Is it OK to leave filament in 3D printer?

Oh, the world of 3D printing! We dive deep into the realms of filaments, and yet, often forget one vital element: what happens when we let that filament just sit there? I’ve been there, nodding along with you. After hours of exploring, I’ve unraveled the mystery surrounding this very concern. Can you let that filament just chill in your 3D printer? Absolutely, as long as your surroundings aren’t baking or soaked in moisture. Beware! Filaments, especially those like Nylon & Polycarbonate, are infamous for being moisture magnets. Hence, keep an eagle eye on your room’s humidity levels and ensure they’re on the lower side.


Many tech fans, much like you and me, often let the filament sit in the 3D printer, thinking nothing of it. But hey, if you’re not cautious, it might just throw off your 3D printing game.

What’s the Buzz About Filament After Printing?
Should you whisk it away post-printing or let it bask? The answer is nuanced. It largely depends on the filament type. Filaments such as Nylon might feel thirsty and gulp down moisture, causing it to degrade. So, in the case of Nylon, the rule of thumb? Whip it out once you’re done for the day. But hey, there are plenty of users who’ve left other filaments to sit overnight and faced zero hiccups. It might not be as crucial as we imagine, but over time, excess moisture could dampen the print quality.

Any Harm to the Printer by Leaving Filament Inside?
A 3D printer crafts magic by melting the plastic filament fed into it. Keeping filaments resting inside the printer won’t unleash any wrath on it, but may taint the excellence of the outcomes. Continuous storage might render the filament fragile, ultimately yielding inferior prints, especially if they are hygroscopic in nature. For instance, Nylon might turn brittle swiftly, but ABS lounges gracefully for weeks sans any visible wear. The golden rule? Once done printing, tuck your filaments into a vacuum bag.

Ever Wondered About PLA Filament’s Shelf Life Out in the Open?
Certain filaments despise moisture, affecting their printing prowess due to the intense heat they face. This can usher in popping sounds, a common phenomena in humid printing environments. However, the general consensus is that common filaments like ABS and PLA don’t crumble under this pressure. My observation? The storage environment is the real MVP. Shielding your filament from a damp setting keeps it thriving. Depending on the brand, many users have witnessed their PLA filament withstanding up to 40% humidity for around 4 days without breaking a sweat. In case of any fragility, seal it post-cooling in vacuum-sealed bags. Overall, PLA remains a reliable candidate and doesn’t wither away rapidly like some other materials.

Addressing the PLA Filament Pop!
Are you hearing pops and sizzles while printing? Either your printer’s having a heated conversation, or, more likely, it’s overheating and literally boiling your plastic. Adhering to material-specific temperature guidelines is the trick. This popping can also be an SOS signal indicating moisture overload. For PLA filament, the sweet spot lies between 190-220°C. Check your nozzle, inspect your filament, and if it’s resembling a brittle twig, give it a warm embrace in an oven set at 60°C.

Want to Dry Your Filament? Oven Temps to the Rescue!
Different strokes for different folks! ABS likes it at 65°C, while PLA feels cozy between 50-60°C. PETG prefers the 65°C mark, but Nylon? It’s a bit of a hot-head and requires around 70°C.

Storing Your Precious 3D Printer Filament
Keep that filament fresh! Airtight containers, desiccants, and a keen sense on humidity levels are your friends. For some, humidity sensors are the holy grail, offering insights into the perfect storage conditions.

Unloading Filament From Your 3D Printer (Like a Pro!)
Ease it out! Press down the extruder lever and gently pull, releasing its hold. Pre-heat the hotend and pull once it hits the desired temperature to avoid any filament drama. Encountered a stubborn blob? That’s when you might consider disengaging the Bowden tube.

Some Topics to Satiate Your 3D Printing Curiosity:
– The Shelf Life of Uncured Resin in a 3D Printer Vat
– Universal Filament for 3D Printers: Myth or Reality?
– Do 3D Printer Filaments Have an Expiry Date?
– Recycling Your Ageing 3D Printer & Filament
– Sensing the Best: Top 4 3D Printer Filament Sensors
– Adapting Your 3D Printer: From 3mm Filament to 1.75mm