Cabinet for 3D printer filament (testing and thoughts from Nathan Bray )

Author: Nathan Bray   Date Posted:28 March 2019 


eDry Cabinet (testing and thoughts)

I need to control the humidity for storage of printing of my filament as the room I print in is normally between 60-80%RH for much of the year. Like many I tried various combinations of plastic boxes & bags with desiccant and chucking sensitive filament in the oven for a few hours. Works OK I guess but it is really not idea. For me it is was kind of awkward, I still had popping and hissing on some roles and at the end of the day it is really not that cost effective either.

So I spoke with a local Sydney supplier of professional Dry Cabinets and after much discussion on what might work, Mathew from Photo Equipment Store let me test out a couple of models from eDry.

- First up with the eDry 243L Dry Cabinet Model D-206C. It held all my spools (about 40) but did not really get dry enough for me (about 30-40% RH) and was slow to bring it down to this level after opening the door. So back it went after a week or so.

- Second up I tried the eDry Ultra Low Humidity 128L Dry Cabinet Model SL-128CA (see pic). It can be programmed to any desired RH % and I set it 0% RH. This one works well not only in getting down to 0-1% RH but quickly restoring down to these levels after the door is open. I had no real way of testing how it would work in drying filament vs maintaining it, so I added some colour changing silica gel that was fully saturated (black) and watched as it slowly dried it out back to Orange. Not that I will need desiccant again, as these cabinets are solid state dehumidifiers! They are also quiet, and consume very little power (some 8w which beats putting spools in the oven!!). This tech is a keeper but a bit small for my needs.

- Next up will be the (on order) eDry Ultra Low Humidity 250L Dry Cabinet Model SL-206CA. It is being custom modified with with 5 x Print Ports and seals so I can print directly from the Cabinet (to my yet to be delivered MMU2s) as well as using it for storage. Unfortunately it will be another month or so before I get my hands on it as it is coming by sea from Taiwan to Sydney. I'll post an update when it arrives. The downside is these Ultra Dry Cabinets are an expensive up front purchase but work out to be under $50 per filament reel of storage space.

- Another option that might work for many is a their better value for money cabinet, the Model 3D-90CA which already includes 4 x Print from Dry Cabinet ports and apparently will get down to under 20%RH. I've not tested it as it was not available at the time, so I can not comment on the claims or how well it works.

I'm happy to answer any questions and thanks again to Mathew for letting me test (note: I'm not involved with his business or get any rewards, just wanted to give him a plug for letting me test the equipment out). I've had no issue printing humidity sensitive filament stored in the cabinet including Nylon, TPU, and Hytrel but it is also early days.