Thought3D announced a very unusual in-line filament drying system they call “Drywise”.
The need for filament drying is increasing as the use of engineering materials grows. Many of these materials are compromised when exposed to humidity, dramatically lowering print quality sometimes to the point of print failure. This is particularly evident on highly hygroscopic materials like nylons.
To counteract this, many 3D printer operators now use filament drying systems. Typically these are external accessory boxes in which whole spools are kept at low humidity levels, ready for 3D printing. Sometimes filament drying pods are designed right into the 3D printers themselves, although this often limits the drying capacity.
Many companies have announced new filament drying boxes to accompany 3D printers, but now there’s an entirely new concept from Thought3D, who have made their fame based on the Magigoo line of sophisticated adhesion solutions.
Drywise is quite different. Instead of pre-drying a spool of filament in an environmentally controlled box, it dries the filament in real time!
The system requires the first segment of the filament to be pre-dried during a 40-90-minute cycle. But after that, the entire spool can be 3D printed, as it will be dried as it passes through the Drywise device.
Thought3D’s Co-Founder and Chief Research Officer Dr Keith M. Azzopardi said:
“We have been working on a solution to make material care seamless, improve the ability to recover wet material and more importantly be able to bring down the preparation time by treating just the amount of material you need to 3D print. We are happy to present Drywise in- line dryer as an easy to use stand alone machine for repeatable and reliable results.”
The Drywise is analogous to an on-demand hot water system: instead of pre-heating water in a large tank, it’s heated just before use and no hot water storage is required.
As you might imagine, thermal control in Drywise is essential, otherwise you might melt the filament. To overcome this issue, the device includes sensors and some smarts to make sure drying takes place at the correct rate.
The system requires use of “exchangeable and rechargeable desiccant cartridges”, which is where the moisture will be collected.
I get the impression that the Drywise will have some kind of material profiles, as they say:
“Current versions of Drywise in-line dryer will be calibrated for drying Nylon and Nylon composites. The same models will be upgraded for high temperature materials later in 2022.”
The Drywise concept is quite intriguing, as it could overcome problems like this that might occur in poorly managed filament dryers:
But the main advantage would clearly be physical space: you don’t require a large storage box, as the spools can stay exactly where they normally are placed. The Drywise isn’t invisible, but it occupies only a very small space beside a 3D printer.
The Drywise isn’t quite available yet, but you can pre-order one. The price is US$1699, so it’s not inexpensive, but don’t be fooled by its small size: it’s the equivalent of a filament dryer the size of ALL your spools.
The plan is to first release a 2.85mm version in January for Europe, with a 1.75mm version and North American shipping to follow in July 2022.
Early orders will qualify for a 15% discount, so if this offer sounds interesting, you’d best get your order in soon.