When it comes to drying your filament, I didn’t realize how important it was until much later in my 3D printing journey. Most filaments have the tendency to absorb moisture from the air, so learning how to dry filament can really make a difference to print quality.
To dry filament, you can use a specialized filament dryer by setting the required temperature and drying for about 4-6 hours. You can also use an oven or a vacuum bag with desiccant packs. A DIY airtight container also works well, and a food dehydrator is another great option.
This is the basic answer that can point you in the right direction but keep on reading for more useful information for drying your 3D printing filament.
How Do You Dry PLA?
You can dry your PLA in an oven at a temperature of 40-45°C for 4-5 hours. You can also use a specialized filament dryer for effective drying and storage, along with a food dehydrator as well. Lastly, you can use your 3D printer’s heat bed to dry PLA but you’re better sticking with the other methods.
Let’s take a look at each method that you can use to dry your PLA filament below.
- Drying PLA in an Oven
- Filament Dryer
- Storing in a Food Dehydrator
- Use the Heat Bed to Dry PLA
Drying PLA in an Oven
People usually ask whether they can dry PLA in their oven, and the answer is yes. Drying spools of PLA in your oven is probably the easiest and cheapest method that you can do right at your home.
The recommended PLA filament drying temperature is 40-45°C at a time of 4-5 hours, which is right below this filament’s glass transition temperature, meaning the temperature at which it softens up to a certain level.
While using your oven might be easy and cheap, you need to be careful about certain aspects otherwise the whole process can prove detrimental for you instead.
For one, you need to check whether the temperature you’ve set your oven to is the actual inside temperature or not.
Many home ovens aren’t very precise when it comes down to lower temperatures, showing a wide variation depending on the model, which in this case can be damaging to the filament.
What will happen is your filament will get too soft and actually start to bond together, leading to an almost unusable spool of filament.
Next, be sure to heat the oven to the desired temperature before you put the filament in. It’s common for ovens to get too hot when they’re building up the inside temperature, so that could potentially soften your filament and make it useless.
If you fear that your oven might not be good enough to do this, you can turn to a specialized filament dryer.
Many people are turned off after realizing the conditions attached to drying PLA in an oven. This is why using a filament dryer is considered a more direct and professional approach to filament drying.
A filament dryer is a special device that’s made specifically for drying spools of filament.
One such excellent product that I can recommend is the SUNLU Upgraded Dry Box (Amazon) for 3D printing. It costs about $50 and truly certifies that a filament dryer is worth it.
At the time of writing this article, the SUNLU dryer enjoys a solid reputation on Amazon, boasting a 4.6/5.0 overall rating and tons of positive reviews to back up its performance.
One person said that they lived near a lake where the humidity is more than 50%. This much humidity is terrible for PLA, so the person tried their luck with the SUNLU dry box and found it brings amazing results.
Another option is the EIBOS Filament Dryer Box from Amazon, which can hold 2 spools of filaments, and can reach temperatures of 70°C.
Storing in a Food Dehydrator
Drying PLA filament in a food dehydrator is another great way that you can choose over an oven or a filament dryer. Although their main purpose is to dry food and fruits, they can be easily used to dry 3D printer filament as well.
One great product that I can recommend is the Sunix Food Dehydrator on Amazon which is a 5-tray electric dehydrator. It comes with temperature control and costs somewhere around $50.
In the following video by Robert Cowen, you can see how a food dehydrator works and dries out the moisture in a filament. These are very popular in the 3D printing community to dry all types of filament, so I’d definitely consider making use of one of these machines.
Use the Heat Bed to Dry PLA
If your 3D printer has a heated print bed, you can also use that to dry your PLA filament.
You simply heat the bed to 45-55°C, place your filament on it, and dry the PLA for about 2-4 hours. It’s recommended to use an enclosure for this method, but you can also cover your filament with a cardboard box.
However, if you have other options available, such as a food dehydrator or a filament dryer, I advise drying PLA with those since the heated bed method isn’t as effective and can cause wear on your 3D printer.
For other filaments such as TPU, and Nylon, the process can also take too long, about 12-16 hours, so definitely not recommended considering that limitation as well.
Filament Storage – Vacuum Bags
One method that works in combination after you dry your spool of PLA is to store them in an optimal environment.
Many people recommend the simple use of a vacuum bag filled with silica gel or any other desiccant, similar to how your spools of filaments are delivered. A good vacuum bag is one that comes with a valve to remove the oxygen present inside the bag.
Whenever you put your PLA filament inside a vacuum bag, make sure that the oxygen inside has been removed, and this is only possible if the vacuum bag you’ve bought comes with a dedicated valve.
I recommend buying something like the SUOCO Vacuum Storage Sealer Bags (Amazon). These come in a pack of six and are made of a high-quality material that’s tough and durable.
Filament Storage – Dry Box
Another easy, affordable, and quick way of storing your PLA filament or any other type is by using a dry box, but the difference with this and the vacuum bags is that with the right type, you can continue to print while the filament is in the container.
The first and basic storage method is to get an airtight container or storage box that can easily fit your spool of PLA filament, throw in silica gel packets to absorb moisture from the air.
I recommend using something like this HOMZ Clear Storage Container that’s spacious, strong, and fully airtight to store spools of PLA filament.
If you ever decide to take up your own DIY dry box, you can refer to the following video for a great in-depth explanation.
After you’ve checked out the video above, you can go ahead and purchase the items to make your own filament drying box that allows you to print, all directly from Amazon.
By researching around in forums, I’ve also found out that people are using dehumidifiers, such as the Eva-Dry Wireless Mini Humidifier from Amazon as an excellent replacement for silica gel packets in a dry box.
People who are using it in their dry boxes say that they’ve been amazed at how well the dehumidifier works. You just set it in the container along with your PLA filament, and forget about having to worry about moisture.
How Do You Dry ABS?
To dry ABS, you can use a regular or toaster oven at a temperature of 65-70°C for a duration of 2-6 hours. You can also use a dedicated filament dryer that allows you to print while drying. Another great option is a food dehydrator for drying ABS. After drying, you can use an aluminum foil bag for proper storage.
Let’s take a look at the best ABS drying methods below.
- Using a Regular or Toaster Oven
- Specialized Filament Dryer
- Food Dehydrator
- Mylar Foil Bag
Using a Regular or Toaster Oven
Similar to PLA, ABS can also be dried in a toaster oven or a regular home oven. It is a working method that many users have tried and tested. It’s easy to do and costs nothing.
If you have a toaster oven available at home, drying your ABS filament for 2-6 hours at a temperature of 65-70°C is known to bring the best results. Just be careful not to place the material too close to the heating element of the toaster oven.
If you have a regular oven instead, the recommended filament drying temperature is 80-90°C for a duration of about 4-6 hours.
Specialized Filament Dryer
Using a specialized filament dryer is a professional and direct way to dry out ABS, similar to how you would deal with PLA.
People who dry ABS with these devices say that they normally let it dry for about 6 hours at a temperature of 50°C. The SUNLU Filament Dryer from Amazon is an ideal choice.
You can also use a food dehydrator to dry ABS, similar to how you would dry PLA. The Sunix Food Dehydrator would work very well for drying ABS filament as well as many other types of filaments out there.
Mylar Foil Bag
Once your ABS is dry, one popular way of keeping it dry is by using a sealable bag that’s made out of aluminum foil.
You can find affordable Mylar foil bags online for cheap. The Resealable Stand-Up Mylar Bags on Amazon are a good option with plenty of positive reviews of people using it to store their filament and a 4.7/5.0 overall rating.
People have reviewed them to be sturdy, thick, and quality aluminum bags. They are also easy to fill and squeeze excess air out before sealing them.
How Do You Dry PETG?
You can dry PETG in your oven at a temperature of 65-70°C for 4-6 hours. You can also purchase the PrintDry Pro for both effective filament drying and storage. A food dehydrator works great for dying PETG, and you can also purchase a cheap filament dryer to keep PETG dry and moisture-free.
Let’s take a look at how you can dry your PETG.
- Dry in an Oven
- PrintDry Pro Filament Drying System
- Food Dehydrator
- Filament Dryer
Dry in an Oven
One of the easiest ways to dry out PETG is by using a regular home oven. This is a quick way to get rid of any moisture build-up that your filament might have if you’ve left it out in the open for some time.
The recommended PETG filament drying temperature is done best at 65-70°C for anywhere between 4-6 hours.
PrintDry Pro Filament Drying System
MatterHackers have created a highly specialized filament dryer called PrintDry Pro Filament Drying System and you can purchase it for about $180.
The PrintDry Pro (MatterHackers) uses a digital display that allows you to easily control temperature adjustments, along with an automatic humidity control that can hold up to two standard spools at once.
It also includes a built-in timer that can be set to 48 hours at a low temperature. This means that you wouldn’t be worrying about filament storage nor the spool getting wet.
Many 3D printing enthusiasts own a food dehydrator for drying PETG. They set it in for about 4-6 hours at 70°C and find the whole thing working well.
If you don’t have a food dehydrator at home, you can purchase one online. Apart from the Sunix Food Dehydrator, you can also go with the Chefman Food Dehydrator from Amazon, a more premium version.
One user mentioned just how easy it is to dry their filament by simply setting the time and temperature, then letting the heat work. There is a little bit of a fan noise, but nothing too out of the ordinary with an appliance.
Another user said they can get around 5 rolls of 1KG filament with this machine. The digital interface is really appreciated by 3D printer users who got themselves this dehydrator.
PETG dries well with the help of a specialized filament dryer, similar to PLA, and ABS.
I highly recommend you to look into a filament dryer like the SUNLU Filament Dryer for PETG that doesn’t cost too much and works amazingly right out of the box.
It performs consistently and makes the filament moisture-free after 4-6 hours of constant drying.
Bonus Method for PETG
Some people have been drying their PETG filaments by putting them inside a freezer, and it seems to work, even on 1-year-old spools.
This is indeed unusual, but does successfully dehydrate the filament. However, people say that it can take up to 1 week for the changes to take effect, so this method is definitely time-taking.
It works through a process called sublimation which is when a solid substance becomes a gas without passing through the liquid state.
It’s definitely an experimental method for filament drying, but it does work and can be used if you’re not short on time.
How Do You Dry Nylon?
Nylon can be dried in an oven at a temperature of 75-90°C for 4-6 hours. A food dehydrator is also a great option for keeping Nylon dry, but if you want to store the filament effectively and print while it dries, you can also use a specialized filament dryer for Nylon.
Let’s now look into the best methods you can use for drying Nylon.
- Dry in an Oven
- Use a Filament Dryer
- Food Dehydrator
Dry in an Oven
The recommended Nylon filament drying temperature in an oven is 75-90°C for 4-6 hours.
One user has had great luck with Nylon by keeping the temperature steady at 80°C for 5 hours straight in their oven. After drying it using these parameters, they were able to print high-quality parts with their Nylon filament.
Use a Filament Dryer
Using a specialized filament dryer is definitely the better way to go with Nylon. There are several options available online that actively dry and store the filament collectively.
The JAYO Dryer Box on Amazon is a great device that many people are using. At the time of writing this article, the product has a 4.4/5.0 overall rating on Amazon with 75% of the people leaving a 5-star review.
It’s priced decently and is much quieter at less than 10 decibels than the SUNLU Upgraded Dry Box.
Using a food dehydrator is a safe and easy approach to keep Nylon away from moisture than using a regular oven.
Again, I’d recommend going with the Sunix Food Dehydrator to get your Nylon filament dried.
How Do You Dry TPU?
To dry TPU, you can use a home oven at a temperature of 45-60°C for 4-5 hours. You can also purchase a filament dryer to dry it and print at the same time. TPU can also be dried inside a DIY dry box with silica gel packets, but using a food dehydrator will bring you the best results.
Let’s take a look at the best ways of drying TPU.
- Drying TPU in an Oven
- Using a Filament Dryer
- Food Dehydrator
- DIY Dry Box
Drying TPU in an Oven
The drying temperature for TPU in an oven is anywhere between 45-60°C for 4-5 hours.
It’s recommended to dry TPU after each time you complete a print with it. One user says that after printing a 4-hour long print, they dried their TPU in an oven at 65°C for 4 hours and got a high-quality part afterward.
Using a Filament Dryer
You can also use a filament dryer to dry and store TPU at the same time. Since this filament isn’t as hygroscopic as others, printing with it in a filament dryer is an ideal way to get high-quality prints.
You can get the SUNLU Upgraded Dry Box on Amazon which is what most people use for drying their TPU filament. There are also other options to choose from online.
Using a food dehydrator is another quick and easy way for drying TPU. If you don’t have one at home already, you can find one easily online.
The Chefman Food Dehydrator on Amazon is simply one of the best options to get for drying TPU. At the time of this writing, this product enjoys a remarkable reputation on Amazon with a 4.6/5.0 overall rating.
DIY Dry Box
You can also get yourself an airtight storage container and use some packets of desiccants with it to store and dry your TPU.
Apart from using a desiccant in your self-made dry box, you can make your filament spool stand on its side, and hang a 60-watt utility light inside the container to dry TPU as well.
You would then cover the container with its lid, and leave the light on overnight or even through the whole day. This will absorb most of the moisture out of the filament and get you printing successfully the next time you try.
How Do You Dry PC?
Polycarbonate can be dried in an oven at a temperature of 80-90°C for 8-10 hours. You can also use a food dehydrator for effective drying. A specialized filament dryer is a great option for keeping Polycarbonate dry and printing with it at the same time. A dry box with a desiccant inside works well too.
Let’s take a look at the best ways of drying PC.
- Dry in a Convection Oven
- Use a Food Dehydrator
- Dry Box
- Filament Dryer
Dry in a Convection Oven
The Polycarbonate filament drying temperature in an oven is 80-90°C for 8-10 hours. One PC user says that he regularly dries their filament in an oven at 85°C for 9 hours and it seems to work great.
Use a Food Dehydrator
Polycarbonate can also be used with a food dehydrator for effective drying. You just have to set the correct temperature and leave the filament spool inside to dry.
I’d recommend going with the more premium Chefman Food Dehydrator when it comes to Polycarbonate filament.
Storing and drying Polycarbonate in a filament dryer is a good way of getting successful prints.
Polycarbonate should have a drying temperature of around 80-90℃. The SUNLU filament dryer can reach a maximum temperature of 55℃, but you can increase the drying duration to 12 hours.
Filament Drying Chart
The following is a table that lists the filaments discussed above along with their drying temperature and recommended time.
|Filament||Drying Temperature||Drying Time|
Can Filament Be Too Dry?
Now that you’ve read about different filaments and their drying methods, it’s only logical to wonder if filaments can get too dry at times.
Drying your filament too much can cause its chemical composition to deform, leading to less strength and quality in printed parts. You should prevent your filament from absorbing moisture in the first place through proper storage methods and avoid drying excessively.
Most 3D printer filaments have heat-sensitive additives in them that could be removed if you dry your filament repeatedly in an oven or using a food dehydrator.
By over drying the material, you would be making it more brittle, and lower in quality.
The rate at which that would happen would be definitely very slow, but the risk is still there. Therefore, you always want to store your filament spools properly so they don’t absorb moisture in the first place.
The ideal storage solutions are given above, but just to clarify again, you can use an airtight container with a dehumidifier or desiccant, a dedicated filament dryer, a sealable vacuum bag, and a mylar foil bag.
Do I Need to Dry PLA Filament?
PLA filament doesn’t need to be dried but it does give you optimal results when you dry the moisture out of the filament. Surface quality can be decreased when moisture has built up in PLA filament. Drying PLA tends to give you higher quality prints and less printing failures.
I’d definitely recommend drying your PLA filament after it has been sitting out for some time in an open environment. Printing issues can arise such as stringing, bubbles, and oozing from your nozzles when there is moisture.
Are Filament Dryers Worth It?
Filament dryers are worth it since they significantly improve the quality of 3D prints, and may even save prints that could potentially fail due to moisture issues. They are not too expensive, costing around $50 for a good quality filament dryer. Many users are getting great results with filament dryers.
The video below shows a comparison of a PETG part that had moisture and another one that was dried in a filament dryer for around 6 hours. The difference is very clear and noticeable.