5 Reasons You Might Ruin Your Filament (And How To Fix Them)

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Are you taking care of your filament? Having a bad filament can not only cause poor print quality but also damage your 3D printer.

As a 3D printer owner, you should be familiar with these situations. If you’re making any of these mistakes, then you need to stop. And we’ll also show you how you can do that in this article.

Let’s get started!

You Might Ruin Your Filament

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5 Reasons Ruin Your Filament and Fix Them

1. Tangling your filament

The worst part of this problem is that it can happen by itself, without your interference. Keep a spool of filament and see it get all tangled up.

Tangles can prevent the extruder from pushing the filament. This can tire out the motors as they need to apply more force, resulting in more time and cost. Not healthy, right?

While your printer can walk over small tangles, you need to fix the large ones. 

Always clip the end of the filament when storing. You can use a filament clip, dragon clip, Spool Brace, Spool Clip, or Filament Clamp or this purpose.  Use a filament rack to keep them organized.

If your filament ends up tangling, carefully remove the knots. Don’t unwind the whole filament when untangling. This will only make things worse. Hold down the end part of the filament, and rotate the spool to unwind the filament.

2. Overheating your filaments

There is a particular temperature under which your filament will easily change form to create shapes. Then it cools down to become solid. If you exceed that temperature, you will notice the materials acting weirdly.

Of course, the temperature differs but 50℃ or less is an ideal temperature for drying out the filament. When the plastic comes out from the extruder, it’s usually over 200℃. If you’re unable to keep the balance between the heating and cooling process, this can cause your filament to overheat.

One common reason for overheating is printing at a high temperature. This makes the cooling process longer. Decrease the temperature and try to print again.

Your filaments can also overheat if there isn’t sufficient cooling or you’re printing too fast. You can tweak the cooling and speed settings to achieve a good balance so that you don’t face this problem.

3. Using an inappropriate spool holder

If your spool has too much friction or it’s very smooth, then there’s a problem with it.

More friction means it’s harder to rotate it and get the filament out of it. This means you need to add more force to pull the filament. Sometimes extra force can make the spool come out of the holder and create more mess.

But if the holder is too smooth, it will allow the spool to rotate fast. This can easily tangle your filament.

So we need some balance between the two. You can always add a zip tie to create some friction and lessen the smoothness of your holder. If you can’t find a zip tie, then a piece of clothing can help too.

Another problem you may face is that when you pull your filament from the spool, instead of coming out straight, it goes to the sides, out of the holder. The solution is to use a zip tie to guide the filament. You may also prefer using a Teflon tube. This will keep your filament in place when pulling.

4. Improperly storing your filaments

If you’re not correctly storing your filaments in the right place, then that can affect the quality of the printed objects.

Filaments can absorb moisture from the air, especially if it is stored in an environment with high humidity. When the filament absorbs moisture, it becomes weaker and prone to breakage, which can affect the quality of the printed objects.

Filaments also degrade over time due to exposure to heat, light, and oxygen. This can cause the filament to become brittle, which can lead to poor-quality prints and even breakage during printing.

If the filament is not stored properly, it can become contaminated with dust, dirt, and other particles.

You must store the filament in an airtight container. Use a filament storage container or a vacuum-sealed bag to store the filament. This will help keep the filament dry and prevent it from absorbing moisture from the air.

Keep the filament away from light and heat. Store them in a cool, dark place to prevent them from degrading. Avoid storing the filament near windows or in direct sunlight.

Try to keep them clean and free from contamination by storing them in a clean, dust-free environment.

5. Letting children and pets play with your filaments

Filament spools aren’t toys. But how would you convince your little ones about this? Cats and little ones are always curious about new shiny objects. Your filament isn’t an exception.

If you let them ‘play’ with your filament, this can cause serious problems. Filaments can break easily if it is handled roughl or subjected to stress. Children and pets will not handle the filament carefully, which can lead to breakage and make it unusable.

Not to mention, they can get all tangled and tied up with the filament, wasting material and creating a mess you need to deal with.

Some animals like dogs can start chewing your filament, making them useless for printing.

To avoid these problems, it’s important to keep filaments out of reach of children and pets. Store the filament in a safe, secure location where it is not accessible to them.

If you need to keep it within their reach, lock the spool in a box so that they can’t open it.

You Might Ruin Your Filament

Final Thoughts

There are endless ways to ruin your perfect filament. We chose these 5 because they are common among almost all 3D printer owners.

But now you know how to fix them. From now on, you don’t have to worry about making your filament unusable.

Have any other way you ruined your filament? Let us know in the comments below. We always appreciate new insights from fellow 3D printing enthusiasts so that we can help them fix the issues.

Shamim Ahmed
Shamim Ahmed
I’ve been an innovator in this space for years and am really excited to share my knowledge with you. I’m an entrepreneur and love helping others achieve their goals by teaching them how to build a business around the newest innovations in technology.

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