A study conducted by Thought 3D illuminates the scientific principles behind the drying process of nylon filament.

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3D printing is an incredible technology that has rapidly gained popularity in recent years. One of the most commonly used materials in 3D printing is nylon filament, also known as PA. Nylon is a fantastic material because it produces durable and flexible parts, making it ideal for a wide range of applications. However, printing with nylon can be a nightmare.

One of the biggest challenges with nylon is its tendency to warp uncontrollably. This requires extra precautions and special techniques to hold down the material during the printing process. But perhaps the biggest issue with nylon is its ability to absorb moisture from the air. Even just a day or two of exposure to ambient air can completely ruin a spool of nylon filament.

When nylon absorbs moisture, it can cause the material to form bubbles during printing, which not only destroys its strength but also messes up its visual appearance. This means that if you want to print with nylon, you have to make sure that the filament is completely dry. But how do you know if a newly opened spool of nylon is actually dry? And how dry does it need to be?

Thought 3D, a company that specializes in 3D printing accessories, has come up with a solution to this problem. They have developed a filament dryer called the Drywise, which has the unique ability to dehumidify the filament in real-time as it passes into the printer. This means that you can start printing with nylon at any time by simply turning on the Drywise.

To showcase the effectiveness of the Drywise, Thought 3D has published a new paper titled “Effect of Humidity and Drying on the Strength of 3D Printed Nylon Parts”. One of the key points highlighted in the report is the difficulty in controlling moisture in the filament. Users have no way of knowing the amount of moisture in newly opened spools, which often have a high chance of containing excess moisture. Additionally, nylon filaments rapidly absorb moisture if they are not stored in a dry box, leading to subpar prints within hours of exposure to moderate to high humidity.

The report includes a chart that examines the effect of exposure to varying levels of ambient humidity for different durations. According to the chart, a couple of hours of exposure to high levels of humidity does not have much effect on the quality of the print. However, after more than a few hours of exposure, problems such as stringing start to arise. After three days, attempting to 3D print with nylon becomes essentially pointless, regardless of the humidity level.

The study also tested random fresh spools of nylon and found that a significant proportion, 37%, required drying even right out of the package. This suggests that anyone planning to 3D print with nylon should immediately put the spool into a dryer when opened and refrain from printing until it is completely dry.

Furthermore, the report examined the drying recommendations provided by filament manufacturers and found that in some cases, they were inadequate. Extreme humidity could push moisture levels higher than the recommendations could manage. Additionally, the report found that drying 2.85mm filament takes much longer than drying 1.75mm filament, which is not surprising but may not be accounted for in all recommendations.

The report concludes by highlighting the importance of drying nylon filament in all cases to ensure the strength of the printed parts. Thought 3D’s Drywise unit proved to be effective in this regard, as shown in the accompanying images. Overall, this report is an incredibly detailed and interesting resource on the topic of drying nylon filament.

In conclusion, the ability to dry nylon filament in real-time using the Drywise is a game-changer for 3D printing enthusiasts. It eliminates the guesswork of determining if the filament is dry enough and ensures high-quality prints every time. If you’re someone who frequently prints with nylon, investing in a filament dryer like the Drywise is definitely worth considering.

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