Moisture is not your friend when it comes to 3D printer filament, as humidity can cause weakened material, which then leads to fragile prints, poor surface finish and adhesion, and also degradation. The filament can break in your printer or parts can warp or become very brittle. If you just leave a PLA filament on your printer it will degrade in days, nylon in hours. That’s why it’s so important to keep your material dry before you use it.
Smart International, the 3D printing licensee for KODAK, just announced the launch of a new system that they say will help dry 3D filaments and materials up to ten times faster than other systems – the Smart3D Multimaterial Dryer.
“While typical drying cycles take between 8 – 48 hours and use heat which does not remove moisture completely, the Smart 3D MultiMaterial Dryer uses a hybrid technology to dry filament in as little as an hour,” Helen Blesky, the Marketing Manager for KODAK 3D Printing’s Global Brand Licensee Smart International, told 3DPrint.com.
The 892 x 500 x 825 mm machine, developed for the FFF 3D printing market, offers efficient 3D filament drying through the use of hybrid technology, and, as a Smart International press release states, integrates industrial drying “at end-user level.” By ensuring moisture-free filament, users of the Smart3D Multimaterial Dryer can achieve consistent and repeatable 3D printing results.
Most current solutions that work to combat moisture and humidity will dry filament through the use of heat, but this really isn’t the best solution to the problem. For starters, heat won’t even necessarily remove 100% of the humidity from filament, and it doesn’t allow different materials to dry at the same time. In addition, it can affect both the chemical and physical characteristics of the materials it’s being used to treat by up to several degrees, and it can take between 8-48 hours to run a full cycle.
The new Smart3D Multimaterial Dryer uses a hybrid technology that can ensure dry filament in as little as one hour – up to ten times faster than current methods of drying. With an internal storage capacity of 733 x 250 x 506 mm – equaling up to 30 spools able to be dried and stored inside – the system is compatible with any 3D printing filament with a spool diameter of up to 500 mm.
“This product is the natural result of our customers’ requests to complete the low moisture chain and guarantee repeatable prints. When we launched the Kodak filament line featuring low moisture and vacuum-sealed packaging, and the enclosed KODAK Portrait 3D Printer with its filament protection cases, humidity was not widely perceived as FFF 3D printing’s silent enemy as it begins to be understood now,” stated Demian Gawanski, CCO of Smart International. “Since then, with chemical giants strongly stepping onto our industry and broadening its range of applications, it hurts our eyes to see high performance filament go to waste, bake in ovens or centrifugate in salad spinners. We feel this completes the most comprehensive professional ecosystem on the market and inaugurates our new year of exciting Industry 4.0 compliant releases targeted at exacting customers.”
The system, with both Ethernet and USB connectivity, recognizes spools through RFID tags, and an intuitive 7″ touchscreen records all the ambient conditions inside the drying chamber. Each filament can be scanned as it’s stored, so it’s very easy to keep track of your stock of dried materials.
When it comes to energy consumption, the Smart3D Multimaterial Dryer is very efficient, as it uses up to ten times less energy than other filament dryers on the market; this allows users to process more material in a shorter amount of time. Speaking of materials, the new system’s drying process makes it possible to dry several different materials, such as TPU, PVA, and Nylon, at the same time.
This latest edition to the KODAK 3D Printing Ecosystem comes with a discount of 10% off the $4299 MSRP for pre-order customers throughout the month of February, or until the limited stock of systems runs out. Visit local resellers for availability; pre-ordered machines will ship out this April.
Discuss this story and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Images provided by Smart International]
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