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PLA Filament storage and life

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 125 ✭✭ manofthefora


    Does PLA filament (I use eSUN) have a life and recommended storage?
    I have left a reel of PLA on the printer unused for over two weeks. When I went to use it today, it just snapped when lightly strained.
    Should I always remove a reel immediately after use and put it in a sealed bag with desiccant? Is the reel that snapped ready for the bin?

    I have never given this topic any thought and now think it may be a cause of bed adhesion issues.
    Any comments or advice appreciated.
    MOTF
    Tagged:


Comments



  • In my experience it depends on the filament. I have a roll of black PLA that, when I left it fed into the CR6 for a week or so, got so brittle that I had to dismantle the Bowden tube to get it out (and even then it broke off in the hotend, so I had to feed the replacement filament through until it was purged).

    On the other hand, I have a roll of sparkly red PLA on the Q5 that has been there for months, and when I went to print a part with it (didn't need a red sparkly part, just too lazy to change the filament) it went without a hitch.

    PLA will absorb moisture from the air, so it's generally a good idea to retract it and store the rolls in ziploc bags with silica gel and as little air in as you can manage. How good an idea that is seems to depend on the individual filaments.




  • Yeah it must vary, I've been off and on printing for about a year now, anyway when I was getting set up I bought a big air tight drum to hold my rolls, get about a dozen in there, I store the machine and other stuff out in a garden shed and it's pretty damp.

    I had read about PLA absorbing moisture and people seeing it popping nearly coming out the hot end, anyway long story short, have left rolls on the machine sitting unused for months in the damp and haven't had a problem, sometimes it has broken between the roll and the feeder when I go out to it after it sitting for a couple of weeks but works fine when I feed it through again. Haven't experienced moisture issues, ymmv




  • Does PLA filament (I use eSUN) have a life and recommended storage?
    MOTF

    It depends heavily on how you store it. Both temperature and humidity. Apparently you can start seeing signs of degradation within months in tropical climates (wishful thinking :)). Most sources I've seen quote 2 years expected shelf-life. I have a roll about that old, can't say it's any different than when I first got it. I've left PLA out for a couple hours (overnight print) with no ill effects.

    As for storage. The drier the better. I keep all my spools in a large plastic box with lockable lid, with a room dehumidifier inside. One of those big tablet-like yokes you can get in B&Q. It keeps the spools at under 30% RH. Two years on, and I haven't needed to replace the tablet yet. Just empty the catch box once a week from whatever few drops are there.




  • Quality is the key
    I have bought PLA in the past direct from China and it was complete and utter crap, seemed to degrade quickly over time and cause all sorts of nozzle blocking issues

    But in the last few yrs I've only bought from Irish suppliers selling PLA produced in the EU and no problems - I don;t particularly look after the rolls, they are just stored beside the printer in the house

    So my advice is that if you buy decent filament, you wont have to worry to much, providing you are storing indoors of course




  • boomdocker wrote: »
    Quality is the key
    But in the last few yrs I've only bought from Irish suppliers selling PLA produced in the EU and no problems - I don;t particularly look after the rolls, they are just stored beside the printer in the house

    I have only bought 1 roll so far, from Amazon. No issues myself but would be interested in knowing the Irish suppliers you use. Shop at home and all that!


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  • I picked up some vacuum seal bags and keep my open filament rolls in these with some dessicant. (Kept inside the house so room temp). Not had any issues yet, but its early days for most of the rolls still.




  • Snaga wrote: »
    I picked up some vacuum seal bags and keep my open filament rolls in these with some dessicant. (Kept inside the house so room temp). Not had any issues yet, but its early days for most of the rolls still.

    Was thinking of this also there today. Must be a sized bag for filament surely!?

    Got a new role there the other day and the vacuum pack it comes in cat clawed it, so the air got in. :pac:




  • Was thinking of this also there today. Must be a sized bag for filament surely!?

    Got a new role there the other day and the vacuum pack it comes in cat clawed it, so the air got in. :pac:

    Yep - I picked this up from the Creality EU warehouse, so didnt take too long to get here.

    https://www.creality3dofficial.com/products/vacuum-sealed-bags-filament-storage-kit-10-packs?_pos=1&_sid=abc4141db&_ss=r




  • May as well post this here as it would be useful I think, but doesn't necessarily need its own thread. Just got through the first roll of filament. It lasted a little longer than I thought it would. Got down to 4 layers of the spool and ordered another spool. Very hard to check how much is left on the roll using its weight alone, as the spool weight would be included. Thinking about making some sort of device for weighing using an Arduino.

    For 1kg Eryone Spools the weight of an empty spool is ~188 grams so this minus the net weight will give you an approximate filament weight, ~3g per meter.

    450g of waste which is fairly high I think, can hopefully cut down on test prints 193g. 195g of supports, brims, rafts, that gunk on the side. 62g failed prints.


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