REVIEW: Drywise by Thought3D, On-demand, high-quality filament drying


On this article, we overview the Drywise, a specialised filament drying system for FDM 3D printing from Thought3D, a Malta-based additive manufacturing R&D firm. 

3D printing with moist filaments negatively impacts remaining half high quality, usually inflicting poor floor end and decreased mechanical properties. To beat this downside, supplies might be dried utilizing ovens or meals dehydrators. Nonetheless, these non-purpose constructed options require customers to dry whole spools at a time, and usually are not built-in into an automatic course of chain.  

Launched in 2022, the Drywise is a filament drying system specifically designed to attach on to the 3D printer. The system dries materials on demand, solely treating the part of filament that’s being extruded. This ends in notable time financial savings and ensures a single drying cycle, eliminating any warmth biking of the fabric. 

With costs beginning at simply €1,800, Thought3D’s filament dryer is focused in direction of skilled shoppers seeking to maximize the standard of their 3D printed components. It may be bought immediately from the official Drywise web site

How does the Drywise improve 3D printing?

The Drywise dries filament as it’s being 3D printed, considerably rushing up the drying course of. Getting ready a complete filament spool upfront can take as much as 48 hours, whereas Drywise requires lower than 1 hour to pretreat very moist filament, earlier than 3D printing. This considerably reduces downtime, which is especially useful to customers concentrating on high-throughput manufacturing of components. 

The system’s good sensors are designed to make sure that the fabric is dried to optimum situations. This ensures that the filament isn’t broken in the course of the drying or 3D printing course of, minimizing materials waste and reducing related prices for the consumer.

Pre-programmed materials presets for a variety of branded filaments are additionally included with the Drywise. Due to this fact, customers don’t have to manually enter drying settings earlier than every, guaranteeing constant and optimum drying outcomes. This additionally removes guesswork, negating the necessity to analysis or experiment with totally different settings earlier than attaining excellent outcomes.      

These sensors additionally forestall the system from overheating, robotically turning off the warmers if a clog is detected. This gives peace of thoughts, permitting customers to confidently run their Drywise unattended inside a lights-out manufacturing setting. 

The Drywise filament drying system connected directly to a 3D printer. Photo by 3D Printing Industry.The Drywise filament drying system can join on to a 3D printer. Photograph by 3D Printing Trade.

Drywise {hardware} and equipment 

The Drywise is obtainable in two totally different fashions which might be optimized for filament diameters of 1.75mm or 2.85mm, respectively. On this overview, our workforce assessed the 1.75mm model. 

Absolutely enclosed inside a metallic casing, the system is compact and capable of match into most additive manufacturing work environments. A single filament exit port is positioned on the backside of the system. 

The low angle at which dried filament exits the Drywise creates excessive rigidity between the fabric and the 3D printer’s extruder. We discovered that this brought about the filament to slide when utilizing 3D printers with Bowden extrusion methods, such because the TRILAB AzteQ Industrial. Nonetheless, this was not discovered to be an issue when 3D printing with direct driver methods, the place the extruder is positioned immediately above the 3D print head.    

Moisture that’s collected in the course of the drying course of is saved inside a desiccant tube positioned to the rear of the Drywise. These tubes might be simply eliminated and changed as wanted, minimizing 3D printer down time for customers concentrating on high-volume manufacturing. The tubes will also be regenerated by pouring their contents right into a container, and heating this at 240℃ for round 4 hours.   

The 4.3” contact display screen digital consumer interface stood out for its intuitive design, with quite a few helpful prompts and pop-ups which assist to information the consumer via the filament drying course of.

Our Drywise was additionally delivered with a pre-heater, an elective accent that may be bought for €349. This element heats the supplies earlier than they’re dried, additional dehydrating the filament for extra constant and dependable outcomes. 

The pre-heater additionally enabled the Drywsie for use with brittle filaments that tend to snap. The add-on relaxes the filament earlier than it enters the Drywise, leading to much less friction and a a lot decrease chance of it snapping. 

The Drywise’s entrance and rear panels, together with the 4.3” contact display screen, exit port, desiccant tube, and pre-heater. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

The Drywise got here securely packaged, with no broken or lacking components. It took solely 10-Quarter-hour to get our system up and working, with the set up course of simply accomplished by a single individual. 

No filament spool holder is included within the bundle. As an alternative, a 3D printable mannequin is obtainable on the Drywise web site. Nonetheless this isn’t a necessity, because the spool holder of the 3D printer itself, or every other 3D printer that’s close by, will also be used.  

Drywise packaging, package contents, and 3D printable spool holder. Photographs and pictures by 3D Printing Trade.

Benchmarking check outcomes for the Drywise filament dryer 

Most polymer filaments are hygroscopic, which means that they take in moisture from the environment. 3D printing with a cloth that possesses even a small quantity of moisture can have important results on the traits and high quality of the ultimate half. 

To evaluate the efficiency of the Drywise, we performed plenty of exams evaluating components 3D printed with and with out the filament dryer. We primarily used extremely hygroscopic filaments similar to TPU and nylon in our testing. These supplies are costly and generally utilized in industrial purposes, the goal market of the Drywise.   

For every check, the supplies have been left uncovered to the atmosphere previous to 3D printing, guaranteeing that they’d absorbed sufficient moisture to severely impression half high quality. 

Through the 3D printing course of, moisture inside moist materials heats up and evaporates contained in the nozzle, leading to a rise in stress. This forces filament to extrude whereas the 3D print head is shifting, making a stringing impact on the ultimate half. To evaluate whether or not the Drywise can mitigate this problem, we performed a retraction check.    

Right here, we used BASF TPU 64D and Lehvoss Luvocom 3F PAHT CF 9891 filaments. The BASF TPU combines excessive rigidity with good flexibility, whereas Luvocom’s carbon fiber-reinforced polyamide is robust and immune to excessive temperatures. Each supplies are optimized for the manufacturing of purposeful prototypes and end-use components 

When 3D printing with TPU, the Drywise achieved a noticeable discount in stringing, particularly alongside the decrease sections of the spikes. The dried supplies additionally exhibited much less oozing, with noticeable enhancements in floor end and layer high quality. 

Non-dried TPU and dried TPU retraction outcomes. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

The PAHT CF 9891 outcomes have been additionally promising, with the dried filament exhibiting solely faint strings on the spike suggestions. The non-dried materials, then again, skilled constant defects all through, with extreme stringing.  

Non-dried PAHT CF 9891 and dried materials retraction outcomes. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

Subsequent, we performed a bridging check to evaluate the distinction between moist and dried materials when 3D printing with out helps. When utilizing Lehvoss Luvocom 3F PAHT 9825 nylon filament, the Drywise enabled a a lot cleaner bridging mannequin with much less sagging than the non-dried filament. 

The moist filament produced an audible crackling sound, indicating that moisture was boiling and evaporating throughout extrusion. This led to noticeable inconsistencies inside the remaining half.

Overhang check 3D printed with non-dried and dried filament. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade. 

A half and half 3D print was then performed. Inside this check, a mannequin was initially 3D printed with the Drywise. Halfway via this course of, the Drywise was paused, permitting the second half of the mannequin to be extruded with out drying. This permits a direct comparability of dried and non-dried materials inside a single half.

Utilizing BASF TPU 64D, the dried decrease part of the mannequin achieved clear and constant layers, with no floor defects. After eradicating the Drywise, the moist materials created substantial oozing and stringing, in addition to poor floor end with numerous layer gaps.  

This direct comparability highlights the advantages of utilizing the Drywise for TPU materials that has absorbed moisture. The purpose at which the 3D printer switched from dry to moist filament is evident to see, with the fabric deforming on the prime of the mannequin. 

The half-and-half 3D printed mannequin, with dried filament on the backside and non-dried materials on the prime. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

What impression does moist filament have on 3D printing accuracy? To reply this, we 3D printed hexagon and cylinder-shaped check items each with and with out the Drywise. The measurements of those components have been then in comparison with their desired dimensions. Our outcomes point out a transparent enchancment in accuracy for components 3D printed with the Drywise. 

The imply distinction for the size of components 3D printed with dry filament was 0.1465 mm, considerably decrease than the 0.2186 mm achieved with their non-dried counterparts. Moreover, the general customary deviation with the Drywise was 0.0454 mm, in comparison with the 0.0633 mm achieved with out.

Hexagon and tube accuracy check components 3D printed with non-dried and dried BASF PA filament. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

Testing Drywise purposes

A spread of utility exams, designed to evaluate the capabilities of the Drywise for real-world use-cases, have been additionally performed. 

A lily impeller, usually utilized in pumps to create a centrifugal power which accelerates fluid outwards, was 3D printed in PLA. Whereas this materials just isn’t overly hygroscopic, it’s standard inside the 3D printing neighborhood. This check is an effective alternative to find out whether or not there are noticeable advantages to drying PLA earlier than 3D printing.   

The outcomes of this check clearly point out the capabilities of the Drywise. The dried filament exhibited good geometry and no discernible defects, whereas its non-dried counterpart displayed noticeable stringing. Nonetheless, the defects of the non-dried filament usually are not as pronounced as with different, extra hygroscopic supplies similar to nylon or TPU.

Lily Impeller 3D printed with non-dried and dried PLA. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

Subsequent, TPU was used to 3D print a drive belt, a key element for industrial purposes starting from manufacturing equipment to automotive drive trains. 

When 3D printed with the Drywise, the half featured a superb floor end and seam high quality, with no seen imperfections. Then again, the non-dried filament brought about inconsistencies and gaps in between layers, as a result of its excessive moisture content material. Notable stringing throughout all enamel of the belt was additionally evident, one thing which was not seen on the Drywise-3D printed half.  

Drive belt 3D printed with non-dried and dried filament. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

A differential gearbox was subsequent 3D printed utilizing PA, a nylon materials nicely suited to gear elements as a result of its sturdiness, power, and resistance to put on and tear. The Drywise-3D printed gears have been absolutely purposeful, rotating freely with out resistance. 

The gearbox made out of non-dried materials featured tight spots at sure rotation factors. This was as a result of defects within the 3D printed enamel, attributable to the moisture within the materials. Stringing additionally created resistance between the gears.

Differential gearbox 3D printed with non-dried and dried filament. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

Lastly, we used two totally different spools of MatterHackers NylonX (PA-CF) and PolyaMide CoPA nylon filament from Polymaker to 3D print inlet manifold fashions. Nylon supplies are nicely suited to the manufacturing of those components, as a result of their excessive resistance to warmth and vibration. Whereas shopper car inlet manifolds are usually made out of aluminum or magnesium, nylon is usually utilized in motorsport purposes to eradicate extra weight.  

Each supplies have preset drying choices on the Drywise, which means that the drying course of must be calibrated to realize optimum outcomes. 

The non-dried NylonX materials exhibited substantial stringing throughout the half, a defect that was drastically decreased by the Drywise. Actually, the half 3D printer with dried filament featured no seen points in any respect, with an extremely clear floor end.

Inlets 3D printed with NylonX non-dried and dried filament. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade.

Those that often use FDM 3D printers might have at the very least one previous, long-forgotten spool of filament mendacity round. Materials uncovered to the weather for a number of years has possible absorbed sufficient moisture to considerably compromise its mechanical properties. This could make the filament unprintable, and due to this fact liable to be thrown away and wasted.     

Is it doable to save lots of these filaments? To search out out, we tasked the Drywise with drying a PolyaMide CoPA nylon spool that had been uncovered to the weather for six years. 

Sadly, the Drywise failed to totally restore this filament. Retractional stringing and oozing continued in each moist and dry fashions. Nonetheless, the mannequin 3D printed with dried CoPA felt a lot stiffer than its moist counterpart, indicating a partial restoration of its mechanical properties.  

Inlet manifolds 3D printed with PolyaMide CoPA non-dried and dried filament. Photographs by 3D Printing Trade. 

Drywise: A filament dryer value investing in?

The Drywise is an efficient and reasonably priced filament drying system optimized for industrial purposes. It improves the standard and accuracy of 3D printed components, particularly when utilizing moisture-sensitive supplies similar to TPU and nylon.   

This ends in elements that possess good mechanical properties, important for industrial purposes which demand constant prime quality. Our testing highlighted important enhancements in comparison with undried filament, even producing components with beforehand unprintable materials.  

The Drywise’s inner path might be improved. We often encountered collisions with an inner intersection, hindering the filament loading course of. This may be minimized by reducing or shaping the filament, making it as pointed as doable with no protrusions earlier than it’s inserted into the dryer.   

Exploring totally different orientations and presumably automating the filament loading course of would additionally improve its compatibility with 3D printers of various sizes. This could enhance the motion of filament after it has been dried, enhancing the loading, drying, and 3D printing course of as an entire.    

Most significantly, the Drywise gives one thing which is priceless for industrial customers – peace of thoughts. Whether or not fulfilling massive half orders or 3D printing with costly supplies, the dread of a failed print job is feeling all too acquainted inside the business. These issues are overcome by the Drywise, a key weapon within the arsenal of any consumer seeking to obtain high-quality 3D printed components the primary time.  

Regardless of some small areas for enchancment, the Drywise stands out as an efficient and reasonably priced product nicely suited to industrial FDM 3D printing workflows. With an intuitive UI, it permits customers to effectively overcome challenges with hygroscopic supplies, guaranteeing the dependable manufacturing of high-quality components. 

The continuing addition of optimized materials presets is about to additional improve the capabilities of the Drywise, promising even higher outcomes when 3D printing with saturated filament.    

Technical Specs 

Dimensions 520 x 500 x 145 mmNet weight 12kgVoltage 100 – 240 VACMaximum Power350WConnectivityUSB-COperating Sound 50 dBA

What’s the way forward for 3D printing?

What near-term 3D printing tendencies have been highlighted by business specialists? 

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Featured picture exhibits the Drywise filament drying system linked on to a 3D printer. Photograph by 3D Printing Trade.


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