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Filament cleaner/cooler box

by DamianGto, published

Filament cleaner/cooler box by DamianGto Apr 15, 2013
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This is a project I work on.
The goal is to have a filament cleaner box and cool the filament.

The middle box is for a little sponge. You can use any soft sponge you like to. It will remove some dust, but it will also act as a barrier for the air.

The air box is made to inject air in the box. This air will be forced up in the filament tube. This will cool the filament.
The small hole shall be down to the middle part.

The top part is for the filament tube. it sits on top the air part.
The bottom part shall be under the middle part.

All this shall be mounted so the filament can move free without touching the box.

The top part and the air part must be tight fit so no air will be leaking between them. Maybe you need to sanding them and use glue to fit them together.

The air box is ready now.
The funnel is for 80mm fan.

The middle part is an air chamber. It is made to store and increase the pressure trough the top part.
The top part shall be connected to the cleaner/cooler part.
I have not done any part for that, but you can use any hose or something. Dont make it to long. you will loose pressure.

All 3 part shall be glued together. You might need to sand them of first so they are flat. Its important that they do not leak.
Dont forget to use a dust filter on the fan.
If you want more pressure you can easy put more fans together.
Make sure the fastest and and the most effective fan is the inner fan.

Clean/dry box:
This part will remove fumes and moisture.

There is a bottom part and 2 middle parts. The middle part is only 2 different size. So use the one you like :-)

You put those together and put them to the fan on the airbox.
You can use a normal 80mm dust filter to fans, if you want to make sure it will not be any dust into the fan, but it should be dust free.

In this box you shall use "Silica Gel Cat Litter". Its the same stuff that use to be in those small silica bags that is used to remove moisture from electronics and other stuff, like in the bag filament is shipped in.

So this set is 2 part. one that the filament goes trough and one part that clean and remove the moisture from the air.

P.S I have not tested this yet, so I do not know if the dimension on the part is 100% or if it to small. Please let me know if you try it out :-)


I made this with Autodesk 123D Design.
You can also see guides and other help on my wiki+ site

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built and installed to my Makerbot 2X. Theory being that it should help print using PLA. I just printed the box (in ABS) and skipped all the fan parts. Using an aquarium pump to push air down the tube and using some foam in the printer filter box to clean the filament and to hold back some airflow, back pressure if you will. While still using ABS I noticed how much tighter some prints where when I turned on the pump. Parts that normal would get overheated like spires and shafts as the extruder staying in one areas and rotates on a small axis, don't have as much heat sag and dragging via the extruder. Now just need to suck it up and thread some PLA through it all.

I was looking at the same principles and I couldn't get enough air through to make a difference. I even looked at compressors.

You can get a slight breeze through the filament guide tube and that just isn't enough to counter 230 degrees C. The guide tube will have to be made alot bigger it seems and almost freezing air will need to be blown through it and you need to make sure the air doesn't escape the extruder or it will cool down the whole heating chamber or the print.

The air will first hit the extruder wheel and ball bearing and then just go all over the place. Hope you find a solution

think you misunderstand what it is for. Its not 230 degree c at that place. If if would then all the things would melt. in might be 10-30 degree c over what you have in the room that you want to cool down. Also if very important that you have a fan that can push a lot of air. The air shall not go down the heating chamber. also the extruder is an open design so why would you want that to be closed? The theory is that this will cool and clean the air that goes up in the filament tube. This will cool down that filament and the tube, also if would make it more easy for the filament to go through the tube. It might need a bigger tube for more air, but I will look at that later on. Then it would blow little air on the extruder wheel. That would cool that down a little. As I know the extruder stepper motor can be hot during a long print, but it should not be hotter then 50 degree C. If its hotter then 60-66 then the PLA will be bad and start to soften. But if it has air that is pushed over the filament and the extruder wheeel it would be cooler then that and would not be soft. So it not made to cool the filament to the point it will stay firm, that would not need to be much air. If you used a compressor with a loot of air then it would be to much air and it would interfere with a lot of parts. It would not take that much moving air to cool the filament. Also you might need to put an heatsink on the stepper motor to cool it even more. I have seen the same heat problem with computers and it takes very little moving air to cool a lot, if the air is in the right place.

I was thinking of the heatsink idea, but if you close the 2X then the heatsink won't help. The air inside my 2X gets to about 60 C. The aluminium where the extruder tube is attached to gets so hot I can't touch it for very long after a long print with the 2X enclosed. I like your idea and I can't wait to see what you get right with it. My idea just didn't work when I tried it. I bought a 120mm fan that can produce 100 CFM and most of the air was going backwards. There was just too much pressure and I even tried a 16mm ID pipe. Maybe I should have used a tiny fan, but a tiny fan might not have been able to push air all the way through the guide tube. Also any air that escapes from the extruder will hit the ABS and you don't want that either. Even the tiny fan currently on the 2X has air hitting the ABS. When I put a shroud around the fans and heatsinks I get better prints

If you add heatsink it will cool the stepper down a little, but as you note it can not cool down more then the temperature inside the bot.

Funny is that at 120mm fan with 100CFM can be almost useless to this. most part a smaller fan can push air harder then a bigger one. Even if it rated to 100CFM, it almost every time measured without any restriction. They are often only useful in a small "box" that also has fan that will remove air from it, so it has almost zero restriction. When you shall use a fan like I do in this, its important the fan have a high push force. I might even make this smaller to fit a 40mm fans, but I am not sure yet.

As for the other problem you seems to have I can not answer it, It sounds strange. But ABS has also a higher glass temperature then PLA.

Thanks I will do a lot more test and research on this when my printer comes. I have more ideas to make stuff work better. As I see one big problem is the filament is getting to hot where it should be cold. Also I seen reports that the stepper motors get hot to, but I do believe the extruder stepper motor has most problem. I might even look into liquid cooling. I know that is very effective but it do cost more money.

Let me know how it goes, I have a Replicator 2X and I am looking for a solution on filament cooling.

I will do as soon I get my 2x to. Its late and I must have it before I can make it like it should be. In theory it should work, but I might need to change something.