Filament dry box for 3-4 spools of filament

by bummster, published

Filament dry box for 3-4 spools of filament by bummster Aug 9, 2015


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My dry box for 3 - 4 spools of filament. There are many dry box plans out there. This one is mine.

The rod is at a good height for most spools when using a pair of spool hubs on each spool

1 Sterlite 20qt air tight box.
24 3mmx10mm machine screws (3mm x 8mm will work but I like a little bit of thread sticking out of my nylocks)
24 3mm nylock nuts
24 3mm washers
1ft 3mm OD x 2mm ID PTFE tube.
1 12in 5/16 threaded rod

I used 3mm OD x 2mm ID PTFE tube because its what I had on hand.
The nut reliefs are too shallow (1mm) on all parts, but they worked for me.
The round base of the rod holder and the U shaped 'extrusion' are perpendicular to each other. The Sterlite box has an angle of like 3 degrees or so on all sides. It's not a big deal.

Loaded several versions of the U shaped rod holder.
m3 with reliefs (m4 hole w/ m3 nut relief. This one also has an itty bitty section to center the rod. It makes it special.)
m3 with reliefs dry-ish edition (Same as above but with some added flavor. It makes it extra special. And I couldn't get it to print very well either. .2mm deep relief text on the back.)
8-32 with reliefs (m5 hole w/ 8-32 nut relief)
m5 hole with no reliefs

For a size reference, the red filament is Hatchbox PLA, the one in the middle is EasyFil PLA, and the one on the right is Makergeeks ABS.

I haven't had the rod holder pullout of the sterlite box walls using m3 washers, but if they do I'll post a backing plate.


There isn't much to it.

Source a Sterlite 20qt air tight box.
I got mine at Target for $7.

Source your hardware and threaded rod.
I got my threaded rod at Home Depot. Prices vary depending on material. $1.75 or so for Zinc or $6 for the blingy stainless. (Do people still say blingy?)

Cut four holes per side for your bolts to hold the U shaped rod holder. I went 3.75" down from the top of the molded in handle. That will get you down about half way. This number can vary but it's what I went with. Don't go down too much lower or your spools will touch the bottom of the box, but you can go a bit higher. Too high and the rod won't center nicely.

Attach your rod holders.
Place your threaded rod in the holders and push down. There should be a satisfying click when its seated. Ah...

You probably don't want to use my pass throughs. Seriously, who in the world has 3mm OD x 2mm ID PTFE tube? But if you do, I eyeballed the locations for these. They sit just below the radius at the top of the box. The PTFE tube is a tight fit. You may need to ream the hole out with a pin vise and appropriate bit. It is supposed to be a little snug so that the PTFE tube doesn't move around too much while at the same time not deforming or pinching the tube.

I'd suggest you use an alternative pass through that utlizes a pneumatic push fit connector for 4mm OD PTFE tubing. Way better, but as the description noted, I had 3mm OD PTFE tubing so I designed my way around the material on hand. That and I simply couldn't find a source for 3mm OD push fit connectors for a reasonable (Cheap!) amount of money.

In the images, the discerning eye may notice that I'm using nylock nuts to hold my hubs in place. Yeah don't do that. Use normal jam nuts or suffer in trying to thread a nylock onto a threaded rod. It's doable, but not worth the effort.

Don't wrench down on the nuts against the bearings either. Give it a hair of wiggle room so it can spin nice and smooth with a tiny bit of resistance. If there is play it may lead the spool to spin due to imbalances and lead to a tangled mess.

When adding spools to the rod, make sure that all of the filament comes off the spools in the same orientation.

As for the debate of if you need a dry box or not, well, I got nothing. I like this mostly so my filament doesn't get dusty when I cut stuff out with my Shapeoko.

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I know this is probably a silly question but how many of each file do I print for this project?

Depends on what box you start with. For the box as shown, 2x of the U shaped ones. 3-4x of the filament outlets. A buddy of mine found a similar sterlite box that is much larger. I think it was the 54qt? Anyhow, I vaguely remember him putting in a few rods and staggering them vertically to fit a lot of spools and desiccant.

How much % infill should I use? Isn´t it better to lay the part down ?

Yep, lay them down flat. I haven't bothered to figure out how to reorient the origin of my 3d files coming out of solidworks to play nice with thingiverse.

Infill, probably 100%. The parts themselves are quite small with thin cross sections.

Best open line to a description ever...

It's a small take from full metal jacket... I'm not sure if it was meant to be like that but I'm betting it was.

3.75" down... that will be center of threaded rod or top of holder?

Hey, thanks for this.
Two comments from my build.
1) when placing the exit ports keep in mind the size of your spools.
2) my spool holders place additional drag on the threaded rod and this caused other spools to un-spool. I fixed this on my box by installing a washer and nut against one of the rod holders to apply tension on the rod and stop it from spinning.

Would these work for screwing into you passthroughs? https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KV55HI8
Says it's M6 but 3mm thread not sure of thats length or M3 width.
PTFE Tubing OD: 4mm
Thread: 3mm
Height: 18.5mm
Net Weight:26g
Material: Copper

Comments deleted.
Comments deleted.

I haven't needed a back plate, so I haven't made one. I've got two dry boxes in rotation these days, and I haven't had any of the rod holders pull out from the plastic containers using typical 3mm hardware. I'm printing with makergeeks filament, and their spools are on the wide end of the spectrum. So, I've got 3 spools per box, and there hasn't been much of an issue. I've seen some other remixes and such where people are holding something like 6-8 spools using PVC, and they look to be fine too.

Metal fender washers would probably work pretty well, but if you need a back plate, reply and i'll get it modeled up.

Thanks for your reply.
I created a plate, because I ran out of washers:

Works like a charm, thank you.

Back plate for dry box

I'm a "dry box believer" maybe because ambient humidity in my home can run 50%+ sometimes, but I definitely notice a difference in filament performance between the day it comes out of the shipper's bag and a week or two later. I can get it back "like new" by baking the filament in the oven at 180F for 2 hours, but that's a pain compared to a dry box.

I was going to put pass through hardware on my box too, but the first thing I tried was just drilling a slightly undersized hole and pushing the teflon tube through it, it holds well enough probably without any glue... to that I added a dab of "liquid nails" (nasty stuff, which is why it's still around, I used up all my clear silicone caulk) and so far no issues with the tube pulling out.


YAFR (Yet Another Filament Roller)

Just picked up the parts I needed for this. Appreciate the upload and the nice item.

Don't forget to throw one of these in there too. You can pick them up for about 50 pence each.


Simple and does the job nicely. Thank you.

Do you have the Thing or file for the center of your spools? It seems you have all the other parts, but not the spool center.

I didn't post any thing files for spool centers since there are quite a few out there. They go by a lot of names. Spool center, spool hub, etc. But since you asked, I'll post up the three that I used on this one in my designs. :)

Thanks, they look quite nice :D

Anytime! Like I said though, there are a lot out there. Some are based on parametric designs that you can use the customizer on too. I gotta learn how to make things for that one day.

i notice that a nice oil supply somehow makes things run smoother, good for the bearings, good for the filament adn extruder and somehow seems to also bond well 'layer to layer but do not have any on the glass surface unless u want the print to just slide off in the middle !!!

Very interesting. I just saw a filament dust filter of sorts here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:492067 My printer is of a delta/kossel variety. I think i'll try to remix that filter into my pass throughs as an option.

Universal Filament Filter and Lubricator

that is an excellent idea, esp. in humid areas like the south where some of these materials suck up the humidity in the air, ie nylon ...

i suppose some of that dessicent packets last a while " - are ther hole plugs for the pass throughs that arent in use ?

Looks like someone had the same thought and made a plug to fit the pass throughs http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1522888

Filament Dry Box Add-on - Filament Port Cap / Plug / Cover

I figured a pass through that has a PTFE tube and filament is air tight enough for me. :) Unlike the picture I posted, right now all four of my pass throughs are in use with a short length of filament left exposed so I can pull and use whatever I feel like without having to open the box.