Thought3D is set to release its new in-line filament dryer for FFF 3D printers, Drywise (previously only available in Europe), in the US. Drywise ‘unlocks the true potential’ of printing with engineering materials as it eliminates the guesswork of 3D printing with hygroscopic materials. The patent-pending, active, in-line drying technology ensures the material is in the best possible conditions throughout the duration of the 3D printing job. Drywise will be unveiled and officially released in the U.S. at Rapid+TCT 2022, in Detroit.
“We’re really excited to bring this innovation in 3D printing from our labs in Malta to the United States,” said Andrei-Andy Linnas, co-founder of Thought3D. “We believe the 3D printing process should be about creativity and productivity – not worrying about reliability. Drywise eliminates the longer drying cycles and pre-planning routines with a drying solution that is fast, intelligent, user friendly, and consistent.”
Drywise is designed to be used in tandem with a 3D printer – drying hygroscopic filaments, in real time, during printing. After a short pre-dry cycle on the first portion of the filament, the user can load the filament and print with ease as the filament dries consistently for the whole duration of the print.
Thought3D leveraged some of the most advanced technology to make Drywise, what the company believes to be, an incomparable solution. Drywise ensures the filament is in the best condition for 3D printing and also detects any idle moments to guarantee consistency and safety. The device’s user-friendly interface guides the user all the way, and exchangeable and rechargeable desiccant cartridges eliminate down time. The list of materials certified to work with Drywise is constantly growing.
Most thermoplastic materials tend to absorb moisture from the atmosphere. It is also common, that newly-opened filaments already contain a significant amount of moisture – affecting the printing process. Hissing and popping sounds, are the first tell-tale signs that one is printing with wet filament. This happens when the water absorbed by the plastic is very quickly vaporized by the heated nozzle. As a result of this rapid phase change, inconsistent material extrusion and nozzle blockages are a common occurrence.
This inconsistent material extrusion will have several visible effects on ones prints. Stringing and oozing in prints will be more pronounced as the added pressure in the hot end results in less control over the amount of extruded material. As water changes to steam, voids (bubbles) will be trapped inside the filament – and ultimately the print – reducing layer adhesion and the overall part strength. Parts printed with correctly dried filament tend to show less of these artifacts, resulting in a better surface finish and superior strength.
There are several conventional ways to dry wet filament with most manufacturers recommending an oven to heat up the filament and drive the moisture out. However, that strategy has several drawbacks. Conventional filament drying methods tend to be overly time and energy consuming as the filament must be dried for several hours before it can be used for printing. The spools themselves, onto which the filament is wound, need to be from specific materials to be able to withstand the heat in the oven. In some cases, the material might not be consistently dried throughout the filament spool. During longer prints, some materials tend to pick up enough moisture to negatively affect their quality, even after being correctly dried before, unless stored in special filament storage solutions during printing which help to reduce this issue.
Drywise was created to fill the gap left by these conventional solutions, enabling 3D printer users to spend less time preparing and more time completing their 3D printing projects.
Drywise’s active in-line drying enables near-perfect drying over the whole duration of the printing cycle regardless of the duration of the print, and guarantees consistent drying regardless of the initial material conditions. Material heat cycling is eliminated thanks to the accurate drying of the right amount of filament. There are no spool size or material limitation, and the operation is made easy through the pre-calibrated material-specific drying profiles. Specifically developed add-ons, for especially hard to process materials, are sold separately.
Drywise is priced at $1,663 and is available now.