What Problems Can Wet PETG Cause?
Printing with wet filament of any type can cause all sorts of problems. The quality of your final product will undoubtedly suffer if using wet PETG filament. Wet filament can cause the individual layers of the print to have trouble adhering to each other properly. This can cause the strength of the bonds between each layer to be compromised, ultimately causing your print to be much weaker and more brittle than it should be.
How Do You Know If Your PETG Is Wet?
It’s hard to tell that your PETG filament is wet by simply looking at it, and you might not notice that your print’s layers are not adhering properly until your print is nearly complete. However, there is one indicator that is an obvious sign that your PETG is wet.
If you can hear any sort of popping or crackling sound coming from your extractor, that most likely means that your PETG filament is wet. Those crackling noises occur when water in the PETG filament is heated to the point of evaporation and pops while the PETG is melting. Just like a wood-fueled fire, crackling means that the material being heated is wet.
How To Dry PETG In An Oven
If your PETG gets wet there is no need to panic. There’s no need to go out and buy new PETG filament and no need for the use of any fancy and expensive equipment. All you need to dry out your PETG is the oven in your kitchen.
All you need to do is preheat your oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, put your PETG in and wait around 4 to 6 hours. This will be plenty of time to dry out the filament leaving it good as new. Just be careful not to turn the temperature up much higher than 150 degrees as you may risk melting the filament, rendering it unusable.
Another thing to be cautious of when drying PETG in the oven is the cleanliness of your oven. You need to make sure that your oven is near spotless as stray particles of food and grease can end up on your filament, further reducing the quality of your PETG. The last thing you want to do is reduce the quality of your PETG in this way when you were trying to do the exact opposite.
Additional Ways To Dry PETG Filament
Though not quite as simple and cheap as using your oven, there are other things you can use to dry wet PETG filament as well. The most common of which are filament dryers and food dehydrators.
For anyone looking for the most professional way of doing things, filament dryers like the Print Dry Pro and Sovol SH01 allow you to store and dry your filament as you’re printing, making this the best long-term solution for anyone willing to shell out the extra cash.
Food Dehydrators can are also great for drying filament and if set around 150 degrees Fahrenheit, your filament will be dry in about the same time as it takes in the oven. However, I would only use this method if you happen to already have a food dehydrator laying around, as it makes much more sense to spend your money on the much more purpose-built filament dryer instead.
How To Prevent Water Absorption By Properly Storing Your PETG
Though there are many easy ways to dry wet PETG filament, the best way to approach the problem is by simply preventing your PETG from absorbing water in the first place. You can do this by ensuring that you are storing your PETG properly.
Since PETG is hygroscopic, it does not need to physically be submerged in water for it to get absorbed. PETG will absorb moisture out of the air until it is completely waterlogged and no more water can be absorbed. This means that people living in the more humid regions of the world will have a bit more trouble keeping their filament dry than those who live in a dryer area.
No matter where you live, you should, at the very least, be sure that you store your PETG filament in an enclosed container in the coolest and driest part of your home. If you plan on purchasing any of the above-mentioned filament dryers, you will already have this step taken care of as they also act as dry boxes, keeping moisture out of the environment where your filament is being stored. If not, any sort of enclosed container kept in a dry part of the house will do the trick.
If you have a vacuum sealer, vacuum sealing your PETG is another great option in the absence of any appropriately sized containers. Dehumidifiers can also help to keep the moisture levels in the air around where your PETG is stored much lower so that it has less opportunity to absorb moisture at all. Water gel beads can also be put around where your PETG is being stored to suck all of the moisture out of the air before it even reaches your filament.
The key here is to just work with what you have. You don’t have to have the perfect storage set up to keep your PETG in tip top shape. As long as you have the ability to use one or more of these methods in unison, you will be able to keep your PETG dry enough to where it can be used with only minimal to no drying at all.