“How much does humidity affect the filament?” This is a question asked by Anthony from New Orleans. Tom and Tracy Hazzard take on the relationship between filament and humidity, tackling how filaments are transported and how they are kept. They both agree that the weather or the environment of the area you are storing your filaments greatly affects its overall integrity. To bag or not to bag? Find out the answer on today’s show.
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Do You Bag Filament For Humidity?
This is Ask Us Anything.
Ask us almost anything. Our question is from New Orleans. It’s Anthony, and he asks, “How much does humidity affect our filament? Do we keep it in our plastic bags? What do we do?”
I’ve heard a lot more from other people that they’re concerned about humidity.
I’ve been to a couple of filament manufacturers and from what I’ve seen, it’s important that your filament is wrapped in plastic with a silica packet when it gets to you. There’s a lot of humidity that can happen in transport. You and I both know from our experience with making a lot of plastic parts over in Asia, especially if you’re getting your filament from there. Going over on that boat, it has an effect over time. That’s important from a transport situation.
We have learned that plastics do absorb moisture over time in general. In our experience with 3D printing, when we get a new spool of filament, when we start to use it, we unwrap it from the bag and we leave it exposed to the air and we don’t enclose it in plastic again.
I don’t know if we ever have a good answer for Anthony. He lives in New Orleans, it’s moist down there. We live in California and it’s dry here.
We have probably a much more stable environment in terms of humidity than people in other parts of the country.
Especially in the past, it’s been extremely dry in our environment. We probably had the air conditioning on every month of the entire year, at least for part of the months. It’s been even drier here than it normally is. It may be a reason why we’re having such good results from our Smart Extruders and from our filament in general. I can’t say for sure that we have an answer.
This is a question that we may have to do some more research on and then have some guests on our main podcast to interview who may know more about it. One thing that we have done with your visits, Tracy, to filament manufacturers, they have told you that they don’t think it’s a big problem. It’s more a problem for them in their manufacturing process.
If they don’t get the moisture out of it in the manufacturing process then it’s more of an issue, but it is a transport issue. I do understand that the filaments from Asia have more problems because they’re on the water. They definitely need to be sealed.
The only other thing I’d say is we primarily use PLA. We don’t have a lot of experience with ABS, but in terms of one other filament, we do use PVA as a desirable support material. We were warned that that material is incredibly hygroscopic, which means it will soak up any moisture around it. That’s the only filament we do keep in a locked bag.
HIPS as well, we’ve been keeping in the bag as well, so those two items and mostly because of their characteristics as a chemical base.
Everything else is left exposed and we’ve had no ill effects ourselves from it. That’s our answer subject to new information and changes in the future.
You guys reading out there, you need to chime in.
What’s your experience? Go to our website. Even though it’s not a question to ask us, if you just want to give us some information, you can still go to our Ask Us page and use that SpeakPipe button to record a message to us. You can also do that on our Facebook page or you can email us. There are addresses on our website.
Let’s continue to talk about this issue and see what other people have to say about it and clarify our answer as time goes.
Thanks for reading. Ask us your questions. Make sure you come back to the HazzDesign.com website. Ask us a question or ask us anything.
Until next time.
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