What do you find best suits your filament storage needs?

I’m sure most have seen the various drybox container hacks that have some clever adaptations.

However, I’m looking for a more stackable way to organize individual spools in such a way that I’m not spending more on the container than I am on the spool. Ideally the container should be transparent enough so that the color of the filament should be visible from across the room.

I’ve used the filament vacuum bags with great success despite the fact that they can be tricky to get the seal just right as others have said they’ve had problems, I’ve not had too many seal failures. The bags don’t really provide a nice stackable way of organizing the filaments in a way I can see across the room and when they are shrunk the plastic clumps up in such a way as to occlude the transparency and make the color less visible.


Larger bins like the ones I am using are a nuisance because I feel like I am unloading a trunk every time I go to look for a specific spool and even though the tub is translucent, it’s not transparent.

I’m looking for a transparent container with space for a desiccant bag, and a secure seal, but at a lower cost than Tupperware or Rubbermaid. I’ve ordered some round pie storage boxes under $10 today that look promising, but I’m open to better options. Surprisingly, Glad or Hefty hasn’t offered something similar in their cheap plastic container line, which seems like a missed opportunity.

With the Wisedry packs, these have been amazing.
I have nearly eliminated the need to use an heating filament dryer.
I use my dryer to recharge the desiccant packs.

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I’ve had good luck with the 20Q Sterilite Gasket Lid boxes (less than $10 at Walmart). They can hold 5 spools each with enough room for silica gel containers. I have uploaded a hygrometer and label holder that fits into these boxes. Hygrometer Holder for Sterilite 20Q/19L Gasket Box by RR of Bowport - MakerWorld

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Mind sharing what you found for the pie storage boxes? I couldn’t find any that would work like I wanted. They were either the right size but without the rubber seal or the wrong size but had the rubber seal. I liked the idea of the Printdry container but didn’t want to spend that kind of money.

Right now I use the cereal container drybox like you linked. They are extremely cheap to purchase and work rather well, but they don’t stack.

I’ve looked at the ones at Walmart. I wasn’t a big on the seals they have. They seem kind of spongy.
The ones I am using right now have a rubber/TPU like seal that seem pretty vapor tight.
The (18L) fits 5 spools perfectly, almost as if they’re made for filament spools.

I originally found them at Big Lots for I think ~$8 per box. But they eventually ran out.
I was please to find that Home Depot sells them now, though they are more expensive.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ezy-Storage-18L-19Qt-Waterproof-Clear-Latch-Tote-IP-67-FBA34060/314650516

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Yes, these Home Depot boxes appear to have a better seal AND the dimensions are a better fit for 5 Bambu spools. I didn’t see these 6 months ago when I was searching for boxes.

I don’t mind sharing at all but they just arrived and they are going right back. I didn’t even bother breaking the cellophane wrapping. One look at the product it’s clear that although the correct size, these are anything but airtight, more dust tight if anything.

Here’s the link so that you know exactly what to avoid. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BNSVWYWG

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This sounds very promising. Thanks, this is kind of what I was I was looking for.

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I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
The are transparent enough to identify the contents, but I labelled mine with categories to make the spool I want easier to find and to know where I want to put the spool when I am done using it.
The rechargeable desiccants do a great job of drying the filament without shocking them with heat.
They designed the lids and bottoms to stack together nicely as well.

And one more little thing that I really appreciate (that most people probably won’t) is the stickers they put on them peel off nicely in one piece. I loath most product stickers and hate it when they’re near impossible to remove without a solvent.

Desiccant doesn’t dry filament very well, it mostly keeps already dry filament dry. I learned this one first hand after placing a new roll of ASA, that had desiccant inside the vacuum sealed bag, into my dry box and found that the humidity levels didn’t drop all the way down, even after a few days. It stayed 8% above what I expected. I then pulled it out, dried it in my filament dryer, and placed back into the dry box. The humidity levels dropped down to the correct levels after a couple of hours.

Stefan at CNC Kitchen has a good video called WHY you NEED TO DRY your FILAMENTS! In his test he had a 2 year old filament he kept in a dry box filled with desiccant that he tested under different conditions: straight from the dry box, dried in a oven, left outside for a few days, and then after storing in a wet ziploc bag. All conditions had various levels of stringing, except for the test that was dried in the oven.

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I don’t totally agree with this statement. I agree drying filament with heat will always give the optimum drying results, especially in a short duration.
While I cannot personally speak for drying ASA, I have had very good results drying PLA, PETG and TPU with dry boxes and rechargeable desiccant. The trick is keeping your desiccant fresh and recharged.
As your desiccant becomes somewhat saturated the moisture draw will diminish. This is where desiccants with color indicators are key.
If you have a particularly “wet” filament, yes drying it in a heated enclosure will give you much quicker results than using a desiccant dry box as you will need to constantly refresh your desiccant and increase the exposure time.
But for long term storage, using desiccant dry boxes are a great way to slow dry your filaments providing you keep your desiccants fresh.

Of course the freshly heat dried filament will give the optimal print results. But was Stefan using color indicating desiccants in his make shift dry box? Was he refreshing his desiccants as needed for the 2 year storage?
Even so, look at the results of his strength tests between the 4 samples:


The “Baseline”, dried in a (questionable) desiccant setup actually performed better for XY strength (+14), and marginally less so for the Z strength (-2) vs. the 70c / 12 hour heat drying in his hook strength test.
It’s clear to me that heat drying properly stored filament will only give you “diminishing returns”.
I would be interested to see how much more moisture his heat drying actually pulled out of baseline sample. I didn’t see him provide that info.

My filaments have very minimal stringing if any at all, without the need to continually heat shock them.
Again, I’m not arguing the heat drying isn’t the quickest way to a dry filament, I am pointing out there are other ways to accomplish comparable results.
If your moisture mitigation solution is to cook your filament every time you use it, it’s strength and longevity will diminish quite rapidly.

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Stefan missed a crucial opportunity here: providing examples of spool weights before and after drying, prior to conducting any tests. It’s almost like his home made stress tool is the object of his videos as opposed to chasing the science. I guess the old adage of “When the only tool you have is a hammer, all the world starts to look like a nail”.

For me I found the primary benefit of dry filament lies in reducing zits and enhancing layer adhesion, rather than solely in strength. In my experience, suspecting poor performance from a “new out-of-the-box” filament, drying it and comparing post-drying weights revealed a significant drop (>1%), correlating with improved first layer adhesion and reduced stringiness.

Regarding the effectiveness of desiccant bags, evidence suggests their water absorption by weight is extremely limited. This supports the idea that placing a desiccant bag alone inside a container does little to dry out wet filament. In one instance with PETG, I extracted over 20g of moisture from a full spool by hot air drying, initially doubting the measurement until confirmed with an unopened spool.

Currently, I have an ongoing experiment where I’ve placed a 50g Absorbking desiccant bag inside a 1-liter Ziploc plastic container with 50g of water. I’ll wait until the desiccant turns blue before re-measuring. My expectation is it will absorb less than 5g, if lucky.

The lack of definitive metrics on desiccant effectiveness is evident in debates. In my extreme case of 20g moisture, assuming a desiccant can absorb 10% of its own weight, drying a 1kg spool would necessitate 200g of desiccant. The outcome of my experiment will provide clarity on this matter.

If anyone knows of a published weight experiment, please share it here.

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My personal example was a bad example, as it didn’t highlight what I was really trying to say. It only highlighted the short term results of filament dryers and dry boxes. If I left my filament in there longer, the humidity levels would definitely have dropped down to the levels I expected if I kept dry desiccant in there to keep absorbing the moisture.

As Olias pointed out, that wasn’t one of CNC Kitchen’s best videos, but it still highlights the point I was making, that desiccant can’t fully dry your filament. In the video he doesn’t go over his dry box in detail, but references his other videos where he builds them. He uses color indicating desiccant that he dries in an oven when they become saturated, which is determined by monitoring a hygrometer that he keeps in the container. So, I’d call that proper dry box storage.

What I was trying to point out is that desiccant cannot remove moisture that’s absorbed into the filament, as desiccant is a passive method, it can’t release the trapped water molecules. It can only absorb moisture that’s off-gassed from the filament, so anything that’s absorbed deep into the filament stays there. A filament dryer actively heats the filament and evaporates the trapped moisture. In the CNC Kitchen example, he kept his filament in a proper dry box for 2 years, yet it still retained moisture which you could see via the stringing. He would have really rammed that point home if he would have weighed the rolls too. I don’t want to take the slow route and take over two years for a roll of filament to completely dry :slight_smile:

My current method for filament storage is to dry in a filament dryer and then store in a dry box that contains color indicating desiccant and a hygrometer. The initial drying is to remove as much moisture as I can quickly and then keep it that way in the dry box.

Wouldn’t happen to have been cardboard spools for your PETG? Cardboard tends to absorb moisture too and probably at a higher rate than PETG which I could see adding quite a bit of water weight to.

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Agreed!

I believe Stefan’s Z strength test results would be a good indicator of layer adhesion, no?

20g of moisture is quite a lot. I don’t think any of those little desiccant packets they ship with a new spool would ever draw that much moisture. But if one were to continually replace/refresh the desiccants, I think a good amount can be absorbed.
Think of it as draining a bucket with a sponge. A single dip of a dry sponge in the bucket isn’t likely to get all of the water. But if you continually use dry sponges, most of it can be extracted over time.

FWIW: The claim by the manufacture of the desiccant I use:

I look forward to you posting the results of your experiment.

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I don’t believe so. Up until this month, all of my PETG was on plastic spools but you now have me wondering if the spool itself can absorb moisture.

That’s a great thought. Thanks for pointing that out, that’s something I am going to verify tonight. I have an old empty plastic spool that I will put in the dryer and let’s see if the weight changes. I generally keep one sample of an empty spool as record keeping and weigh it and mark the TARE on the spool so that I can verify what was shipped to me.

I agree that is probably the best method.
I used to do that with my Eibos filament dryer until I found it was fusing my PETG and rendering it unusable about half way into the roll.
At first I thought it was only affecting the card board spooled rolls, but I found it did the same to the plastic spooled rolls.
I just stopped drying my new filament because of the defect and just transferred them straight to my desiccated dry boxes.
It seems to me that this method has been doing a satisfactory job of drying/preserving my new spools.

Realizing I still want a way to heat dry rolls as needed, I broke down and ordered a Sunlu spool dryer. I hope it gives me better results than the Eibos.

Not very common that you have to dry the filament before storing so your method should be the norm. I’m just being extra paranoid.

I use the Sunlu S2 filament dryer. It works well, but you may have to dry a bit longer since it can’t get to some of the upper level temps recommended by certain filaments. Not sure about Sunu’s other dryers, but the S2 doesn’t always do a good job of releasing the moisture it pulls out of the filament. I usually just prop the cover open a bit to let the moisture vent out if the humidity in the chamber isn’t going down.

Looks like I ordered the S1 Plus. I’ll keep that tip in mind when I go to use it.
I really just want a dryer to print directly from on more humid days.

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Which Eibos model do you have? I’ve been using an Eibos Easdry without problems (yet).

I just got the S2 with a gift certificate given to me. And I am putting it through its paces over the last week. Put simply, they are guilty of false-advertising. A simple example is when I set the value to 70c. It cannot reach the advertised top level temp. When I measure the various test points inside the dryer, I get consistently 10c less than what the device is set to and reports at. Same is true for humidity. I emailed Sunlu and got radio silence. In my view, the S2 is a scam.

I can also confirm that the S2 humidity control is faulty. I found that by opening the lid and allowing the trapped humidity to escape, I can get the filament to reach the desired dryness much quicker. That to me is a design flaw that was pointed out to them in their S1 series that they ignored. Yet another example of Chinese Chabuduo product philosophy.