A lot of makers when they're just starting off don't really take into account how important it is to be sure your filament is in top shape. After all, filament is filament right? Uh... no. I'm sure you've heard the old adage "Garbage in, Garbage out" right? Couldn't hold more true for the most critical component of your prints!
Ok, so how do you keep your filament in top shape? I'm glad you asked! Well the first step is to be sure you've got good filament to begin with. If you're on the site here reading this there's a good chance that you've already checked that off by selecting a high quality Repkord filament. Alright, got that out of the way? Good. Next, you may notice when you received your Repkord filament it came in a vacuum sealed bag with desiccant in it (the little pouch with the silica in it that says "Do not eat"). You didn't eat it did you? I sure hope not, we really can't be any more explicit... Anyway, the packaging is a big clue about the secret to keeping your filament happy and healthy for a long time. You see many filaments like PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon and others used for 3D printing are something called "hygroscopic" which basically means they will absorb moisture from the air over time. So what you say? Well I'll tell you. When your filament absorbs water it compromises not only it's own integrity while its just sitting there on the spool, but also the integrity of anything you print with it. You may notice crackling and bubbling as the filament passes through your printer's hot end. Sometimes if its bad enough you might even see some steam as the water evaporates exiting the extruder. So how do we prevent this? Simple:
When you're not using your filament, store it in an airtight container with the desiccant it (hopefully) came with.
You may have noticed, most Repkord filaments actually come to you in a thoughtfully designed re-sealable zipper bag. That's because 1) We want to encourage you to keep your filament in it when not in use so it lasts you a good long time, and 2) We've got your back!
What's that? You got lazy and left your spool sitting on top of your printer for a month and now it's all crackly and giving you bubbly prints? Fear not... all is not lost! Head over to our post on how to dry filament and restore it to its former glory.
Make on Maker!