Monday, September 5, 2016

Food Dehydrator - The Go To Filament, Paint & Glue Drying System

Anyone that prints with PLA and Tough 3D Ink needs to understand that moisture in the ambient air tries to degrade and destroy these filaments. That's why filament is shipped in sealed bags with dry packs.  Once we open the bags, the filament begins acting like a sponge soaking up the moisture in the air,  That;s why I do not like buying large reels of filament.  In fact, the filament reels chosen by M3D are a perfect size in my area, which is the moisture laden mid-Atlantic.

A few months ago I went on a quest to attack this issue.  I came up with storage bins in which I can put drying agents along with the filament.  But, the most significant discovery was that an ordinary food dehydrator can be used to draw the moisture out of our filaments.

After trying several, the one that I finally settled on as my favorite is the Presto Digital Dehydrator that can be purchased through Kohl's, Walmart and any number of similar stores.

Presto Digital Food Dehydrator
I prefer the digital version because I can more precisely set the temperature and running time.

But, now I have found an additional way to use this product with my 3D prints... for drying paint and curing glue!

While I spray aerosol paints outside and let them dry a bit before bringing them into the house, it is nice to be able to select a nice even temperature for the bulk of the curing time.  Most aerosol paint directions say the paint will dry to touch within an hour and be fully cured in 24 hours.  Using the food dehydrator ensures that will be the case no mater how moist the ambient air.

But, another application that has become important for is curing glue.  As I have been testing clear coat candidates for the alcohol markers, it is clear glue that seems to offer the most promise.  In fact, Loctite GO2 All-Purpose glue does not seem to smear alcohol marker colors and, as an added benefit seems to perform as an effective glue with Tough 3D Ink.  The jury is still out on standard PLA.

And, that jury is the food dehydrator.  I joined two pieces of PLA with Loctite GO2 and am letting it cure for at least 24 hours.  That should give it the proper time and proper environment to work its best.  I also have a 'swatch' of alcohol marker painted ABS-R running through the same drying cycle.  So, in 24 hours we should have some results to report.

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