How are people keeping their filament dry?

To provide context for this post, I have no 3D printing equipment or experience but am looking to purchase. I live in the humid Caribbean and with A/C on 24/7/365, indoor relative humidity is 50%.

The A1 is an interesting proposition, but for infrequent use, having moist filament gives me pause concerning purchasing the combo A1 + AMS. Creating an enclosure for the entire AMS seems a bit daunting as an after the fact project, so how are people dealing with moist filament? Storing filament in a controlled environment away from the AMS defeats the purpose of having the AMS.

I ran across this video that has a general purpose filament storage solution that keeps the product dry and allows for its use.

Do current users see this as a possible viable option to the AMS? As a welder, I could weld up a superstructure above the A1 to hold as many of these gadgets as I like saving desktop real estate.

What say you?

I use plasticbags and a 30g Container. Vaccum added to IT.:grin:

If you have the AMS, then you’re not getting a convenient full benefit from it by loading and unloading filament as needed. If you don’t have the AMS, then your storage mechanism makes sense to me and is what I had considered before I stumbled upon the video I mentioned. I like that guy’s solution for its sophistication and the thinking that went into the project.

Are you an infrequent user of the system or do you output quantity that makes storage lesser of an issue since filament gets consumed quickly?

In an AMS you can store 4 Spools.

The Rest hast to be stored outside. So i use bags and small Containers for the Rest.

Use PrintDry it gets up to 85 C

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I guess it’s true - you learn something new every day. I had to Google PrintDry since I never heard of it.

What about the efficacy of having an AMS that’s just hung out in humid air? By time an infrequent user gets around to printing, the spool is damp. I’m having a conceptual issue with this gadget and the need for dry filament for accurate printing. How are people with infrequent needs handling this issue with this combo setup?

The unloading, storing to dehumidify, loading and then printing seems cumbersome for people that will only print occasionally. I suspect that’s the audience the A1 is aimed at - infrequent users. For people that primarily print a project from one spool, but want the flexibility of multi spool printing, the drying issue seems to be an objection for purchasing the combo.

The AMS IS a Drybox. It is closed and has dehumidifier in it.and IT IS nearly airtight. I have below 10% in IT

This thread is posted in the A1 mini forum…

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Funny. OK. Nö Problem. Sad, the in Themes It IS notgood to See in “Themes” on my mobile. Sorry

This is the A1 Mini section and the AMS for it is not a sealed unit; it’s hung out in room air which for me is 50% relative humidity.

Now I better understand your posts. You were talking about the other, sealed AMS that is paired with the non A1 mini machines.

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Dear IslandBill,

If I remember correctly, the gentleman on this YouTube video is from Australia - I don’t know the video, but he once published something about additional temperature monitoring on 3D printers… I don’t think Australia struggles with high humidity outside of the rainy season - but that’s just a guess.

In a Zones where you have 50% humidity even with aircon? Does a washed T-shirt need more than 2 days to dry outside? How much humidity do you have outside? If you retire in a low-income area, keep this in mind:

A good Vacuum sealer is very appropriate for a Lower-income regions. Training people to handle food with good Vacuum sealer is something really useful which also supports the local population much more than a 3D printer, will handling your fillament as well. And as you may know, more usfull is also a bigger income thure the device. But a good vacuum sealer costs at least half as much as the A1, the vacuum bags are cheap, but you have to look for good ones which get the job done. Unfortunately, good Vacuum sealer are very rare in low-income zones and they actually need them even more urgently due to the lack of cooling devices but they are very unknown. Because they are simply not affordable for the normal household.

Well, as a welder you have learned how to keep things dry and how to get them dry again, especially with basic electrodes that search for any moisture and is one of the main threats for component failure. In general, is not advisebel using the kitchen oven because they are not suitable for 24/7 operation and you don’t want what comes out in your next cake.

In any case, in regions with high humidity you will not be able to avoid tools with higher energy requirements to afoide moisture in combination with professional vacuuming equipment as well. If you can manage to do this without, let me know.

I just checked and we have 41% humidity indoors right now because it’s dry outside. We are approaching rainy season where it will rain daily for two to three months, just enough to keep the humidity very high. We have a dehumidifier besides the A/C and we have grown accustomed to 40% to much higher humidity over the last 18 years we’ve lived here. When we were in the DFW area of Texas, our comfort zone was different.

I routinely did metal fabrication in non air conditioned space at 90-105 degrees F with humidity at 80% and above before covid, when I shut our businesses down. One gets used to the local conditions. As long as I’m not in the sun and it isn’t raining, I work outside in the shade at whatever the conditions are seasonally.

I wonder what makes you think Roatan Island is a low income region. It’s a divers destination because Roatan Island is the above water projection of the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, Australia having number 1. The island is full of US and Canadian expats. Multiple cruise ships dock simultaneously and the international airport services flights from Canada, the US and Europe. Like anywhere else, the island has its barios but it also has gated communities, a world class golf course, and homes in the million dollar range are not uncommon.

I was in the bakery/restaurant business as well as welding and metal fabrication. I expect conditions to worsen worldwide soon so I’m not in a hurry to start up again.

I own a Vacmaster VP321 that we used for food service. It would crush a spool of filament on its high setting. I have 6 chest freezers, one walkin cooler to long proof dough, several sandwich cases, bar refrigerators, soda refers, etc. There’s no shortage of equipment on the island.

I’d say you should come and visit the island. Stay at Infinity Bay, Pristine Bay; look them up.

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Thanks for the invitation, I was on the road as a field engineer for 10 years up to 80 flights per year, at least 2 intercontinental flights per month - my needs for flights are more than covered and my sofa is probably the most beautiful place in the world :wink:

No comment :wink:

You already know that the A1 is a beginner’s printer - what do you want it for?

Maight be the most beginner frindly machine in its class - A very considered sentence that I agree with, but wouldn’t leave out a single word in this sentence.

I really like the following video:

I saw that video and several more. They all gush over the printer’s capabilities and is what led to my investigating it.

Welding up tiny things is very difficult. The nozzle on a TIG or MIG gun was designed for larger structures than, for example, welding up a 1" bracket assembly that holds a 1" bearing all while wearing welding gloves. Just finding a place to attach the ground clamp is near impossible and then that clamp gets in the way of the gun. It’s much easier to 3D print an assembly and bolt it to the structure.

Welders also make their own tools, like a carrier for a plasma torch or angle grinder that runs along a section of straight square tubing to be able to cut sheet steel accurately by motorizing that assembly. I’ve welded up intricate steel things before and it’s incredibly tedious due to the typical size of the tiny components involved.

Welding invariably involves warping of the metal due to the heat from the weld puddle. On large pieces, you just clamp it down to minimize distortion. There’s no way to do that on small parts and it’s the small parts where you need the accuracy that warping destroys.

I also want it to print TPU for my quads and RC planes. Purchasing odd TPU parts is many times not possible. I suspect it’s due to the RC hobbyists also being into 3D Printing and there’s no money in providing items that might sell for a dollar or two.

Originally I thought about getting the X1-Carbon using buy once cry once as the rationalization. I still might go that way due to the larger capacity, air filters, an AMS that’s air tight for moisture control, etc. It’s the difference in price that makes me hesitate.

I’m an engineer / professional software developer, so I’ll figure out this 3D printing thing no matter what I get.

As far as I can tell the A1 mini is a PLA machine. Your posts have “engineer” and “engineering” and “small parts” way too many times to be satrified with PLA. PLA is great for many things including dimensionally accurate and stiff jigs but the moment you say “water”, “sun”, “heat” it’s out. The upshot of all this is that you want the X1C with AMS… :wink:

I got into 3D printing a few months ago with an X1C+AMS (having a software & electronics engineering background) and I’m so happy I did. I’m like a YoYo going from cheap PETG to ASA to PA12+CF to ASA+CF and back to cheap PETG. “This filament is not stiff enough, the other warps, the next is too expensive if I use any qty, but I can double the width of this piece to make it stiffer and then print it with cheap filament, but maybe something a tad stronger would be good…” and around I go. The X1C supports all this…

(I can’t comment on the P1S vs. X1C. I’m glad it wasn’t available when I bought the X1C :laughing: The fact that the main processor on the P1S is just an esp32 has me worried about reliability from the point of view that a bunch of functions are likely to be a stretch for that thing…

Thanks for your input. I like the way you think.

All my education on 3D printers has come through YouTube videos and a bit of reading on the Internet all within the last week. I saw some videos that claimed PLA was superior to ABS and some of the other somewhat exotic materials and actually showed test results. I also read up on annealing PLA to give it a higher temperature capability but at the cost of some deformation / shrinkage / expansion.

Anything I purchase will be for my exclusive benefit. I’m not intending to sell anything I produce, it’s all for my projects and therefore my use of the machine will be very sporadic. One thing has happened, however, to make me think I’ll find uses for it that I haven’t yet thought of because it’s already occurred to me to build a few things I’ve been putting off that would have been done in wood or metal but I didn’t like the wood or metal versions because those materials just weren’t all that appropriate and hence those projects were shelved. I never considered plastic type materials because I had no such capability but now I’m reconsidering my possible choices.

I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.
Oscar Wilde

Because I’m an engineer, I suffer from the engineer’s disease of never being satisfied by second best. The only thing that got me interested in the A1 was its price, but there are a few things I don’t like about it that will most likely push me toward the X1C. I’m not in any time rush so I’ll let my investigating proceed with more education till I can convince myself that the A1 is no longer in contention; process of elimination.

If you can suggest some reading material or videos you found helpful, I’d appreciate the links.

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I’m afraid I don’t have any reading material to recommend. I’m kind’a in the same boat as you, just a few months ahead. I have a workshop with woodworking, metal working, composites, and gardening tools. All hobby stuff, not doing anything for hire. I’ve been eyeing 3D printing for many years but knew it was going to be a rabbit hole and didn’t have time for that. I finally had some stuff I couldn’t reasonably make another way so I bit the bullet…

The bambu store filament section has a pretty good explanation of benefits for each filament. It also has numbers (specs). Also really good is https://app.polymaker.com 'cause it’s so easy to change criteria and see how the filaments rank. But neither tell you “large parts using this filament warp a lot” or “this filament sucks if it’s not totally dry”. As background the videos (and web site) of cnc kitchen are really good.

some videos that claimed PLA was superior to ABS and some of the other somewhat exotic materials and actually showed test results

sure. pick the fanciest metal you have ever worked with and I’ll show you that ASA filament is better. I pick the criterion, of course… If you flip around that polymaker web page you’ll see how the filaments rank. PLA is stiffer (see bending modulus) than most other filaments, you have to spend $$ to get stiffer. Now, don’t let it sit on your work table in the sun on a hot summer day… Once you get into it you realize there are lots of filament types 'cause each one has some pros and some cons. How many aluminum alloys are there in the trade? How many fluxes? How many welding rod types? Yeah. Same thing…

Then there’s all the 3D modeling, which is another rabbit hole. And I don’t just mean learning the program but also how to model your parts. You’ll have quite a ‘fun’ time 'cause a lot of intuition with metals (or wood) goes out the window. You have to shape things differently for 3D printing. (Some of the slant3d videos on youtube are pretty good to highlight that.) I’ll frequently start with a part in PETG, find that I’d like it stronger, try some stronger filament ($$), then realize I could change the design a bit and keep using PETG…

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I wouldn’t worry so much and take a large plastic box that the A1-AMS fits into. The edges of the box under the lid can perhaps be sealed with some kind of sealant to make it more airtight. Stuff the box with desiccant, just like the AMS of the X1. Drill 4 holes in the lid of the plastic box to lead the tubes of the filament rolls out to the top. That’s it.

Compared to the X1, you have practically no disadvantage if you only want to print simple filaments, because the printer is open. And some filaments, according to Bambulab, should also print with an X1 and X1C with the printer open.

So the criterion would be whether it needs a closed printer or not.

All the best!

PS: I can also add to what @3dsurfr wrote: It is always amazing when you use a material yourself what differences you notice from the expectations you had. These expectations, which are shaped or sold by various Youtubers and others.

I have ended up printing most of what I have used in practice from PLA. Robust housings for outdoor use, printed from PLA, but then coated with a clear varnish. Lamp holder on the bike, printed from PLA. It all holds if you construct it right and choose the right settings. And if it doesn’t have to last indefinitely. You also have to know that there are quite unbeatable PLA filaments. I compared one with newer PLA from Sunlu, because Sunlu advertised theirs with strength and partly better than PLA+. I returned 4 out of 5 rolls of this Sunlu PLA because it didn’t live up to expectations. I printed gears from the simplest PLA with the Anet A8, where the walls of the teeth were only 0.4mm thick, so they only consisted of one wall. They survived the mechanical stress for the intended use for 5 years, now the teeth slowly started to break out. I printed ABS once. It was no more stable than my comparative PLA. But it was more stable against high temperatures. But it’s harder to print, objects warp more easily when they cool down.

A lot depends on what you personally value. And as I said, object properties can easily be changed by the printing options (more or less walls, different filling, more or less filling) and others in the construction (stronger parts on the object that are stressed).

A P1S is all you need. Unless you want the smoother video and nicer screen, there’s not a great deal that the X1C offers for the extra price difference. There is the lidar, but then lots of people switch it off because it seemingly does nothing or gives false positives for spaghetti detection. You can now add a similar touch screen for the P1S/P1P for a very small outlay.

Varnish is definitely an option. However, I believe @KanneKaffe is in Germany while @IslandBill is in the caribbean. There’s a little climate difference there…