What Is PETG Filament and How Does It Work?
PETG (Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol) is a popular filament that combines the greatest features of PLA and ABS filaments. It has the stiffness and mechanical properties of ABS and the ease of printing of PLA filaments.
PETG has many advantages, including:
- A strong tensile strength that allows them to print high-strength machine parts for various industries.
- Glycol-enhanced quality allows it to provide a clear visual in 3D printing, making them shimmer like glass.
Moisture is one of the key elements that can easily destroy your filaments, resulting in difficulties such as clogging of your 3D printer's extruder or poor print quality.
PETG filaments, like any other type of filament, might suffer from moisture-related issues; therefore, you'll need to check for moisture before printing.
How to Dry PETG Filament – 4 Effective Techniques
Filament Dryer Technique
If you store a lot of filament and use your 3D printer frequently, investing in a filament drier is the ideal option because it dries it up quickly and efficiently.
A filament drier works similarly to a food dehydrator in that it heats the air in a contained space to eliminate moisture. The device usually has a heat setting that allows you to select the recommended temperatures for the PETG filament.
Here's how to use a PETG filament drier:
- To begin, place the filament in the filament dryer. You can store multiple spools if your drier allows it.
- Turn on the filament dryer and set the heat to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius), the suggested temperature for drying PETG filament by most manufacturers.
- Allow at least 3 hours for the filament to dry. However, drying periods will vary based on the quantity of moisture in the filament, as well as ambient humidity and temperature.
- If the filament isn't entirely dry after 3 hours, let it dry for another 3 hours and repeat the process as needed.
Some dryers also let you supply the filament to the 3D printer while drying, which is a terrific way to make sure the filament is completely dry after pre-drying.
The oven method is without a doubt one of the most popular ways to dry a spool of filament quickly and easily, as it simply requires a conventional oven that can be found in most homes.
We recommend this method for people looking to dry a spool of filament that has absorbed moisture on a one-time basis because the electricity expenses can quickly add up if you use your oven to dry PETG on a daily basis (we recommend getting a filament dryer in this situation).
Here's how you can use an oven to dry PETG:
- Set your oven to 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit) and wait for it to pre-heat. You should wait until the oven is at the right temperature while pre-heating to speed up the process.
- If you're not sure about the required temperatures, use an oven thermometer to double-check before inserting the filament because higher temperatures will melt the filament and leave it useless.
- Place one of the oven racks on top of the filament and leave it there for at least three hours.
- Repeat the drying process in three-hour cycles until the filament is entirely dry, as drying time varies based on different factors, including the amount of moisture absorbed, oven temperature, etc.
Heating Bed Technique
The heat bed method is undoubtedly the most inventive since it makes use of your 3D printer's heating capabilities to dry the filament. This method can be used by anyone because it's pretty simple and straightforward and requires nothing except a 3D printer.
Plus, the heating bed technique is also very cost-effective as it can dry the filament without melting it, provided that you set the right temperature for the printer.
However, you will need to enclose the space around the filament in some way, as merely leaving the spool on the heat bed would cause the drying process to fail because of the ambient temperature interfering with it.
Follow the steps mentioned below to dry your PETG filament using the heat bed method:
- Set your heat bed's temperature to 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius) and wait for it to get warm.
- Place your spool in an airtight container that is able to handle the heat bed's high temperature. While a heatproof airtight bag is an ideal option, wrapping your filament with aluminum foil will suffice if you don't have access to anything better.
- Allow 3 hours for your filament to dry on top of the heat bed.
- Check the moisture level of the filament after 3 hours, and repeat the process until the moisture has dried completely.
Food Dehydration Technique
After the filament dryer method, the food dehydration technique is the second-best option for drying PETG filament, provided that you own a food dehydrator. If you already have a food dehydrator that isn't of much use, you can avoid buying a filament dryer because both methods are quite similar.
Here's how you can use a food dehydrator to dry PETG filament:
- To begin, place the filament in the food dehydrator. You can dry numerous spools of filaments at once if your food dehydrator has enough space.
- Set the temperature of the food dehydrator to 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Allow the filament to dry in the food dehydrator for at least 3 hours.
- After three hours, inspect the filament and continue the three-hour cycle until the moisture has evaporated.
How to Tell Whether a PETG Filament Is Wet or Dry
It's nearly impossible to tell if a spool of PETG filament is moist because it's fairly typical for it to appear normal until the printing process begins and things go awry.
Here are some signs to look out for while printing to detect if your filament has absorbed moisture:
- Unusual Sounds - Unusual popping, hissing, and crackling sounds are usually indicators that your filament is moist.
- Emitting Steam – If you notice the extruder emitting steam, it's most likely that the high temperature of your 3D printer is vaporizing the moisture contained within the filament.
- Sub-Par Print Quality - If your model exhibits stringing (fuzzy/hairy prints), it's possible that your filament has absorbed moisture.
- Weak Layers – You probably have a damp filament if the layers of your model are not bonding properly.
- Inconsistent Extrusion - If the size of the extrusion changes between parts of your model, even though they should all be the same, it could indicate that your filament is wet.
If you don't observe any of these indicators but are still concerned that your filament may have absorbed moisture, it's best to dry it before using it.
At What Temperature Should PETG Be Dried?
The recommended setting for drying PETG filament is 149 degrees Fahrenheit (65 degrees Celsius).
While you could probably use somewhat higher temperatures, you'd be putting your filament at danger of deformation for no cause, as this temperature is completely adequate for removing moisture.
How Long Does It Take To Dry?
While drying time varies depending on the quantity of moisture absorbed, ambient temperature, humidity level, and the type of method used by your PETG filament, we recommend drying it for at least 3 hours.
Please bear in mind that this figure is not definitive; the best method to know if your filament is entirely dry is to inspect it and continue drying if there are any signs of moisture.