It's Not The Heat...

I used to keep eight or ten of my 3D printer filament reels on the pipe framework I built around the table, partly because it's convenient to have them handy there and partly because I think it looks cool.  However, this summer I read a number of pretty convincing arguments regarding how quickly filament can suck trace moisture out of the air.  This can cause problems with inconsistent filament feed while printing, so I decided to try a different storage route. 

Underneath the table I know have some large plastic bins -- each one cost about $6 and can hold ten spools.  That leaves just enough room for one of those nifty water absorption thingies; they cost a couple of bucks each, you put them in a humid area such as a laundry room or North Carolina, and they draw the moisture out of the air via these magical pellets that you shouldn't eat. 

I really didn't expect to have a whole lot of moisture in a plastic box in my office, so I was pretty surprised when I checked one of the absorption things after four months.  Shook the container and heard the slosh slosh slosh -- more water than pellets in there.  Go figure.  If that much humidity was available inside the bin, apparently my totally exposed filament reels have been sucking up a lot of water previously.

As long as I'm posting pictures of the table, I'll point out that it was the first major improvement made to my printer.  Yeah, everyone else likes to replace the motors and bearings with some super-high efficiency versions they stole from ARGUS or swap out the nozzles for premium heads they made by melting down Wolverine's bones, but the table is without a doubt the best upgrade I've made.  When I first bought the printer I had it sitting on a card table and the entire table would sway during printing.  Building a solid table with 4x4's for legs took care of that, plus provided a platform for those 1/2" pipes to hold the reels.  But now that I've decided to keep the filament dry, I'll have to find something else worthwhile for the scaffolding.