You may not realise this but you may be ruining your 3D printer filaments without knowing it! You think you’ve been taking good care of them but come printing time, the tell-tale signs of filament neglect appear: popping sounds, bubbling in the print surface, stringing, nozzle jams and more.
If there’s filament police, you would have been caught a long time ago! What have you been doing that could be ruining your filaments? Here are the top 5 culprits and how you can avoid doing them.
Using an inappropriate spool holder
Spool holders can introduce a host of problems that can ruin your 3D printer filaments. If the holder is too tight, then it won’t be able to rotate. On the other hand, if the holder spins too smoothly and freely, the end can get loose and the filament can get knotted, which we know is hard to untangle. To solve this, tie a zip tie to rub against the spool so that it adds friction to the rotation.
If your filament keeps getting knocked off its filament path, you can add a Teflon tube so that the filament is fed through the printer in a straight manner. A zip tie can also be handy to keep its path on the straight and narrow.
Letting children and pets play with your filaments
The spools of colourful filaments appeal to children and pets as much as toys do. If left unattended, they could damage your filaments beyond saving.
The solution to this is simple: store your filaments out of reach of children and pets.
Improperly storing your filaments
As we’ve talked about in our previous blog post, moisture is the number one enemy of filaments. Some filaments such as nylon, PLA, and ABS are more sensitive to it. They are more absorbent to the moisture in the air, which degrades their quality and causes printing issues. To avoid this, you should store your filaments in containers where moisture wouldn’t be able to get through, such as vacuum bags, dry boxes, or airtight containers with silica gels.
If you made the mistake of exposing your filaments to moisture, here are 2 easy ways to dry them.
Letting your filaments get tangled
Leaving your filaments lying around can cause tangling which is an annoyance to get rid of. Ignore it and get ready for your 3D printing to stop midway. Tangling is usually caused when the windings get too loose that the filament end gets slips under another coil.
There is no easy way to untangle it but to tediously unwind it until you’ve freed the tangle. Then make sure to keep the winding tight by securing the end of the filament by attaching it to the hole in the spool or taping it down when not in use.
Overheating your filaments
You can overheat or cook your filaments into a cakey mess when you leave it in a heated hotend. Turning off the printer just won’t cut it. Aside from exposing your filament to moisture, you’ll also cause the filament to stick to the wrong ends of the heat break. What you should do is to reset your printer to turn off all the heaters, wait for the hotend to cool, and then switch off the printer.
Stop ruining your 3D printer filaments!
Preserve your filaments for much longer by avoiding committing these 5 sins against 3D printer filaments! If you have filaments that are beyond saving, you can order new high-quality ones at affordable prices from our X3D Pro filament collection. For inquiries, you can contact us by phone and email.