In the world of 3D printing, moisture is a serious threat to the quality of our prints. One of the solutions to this problem is the use of a special filament dryer. That’s why I’m testing the Sunlu FilaDryer S2 today. Is it worth buying? Opinions.
Moisture has a significant impact on the filaments used in 3D printing and can negatively affect print quality. 3D filaments, such as PLA or ABS, are susceptible to absorbing moisture from their environment, especially when stored in inappropriate conditions. When 3D filaments soak up moisture, various problems may occur, e.g. print layers will not connect effectively. This effect can lead to poor layer adhesion, resulting in brittle and poor print quality. An overheated filament that has absorbed moisture can create bubbles and porous structures in the print. Air and water vapor trapped inside the filament under the influence of high temperature can cause sudden cracks and defects in the print. Moisture can also affect the dimensional stability of the filament.
When the filament absorbs moisture, it can expand, leading to unpredictable dimensional changes. This, in turn, affects the precision and accuracy of the print, especially if elements with high tolerances are printed. Wet filament requires a longer drying time after each layer because the water has to evaporate. This, in turn, can increase the total printing time, which is impractical and inefficient.
Of course, the method of storing the filament and the place are of great importance. If you live in a humid region or the printer is located in a room with high humidity (e.g. basement, garage), the problem will occur more often. I tried to store filaments with moisture absorbers in a large container, but after measuring the parameters inside it, it turned out that despite the absorbers, the hygrometer did not even move.
That’s why I decided to buy one of the most popular filament dryers – Sunlu FilaDryer S2. The shape of the device resembles a housing for a filament spool. Its front is a large display on which all settings appear. The dryer has special legs to stand stably on the table, and a special filament output so that it can be fed directly from the device to the printer. The hole is compatible with filaments with a diameter of 1.75 – 3.00 mm. Maximum spool dimensions: 210 x 85 mm.
One of the key advantages of this filament dryer is its heating speed. It heats up very quickly and is silent. It can reach a temperature of 70 degrees. The closed drying chamber effectively protects the filament from settling dust, which means that we can store both the spool we are currently using and the filament we are not using at the moment.
The biggest downside of the device is the responsiveness of the display. After connecting to the power supply, only the touch switch appears on the screen. It should be pressed quickly, even several times, for the device to turn on. Sometimes it catches faster, sometimes slower but it is very annoying and annoying. Options appear when enabled. The hygrometer reads the current humidity level inside the chamber. We can manually set the drying temperature and duration. After selecting the type of filament, the settings will automatically be optimal for a specific material. It is also possible to control the backlight, but the screen of the dryer cannot be turned off completely – only green edge lighting showing the activity of the dryer.
I dried both PET-G, ABS and PLA in it, which I stored in a container in the same room as the 3D printer. All materials had a moisture content of 60-65%. Already after 30 minutes of drying, the moisture content of PET-G dropped to 29%. This is a very good result, especially since the device works without any fan (passive).