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Filament dryer mod for food dehydrator

by jbanion Nov 29, 2017
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Hi, thanks for this nice design.
A question: what is the max spool diameter that will fit inside ? I have a bunch of big (2 kg and more) spools and I wonder if it fits.

The max diameter inside on this model is about 11 inches. On the single piece unit its closer two 12" due to the lack of joining obstructions.

I'm assuming supports are intended to be used?

Yes, the flat horizontal edge needs supports.

What about the linking protrusions? They seem like they need supports too.

I'm printing with support for them right now. I assume it's not working without it, but it's not that hard to remove.

Thanks for the cool design! Well, I'm printing panel #4 of 4 tonight in PLA, we will see how it works out with regard to warping. I am using the author's recommended Tactink filament and it's really very nice. I'm surprised how flexible one of these panels is when done, I was worried about brittle PLA...and it's $13.99 with free 1-day prime shipping per kg on Amazon?! Crazy...

Anyway, I'm sharing early because nobody mentions that this thing is a bit difficult to print with the extreme overhang situation on the bottom and on the hinges. I printed the first panel with Slic3r default support and brim, but what a huge pain that was to break off and get all the burrs removed. So I used meshmixer to do a more optimized support, much much easier to remove, uses less filament, and prints faster as a bonus--attached, slice with brim but no support! You end up with a much cleaner finish along the bottom rim, the hinges turn out about the same but easier to cleanup. If anybody wants to use my Prusa i3 MK3 PLA gcode file, that's attached too (with all the settings embedded too of course for anybody else).

I had several false starts (failed jobs) for various reasons and this is a 6.5 hour print and a lot of filament just for one panel, so my recommendation is only print one at a time. Of course at $14/kg this is still really cheap to make!

Well, I'm happy to report that I completed the 4 panel print and the pins, snapped it together, and it perfectly fits the Rosewill model that I just purchased. It is happy drying some PLA as I type. No signs of PLA warping issues, but I have it set at 45 deg C; still, I doubt it will warp even higher based on the numbers. Really cool design, thanks again! One comment though, as someone else pointed out, this will not fit 2 1kg rolls of many filament types. I have two rolls in now, but one is a 0.5kg roll. Now that I looked at your new one-piece design just now, I see you may have figured this out as well as you made that one taller. You might want to put that in your notes right on top, I'm kind of disappointed after 3 days of printing and ~360g of filament that it doesn't fit 2 rolls, Since most of us can't print your large design, any chance you can upgrade this one with a taller version? And perhaps your cool 1-spool riser upgrade in 4-part version? Thanks!

PS: the guys who sell the commercial product based on the identical drier (for $100 markup!) publish this nice reference guide:

Recommended Drying Time
No. Materials Dryer Temp Drying Time
1 PLA 45°C (113°F) > 4h
2 ABS 60°C (140°F) > 2h
3 PETG 65°C (149°F) > 2h
4 Nylon 70°C (158°F) > 12h
5 Dessicant 65°C (149°F) > 3h
6 PVA 45°C (113°F) > 10h
7 TPU/TPE 50°C (122°F) > 4h
8 ASA 60°C (140°F) > 4h
9 PP 55°C (131°F) > 6h
10 HIPS 60°C (140°F) > 4h

Use one of your dehydrator trays on the bottom and you'll fit two. If you look at the finished picture it has a tray on the bottom and is holding two spools. Enjoy.

Ah, I didn't notice that! Ok, well doing that would definitely add a little more room, but actually still doesn't quite fit (maybe 5mm short) two of the spools I mentioned before, and oddly on my Rosewill the tray fits nice and snug on the bottom, but leaves your riser too loose on top. Anyway, I promised my wife I would not use the trays for this so she can experiment with dehydrating food (I know it's probably fine, but psychological. I may experiment with stacking your risers for 3 spools or hacking an extension to get cleanly to 2 spools. I think that would be a 40mm total height extension. I think a new 145mm version would fit 2 of even these large 1 kg spools.

Thanks. Glad you like it.

Dont print in PLA, it warps during drying. Printing on a MK3S takes 1,5 day.

Lots of people print this in PLA with no problems. Just keep the temp 50 - 55C. If you want to dry quickly print it in something else.

Well, I can sadly confirm that printing this in jbanion's suggested PLA does in fact warp terribly. It works fine for drying PLA at 45 degrees C, but today I tried to dry some ABS at only 60 degrees C and found after an hour that the bottom corners below the hinge were warped inward, creating such a large gap that the inside temperature was only 50-55 degrees C (measured many places with a laser thermometer), probably due to the excessive air leaking out.

I thought in the beginning that I should use ABS or PETG for something that would get hot like this, but figured I'd start by following the guide here. But we need to be able to set this thing as high as 70 deg C (for nylon), and PLA has a glass transition temperature as low as 60 deg C (I now realize), versus about 105 deg C for ABS. PETG is about 80-85 deg C, so that may be good enough (and a much preferred filament!), particularly if you don't plan to use nylon (which is the most hydroscopic filament).

But for anybody who hasn't printed this yet, I strongly recommend not printing in PLA! Well, since the 110mm height on this part doesn't fit 2 of the largest 1 kg spools anyway (even by adding one bottom tray), I guess I'm back to the drawing board: probably PETG and I'm going to find a way to go to ~150mm height (two large 1kg rolls without a tray).

PS: I really liked this PLA initially, and a crazy deal at $14/kg, but I've had both bed adhesion issues and now a total of 3-4 times that it just stopped extruding mid-print, never ever had that happen before in a year with this printer. The latest episode would not print again without raising the temperature and pushing ABS through it, no idea why that fixed it but then it worked again with the PLA. So I probably won't buy it again.

PLA glass transition temp is around 60-65. Thats pretty high. So ..yea, if your going to go above 60C PLA isnt a good choice. So its proably best to print with whatever has the highest trans temp you intend to dry.

I bought the Flexion unit you linked in the description. Your part fits the base of the unit fine but is too large to fit on top of one of the grids as you show.

Suppose they might have changed the trays. How much is it off?

I'll measure it as soon as I get a chance. I have been using it without a tray but would rather the spool not sit right on top of the blower/heater unit.

Hmmm. Your the 1st with that issue and there has been over 1500 downloads. The flexion and Rosewill and others listed all are all the same unit. Have you verified your dimensions of larger objects? Some people adjust their steps to suit a 10mm cube not realizing that there printer is perfectly accurate and the extra is due to over extrusion. So when they actually print something large its way off. My copy has about 2-3mm play to sit inside a tray. Anyway... Noted.. as to your problem: You could reprint one panel and scale it in the x and y axes only a small amont 5 -10%. Don't scale the z axes as they will not mesh if you do.

My printer has the movement calibrated, not the resulting model. I do design work for a 3D printer company and understand how they function. As I have not re-calibrated this printer for quite some time, I guess somehow it could be off now but do not see how it could be. I will also check this. Thank you for the reply.

Your welcome. Let me know how far off the fit is. If its only a mm or two Ill probably patch it. Thanks.

I'm a little confused by your file naming. do I need 2 of each 4 part file to make a single set? Or just 4 of one of them? As the mounding wings are staggered to nest into the next one, I'm confused why they would not all be the same.

it's also confusing for me too :)
You should place the instructions not in the middle of a paragraph but the very first thing. To be honest, I did not need an introduction to this hack, I knew it existed and wanted the parts to print right now. It's totally fine that you write and document your project and you did a great job. It's just that for me, I wanted the answer now because I download all files thinking I will clip them all together. Then I notice all the different size, etc and knew something was up. I think I am printing the right thing, we will see in 5 hours :) I am printing a total of 4 parts but your STL has 2 parts in it. Thank you!

The details are in the summery. There are two versions. A three piece for very large printers, and a 4 piece that will fit on a typical 8" bed. There also is an stl with two pieces of the 4 part model.

Comments deleted.

Also fits the Westinghouse WFD101W sold here: https://amzn.to/2PIfhrb
I'll post a make later today.


Comments deleted.

Will it work with 12.5-13 inch diameter dehydrator?
What is the diameter of the circle?

Of course you could scale it in your slicer to fit most any size. Scale it up say 8% for a 13" rim.

It was designed for a dehydrator with a 12-3/16" lip. There is some margin so it would probably still sit on a 12-3/8 lip. After that it would sit inside and still work fine.

Thanks for this,
I got this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B008MPBK8G
The lip diameter is 314 mm, but it can be 315.5 max due to tolerance, I think this is exactly the sizes the model is for so i will cross my fingers and print it without modifications :)

Great. Let me know how it fits and I will and a link for that model.

It fits perfectly :)

BTW, what max temperature did you try with PLA?
Do you think it will not melt 90 C 5 hours drying time?

90C is too high as PLA gets soft at 60C. You would end up with a big chunk of PLA more than likely. I run my PLA at 45C for 4 hours then bend it to see if it needs more time.

General I set it to about 125F and leave it overnight. Maybe 135F if I'm in a rush. I wouldn't recommend going over 60C.

I generally dry my rolls after I use them and then bag them with desiccant so they stay dry.

Would it be possible to get a two-tier setup (for drying two spools at the same time) by printing two sets of this and stacking them with a food tray in between?

You could stack as many as you like. Two spools fit as is though. No real reason to seperate the spools really.

You can not fit 2 standard spools as it is. Your spools must be more narrow than normal.

There is approximately 5.5" clearance inside.

As the other guys say, some spools are small and you can fit 2 inside I guess, but most are too large. I just measured 3 random 1kg spools I brought out to dry and they are 66mm, 70mm, and 75mm respectively. I don't know the exact inside dimension. Clearance inside is ~120mm (4.72 "), so even two of the smallest 66mm spools won't fit. I am currently able to dry a 1kg roll and a 300g roll at the same time, because the 300g roll is only 42mm. I thought it was a 0.5kg roll, but measuring one of those I got 54mm, so you could do two of those, or one of those and a 66mm 1kg roll, but not even a 0.5kg roll with the larger 70/75mm 1kg rolls.

Looks to me based on this limited sample that the base should be >30mm taller to do 2 1kg rolls.

do you think i could put 2 or 4 small 225g spools in there instead of one big one?

It dehydrator unit is also sold under the name of "SALTON" as well.

Yea I know. But its a little expensive. I recently added a black unit to the listing FYI.