Mass Portal filament dryer FD5


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Filament dryer with capacity for 5 kg spools, rotary desiccant renewal and direct feeding.

One of the reasons for problematic extrusion and quality issues in a 3D printed part is humidity. It is considered one of the biggest filament enemies of filaments. Humidity first accumulates on the surface of the filament and works its way inside (bulk humidity). This results in the breakup of polymer molecules which results in foaming, bubble formation, oozing, stringing, color changes, poor interlayer adhesion and warping. Using the Mass Portal FD5 filament dryer is a very effective way of battling humidity in filaments.

An FD5 filament dryer

Image 1: An FD5 filament dryer and 3D printer setup. Source: Mass Portal.

The design of the FD5 filament dryer by Mass Portal SIA is inspired by the drying technology used in industrial injection molding where moisture control is independent from the surrounding environment. The drying process consists of 9 steps. First, (1) the ambient air is introduced into the chamber, passing a set of filters on its way in. Then (2) the air passes through the rotating desiccant disc in order to be pre dehumidified. This way the air will heat up faster and absorb more moisture from the filament. The partially dehumidified air is (3) passed further and (4) heated by the resistive heaters. The hot air (5) circulates the filament (6), heating it up and absorbing its moisture. Then the air, now containing moisture, is evacuated (7) from the chamber and heated up on its way out (8) to partially regenerate the desiccant disc (2). Lastly, the processed air is removed from the chamber through filters (9).

The drying process
Image 2: The drying process with the FD5 filament dryer. Source: Mass Portal.

The rotating desiccant disc solution is a unique trait of the Mass Portal filament dryers. This solution makes the entire process quicker and also makes it redundant for the desiccant to be replaced since it is regenerated in the final stage of the process.

With the FD5 filament dryer production-grade results can be achieved with a wide range of materials such as PLA, ABS, Nylon, PC, PET(g), PMMA, TPU, PA CF, and even PEI and PEEK.

Similarly to the FD1 filament dryer, the FD5 dryer not only dries but also conditions the filament and feeds it into the 3D printer through a teflon tube to limit moisture regain. It can fit 1 spool of filament of maximum 5 kg of weight and its insulated metal structure is safe to touch even when the dryer is working. The FD5 dryer operates quietly in temperatures of up to 150 ºC, which makes it suitable for high performance polymers. The FD5 dryer also has inbuilt overcurrent and overheating protection and replaceable HEPA and active carbon filters.

A spool loaded into the FD5
Image 3: A spool loaded into the FD5 filament dryer. Source: Mass Portal.

The dryer is compatible with all Mass Portal 3D printers and most open material 3D printers on the market using the most common filament diameters of 1.75 mm, 2.85 mm and 3.00 mm. Once the filament spool is placed in the FD5 filament dryer, the 3D printing process will only begin once the filament has been dried and prepared for feeding.

The interface of the FD5 filament dryer
Image 4: The interface of the FD5 filament dryer. Source: Mass Portal.

The touch screen interface enables the user to select, edit, manage and share printing profiles for specific branded filaments and polymer groups, as well as create the users’ own custom profiles with personalized temperatures, airflow speeds and drying times. All this can also be done with the help of the advanced FabCloud software with access to the FabCloud database containing up-to-date and tested printing profiles from many filament manufacturers. The FabCloud software also allows the user to monitor the drying or printing process from a computer or smartphone. The FD5 filament dryer connects through USB, Ethernet and WiFi.

The FD5 filament dryer by Mass Portal allows the user to dry big filament spools for large volume 3D printing sessions on the scale of small production. The FD5 filament dryer has a user friendly interface as well as interesting safety features, three connectivity options and up-to-date drying profiles at the user’s disposal. It allows the user to save time, money, material and effort, and thus enjoy an efficient 3D printing workflow.

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