry cardboard out but it quickly becomes saturated again and does not store the humidity or evaporate if in crystal form like silica does
If the cardboard is not efficiently holding the collected moisture it simply spreads to the material it’s in contact with
Apples and oranges/cardboard and silica

Silica gel does not absorb water but it does adsorb water. There is a difference. Silica gel can be reused after drying. I usually keep the pouches on the bed while printing which helps reconstitute them.


I toss my silica gel in my food dehydrator to dry it out (my first half assed filament drier that actually works extremely well in comparison to my Sovol drier and my Sain smart drier)
In my filament storage tote I have a silica container that has crystals on the top and the water seperates to the bottom of the canister as the crystals disintegrate

You are confusing silica gel and calcium chloride.


Clearly you disagree with me and clearly you are more intelligent and educated than me
I’m not confused, calcium chloride and silica gel whatever, how about drying beads and drying crystals ?
I’m not trying to be the sharpest knife in the drawer here so no need to get fancy with the science about chemical makeups
I just observed on my end that in my same Sovol drier box the same brand and type of filament had vastly different drying times compared to each other with one on the cardboard spool and the other swapped to the reusable plastic spool both fresh out of the vacuum sealed package just before going in the drier
To be honest I’m sensing some animosity or ignorance in your replies
Maybe for whatever reason I have made you dislike me ?
You’re obviously a smart person with a big brain, are you not able to see that I am just trying to offer up my real world experiences on subjects rather than writing down nonsense that is assumed ?
Maybe this is too much like Facebook and like Facebook this just isn’t the place for me
For now I’m going radio silent and will simply observe even if I 100% have an answer to a question, at this point I’d rather learn than get belittled

My two cents: Silica gel retain water and will only release it into the air if you heat it a lot, while cardboard or other hygrometric/water absorber material will release water in air as soon as they dry, wich can happen at normal temperatrues 20°

EDIT : …or if air humidity is lower

Don’t take this too seriously. The ways in which these substances work are different as is the treatment of them. Silica gel can be heated to drive off the moisture and reused. I don’t think that calcium chloride works the same way.

Look on the internet to learn the difference between silica gel (a packet of which comes in the bag with every roll of filament you buy) and calcium chloride (which is what you have in your storage tote).

Then consider which is cardboard most like.

It’s because you come off as arrogant. Obviously you don’t see it but everyone else does.

Pardon me ?
Everyone else ?
So you speak for everyone on the forum then ?
Who are you ?
Just some new guy sniffing around stirring the pot
You must he some kind of 3d printing guru that knows everything
Keep your snarky replies to yourself fella
A year later and you drop a reply like that, i dont think I’m the arrogant one here
Look in the mirror and you’ll see a sadlittle man with no life that likes to cause trouble
Maybe one day you’ll bump into me in public, i can only pray that you are as ignorant and mouthy in real life

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