Proper material storage is key to good print results. An improperly stored material may become brittle, snap easier, change colors and will also affect the final part properties. Alternatively, controlling the humidity is important for reliably printing materials that absorb moisture from the environment.
Optimal storage conditions
To keep your filaments in prime condition store them:
- in a re-sealable bag
- out of direct sunlight
- in a dry and cool location
The optimal storage temperature for PLA, Tough PLA, PETG, CPE, CPE+, PC, Nylon, PP, TPU 95A, and Breakaway is between -20 °C to +30 °C. Store ABS between 15 °C and 25 °C and PVA between 10 °C and 30 °C. Furthermore, a relative humidity of below 50% is recommended for PVA, Nylon, and TPU 95A. If these materials are exposed to a higher humidity the quality of the material can be affected.
Store filament in a re-sealable bag with the silica gel desiccant provided. Store PVA immediately after use to minimize moisture uptake.
Shelf life recommendations
Following optimal storage conditions, we recommend a maximum shelf life of 1 year for moisture sensitive materials (e.g. PVA, Nylon, PLA, TPU 95A) and a maximum shelf life of 2 years for more chemically inert materials (e.g. PP, PC).
Identifying poorly stored filament
Incorrectly stored materials collect dust and absorb moisture. This leads to extrusion problems and loss of print quality. In addition, moisture absorption can cause popping sounds while printing.
PVA and Nylon are particularly sensitive to moisture and suffer damage faster than other materials. Transparent Nylon will look more milky and black Nylon will be less shiny.
PVA exposed to moisture will become soft and pliable and maybe even sticky. It is possible to dry PVA and other moisture-sensitive materials following the procedure described in this article. PVA that is too dry may become rigid, which could also cause problems while printing.
To check the quality of PLA, try to snap the filament. If the PLA filament snaps easily, it is too brittle for use and should be replaced.
Using the Material Station
With the Ultimaker S5 Pro Bundle and the Material Station, the filament is automatically kept at the recommended humidity, however it does not actively dry the filament. The reliable humidity-controlled storage chamber maintains the loaded spools in optimum condition. More information about the Material Station can be read on this page.
To properly recover filament it should be dried at elevated temperatures. For material-specific recommendations, more information can be found on this page.