Dry Reel Holder

by Lenn, published

Dry Reel Holder by Lenn Feb 22, 2013
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This reel holder design keeps your PLA dry.
PLA is very susceptible to moisture, it is essential that it is kept dry to prevent problems. http://www.shini.com/ep_edm/en/contect_246.html
The main problem I had was the extruder blocking, especially with older filament. Newly unpacked filament worked properly for a few hours but started blocking within a day.
Now I have been printing without problem for over a week.
Mk8 upgrade without cutting for REP 2 http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:35810 ,
adding oil to the filament as described at
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:103729 and
Surface Finish Calibration Test Shape http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:39050
also helped greatly.


A transparent sealed container is needed to hold the reel and descant, I purchased mine from KMart , its just a little bigger than my biggest spool with some space left over on the side for the descant. (approx 210x120x280 mm)
The reel is placed onto the spacer rod and held with the retainer, some tape around the shaft of the retainer can create a tight fit. the reel should easily spin on the spacer rod.
The reel assembly is screwed to the inside of the container with the screws passing through the floor of the container into the reel hanger. Make sure your biggest reel has room to fit and rotated freely and that the dovetail of the reel hanger is free to accept the Reel mount v block.
An 8 mm hole is drilled into the corner of the container to fit the feed unit, this is screwed to the feed bottom. The plug can be used to retain the filament and block the feed tube for storage, remove when using.
Reel mount v block is screwed to the back of your replicator 2 using the reel mount plate and the existing reel mounting hole.
The spacer (print two) is used to center thin reels like makerbot filament.

You may need to created custom reel spacers to suit the many sized filament reel holes.
Bilby http://www.bilbycnc.com.au/ generic filament don't need spacers (has the smallest holes),
ReelRodSpacer.stl is to suit makerbot reels
ReelRodSpacerSain.stl Spacer for www.sainsmart.com reels is now available.

also not yet included is a means to retain the descant (from Bunnings) to prevent it jamming the reel (not happened yet) a hook to hold the desiccant has been uploaded but not tested yet.

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It's odd that I hear people mention PLA giving poor prints if left out for long. I've printed with year old PLA, and my printer and spools are in free air in my carpeted room that I sleep in.

EDIT: And this is in Denmark, so we don't have any airconditioning dehumidifying the air either.

Yep, I've since found that a little oil on the filament makes extruding much more reliable, so much so that damp filament doesn't jam. The maker bot prints so quickly that the filament driven out due to steam doesn't appear to have an obvious effect on quality. Still the container keeps the dust out which is a good idea.

Great idea! I live in a very humid area, and Taulman Nylon absorbs lots of water, just standing on the spool holder. Will try this.

Are your prints better now? What is the noticable influence of dryer PLA?

Found that it is more reliable. With my replicator 2 the filament tends to jam in the extruded when damp filament is used.

This is very professional! Nice work!