This Instructable describes how I made a dry box for my 3D printing filament. It protects the PLA from absorbing moisture from the air, which can lead to failed prints and nozzle clogs. The dry box dispenses the filament to the 3D printer too, providing convenient storage.
This box fits four standard rolls of filament. This is an easy project that takes less than an afternoon to complete, and then you'll reap the filament-preserving benefits for countless days to come!
Step 1: What You'll Need
You'll need a gasketed plastic container that's at least as tall and deep as a roll of filament, and as long as you want to accommodate your shelf space or filament collection.
Besides the box, you'll need a piece of PVC pipe or closet rod to match the length of your box (I cut mine with a hand saw), some teflon tubing to feed your filament to the printer, some silica gel packets to absorb moisture from the air inside the box, a step drill and screw gun, some O-rings and screws (with appropriate drivers), and some 3D printed parts I found on Thingiverse.
Step 2: 3D Print Some Parts
Step 3: Install Pole Sockets
I wanted to rest the box on its' side, so that I could easily remove the lid and change filament rolls without removing the whole box from its shelf. So when it came time to mark and drill the holes for the pole sockets, I tilted the mounting axis a bit towards the box opening, but you should feel free to orient your pole sockets to suit your box's orientation. Put an o-ring on each screw before tightening down the bolts.
Step 4: Install Filament Feeders
I test fit a roll to find the natural unspooling level of the filament, and drilled more holes to accommodate the filament feeders, which also get o-rings before being tightened and fitted with a piece of teflon tubing, which keeps dust and air off the filament on its way to the printer.
Step 5: Load and Enjoy!
Then it's time to load it up and feed the filament through the tubing! Mine then feed down behind their shelf to the printer below, but you could just as easily feed the filament up from below your printer if that's what your space allows.
With this new dry box and this piece of vinyl to insulate my printer from drafts, my setup is feeling vastly improved. I'm using it to store my most frequently used colors, and archive the rest using my colleague Paige's ziptop bag method. She also has a recipe for rescuing damp filament by baking it at a low temperature for several hours.
Thanks for following along! I'd love to hear your filament storage methods in the comments.
Participated in the
Workshop Hacks Challenge 2017