Drying your polymer prior to printing is critical to achieving the best results. Most plastics absorb water, including the ambient moisture present in the air. If this moisture is not removed through an effective drying process, it will break down the polymer chains and cause bubbles and popping as the filament arrives at the hot end of the extruder. There are a variety of different machines for drying polymer, including high-tech vacuum drying ovens, desiccant air dryers, and the humble toaster oven. All of these options share the common element of heat- the polymers must be raised to a certain temperature to be effectively dried. For some polymers, such as PLA, this drying temperature can be as low as 65C. On the other hand, high-temperature polymers such as PET, PEEK, Ultem, and polycarbonate can require much higher drying temperatures in the range of 120C. Often, the plastic spools used to gather filament are made from materials that can’t sustain exposure to these higher temperatures without warping or melting!
Enter the Filabot metal spool - made from durable and corrosion resistant laser-cut aluminum plate capable of handling any polymer drying temperature. Designed specifically to work with the Filabot Spooler, the metal spool will retain its shape during drying cycles and will outlast plastic filament spools through repetitive use. The metal spool is sized to hold 0.5kg, with future expandability modules to be released with easily swappable wider hubs that increase capacity. The metal spool has the added benefit of being extremely lightweight, weighing in at 0.2kg, while a 0.5kg capacity plastic spool weighs nearly twice that. It doesn’t hurt that it looks good while doing it, like swapping out your winter tires on black steelies for your summer alloy rims. The Filabot metal spool is available now, see the product listing in the store here!