FD-5, 2x 2.3kg or 5kg Filament Drier

FD-5, 2x 2.3kg or 5kg Filament Drier


First units shipping mid June 2018!

Simple, effective and superbly priced! The one and only professional filament drying system capable of using 2×2.3kg spools or a max of 350mm diameter and 160mm wide. The FD-5 drier is the only drier your company or printer hub will ever need. (For those on the other side of the pond, this can also be found as a FD-5 filament Dryer.)

SKU: FD-5 Category:
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Many polymers absorb moisture from the ambient atmosphere. As the water molecule is polar, it can easily form hydrogen bonds with polar functional groups in polymers. First, moisture condenses at the lament surface (so-called surface moisture), but after some time moisture will also penetrate inside the material (so-called bulk moisture).

Both moisture types have a tremendous negative effect on the processing of the most polymer materials when water reacts with polymer molecules and breaks them into smaller ones (hydrolysis).

FD-5 Drier operation

The incoming ambient air is sucked through a set of filters (1) into the drying chamber. Next, the air is flowed through a rotating desiccant disc (2) to reduce the water content in it. This is the main difference between our dryers and drying in an oven or in fruit dryers, because the lower is the moisture content in the incoming air, the more efficiently it can absorb the evaporating moisture from the 3D printing filament, moreover less heat is needed to heat up air with a lowered moisture content. Next, this partially dehumidified air (3) is heated up by the resistive heaters (4). The hot air (5) flows around the 3D printing filament (6) and heats it up. The temperature, however, may not  exceed the softening point of the 3D printing filament or spool material at any point of the drying process. The excess moisture evaporates from the 3D printing filament and is carried away with the flowing air (7), which is heated up by a heater (8) to partially regenerate the rotary desiccant disc (2). As the rotary desiccant disc rotates automatically the whole disc can be regenerated periodically, and no maintenance or replacement is needed. The processed air is then expelled from the drying chamber through another set of filters (9).

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ABS, PMMA, PA (Nylon), PC, PET, PETG, POM, TPU, advanced filaments like CF filled PA or flexible filaments should be dried before printing. We also recommend to feed preconditioned PLA or PP filaments, because it can improve the reliability of the printing process.

The main negative effect of excessive moisture during processing of polymers is hydrolysis, i.e. the chemical breakdown of polymer macromolecules due to reaction with water at high temperatures.

In the context of 3D printing high moisture content in the filament can give rise to the following 3D printing defects:
• foaming, bubble formation, opaque appearance. At the polymer processing temperatures the water will evaporate, expand, and form bubbles in the polymer melt, which will result in bad surface properties and deteriorate the optical properties of the final parts;

• more oozing and more strings. Water reduces the viscosity of the polymer melts, so they become more liquid;

• pronounced warping. The prints from undried material usually show worse dimensional stability, and become more prone to warping;

• bad interlayer adhesion, compromised mechanical properties. Due to the hydrolysis, the long macromolecule chains are split into shorter ones. This leads to the compromised mechanical properties of the solid parts, which can lead to the delamination during printing or even failure of 3D printed parts in service;

• colour changes. Hydrolysis products often lead to the colour changes of the polymer.

On average it will take around 5 h at 60 – 80 °C to dry a 1 kg filament spool, depending on the specific type of filament and the initial moisture content. Note that drying settings can vary largely even for nominally the same filaments coming from different manufacturers.

Lets say you find one that takes 2x 2.5kg spools or a single 5kg spool, of course you can dry your filaments in an oven or fruit dryer, you just have to bear in mind that it is not a good idea to dry filaments in the same equipment where you cook your meal.
Moreover, the rotating desiccant system makes our filament dryers more efficient than fruit dryers, and on average it takes twice as less time to dry the filament in our filament dryers than in a fruit dryer (see Figure below). Considering the generally long drying hours, it will result in significant time and money savings.

The relative weight changes of 0.5 kg Nylon filament dried in fruit dryer (at the maximum temperature of 72 C, at full air flow) and in our filament dryer (at T = 70 C, air flow = 20 %). This graph shows that drying in the filament dryer is clearly faster and more efficient than drying in a fruit dryer.

The main reason for the temperature limit is the material of the filament spool. Many manufacturers spin their filaments on PS or ABS spools. Unfortunately, these materials are prone to losing their shape at the temperatures needed to dry the spun material. To our experience PC spool is the adequate spool material.

Firstly, when you dry 3D printing filaments using air with the constant properties (constant temperature, relative air humidity, and airflow) the moisture content in the material will slowly approach the so-called equilibrium moisture content, and will not decrease any further (see Figure below). In other words, drying filament with drying air having a certain temperature, relative air humidity, and flowing velocity values will never result in a material with the moisture content below some equilibrium moisture content, no matter how long one dries the material.

Figure: Drying curve for PA 3D printing filaments. The material was dried in FD1 dryer at 70 °C and 75 °C, with 20 % airflow. The undried filament was used after a prolonged exposure to the ambient conditions (room temperature, RH = 55-60 %). Drying for 450 min @ 70 °C or for 550 min @ 75 °C is generally enough to dry the filament.

Secondly, some cheap filament manufacturers put a lot of additives into the filaments. These additives tend to migrate out during prolonged exposure at high temperatures; this phenomenon might be called overdrying. Printing with an overdried 3D filament will not result in a good print.

Additional information

Weight25 kg
Dimensions50 × 56 × 53 cm


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