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New home for Printer: location and/or "tent"?

CMetaphor

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Hey all.
Ive done it. Color me stupid, but I went and got a semi-upgraded Ender 5 3D printer. The newbie is officially diving in headfirst.

So, the first question:
What room is the best place for a 3D printer and should I get one of those fireproof / insulated "tents" to enclose it?
I'm specifically looking for what kinds of temperature and humidity levels are acceptable for printing so I can give myself the best chance of clean prints, and whether the tent will help out a room that may be too cold/humid.

As always, thanks all. 👍
 

sswilson

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Enclosures really only start coming into play once you start playing with ABS, and that's something you probably should hold off on until after you've "mastered" PLA and PETG.

As far as room location goes... I'd avoid anything that's super-humid or isn't reasonably well heated (my basement thermostat is set to 15c and that seems to be fine, but I doubt a poorly heated garage would be a good choice in the winter). Not sure how much help a "tent" would be with heat/humidity, but I know my young lad's grow lamps put off enough heat of their own that he doesn't need to expend external electricity to keep it heated... :)

Oh, and welcome to the rabbit hole!!!! :)
 

CMetaphor

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So then is a room with 20-21c and 50% humidity good enough? Or do I need to put it in a room with a dehumidifier?
Glad the tent isn't a big difference, even on sale it's over 100 bucks for a bit of material and some plastic parts to make a cube.

Edit:
Aka, what are the acceptable temperature and humidity ranges?
 

sswilson

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No guarantees, but 50% sounds pretty normal to me. I think I've got my basement dehumidifier set to 50(ish) and I've never noticed an issue. If I had to guess (based on how I've been using mine in the basement for the last year) 15 - 30c hasn't seemed to be an issue, but I do have a dehumidifier that I'm sure keeps things around 50 - 55% max humidity.

I think the biggest issue around humidity is that you don't want your rolls of filament exposed to high humidity for extended periods of time. Folks use desiccant packs (disposable and rechargeable) in their storage bags (typically a big enough zip lock, and many filaments come with resealable bags ) and try not to leave their rolls exposed to the summer humidity unless they're printing with them.
 

CMetaphor

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@sswilson
Solid advice.
Think I'll put it in my shop which doubles as my laundry room. I have a dehumidifier in there to keep the humidity to 30%, and the room can be anywhere between 22-28 depending on how much it has to run.

I know being in the same room as the laundry machines could be bad, but I think it'll be okay if i never use the printer right after either and use the dehumidifier to keep the room humidity down all the time.

Guess I'll be moving it there soon, sans tent, and start getting ready for my first test prints!

Edit: I'll try to find a sealable container for my starter PLA too.
 

SugarJ

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Large freezer size Ziploc bags are just big enough to put a spool of filament in, along with a couple of silica gel packets.
 

CMetaphor

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Large freezer size Ziploc bags are just big enough to put a spool of filament in, along with a couple of silica gel packets.
Is that necessary if I keep the filament in the same room as the dehumidifier holding 30% humidity? Or that + being in a bag or container?
 

SugarJ

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I live on the wet coast, and keep my stuff in the garage. Sealed, in bags. I don't print out there unless it's over 15 in the garage, and I have no idea what the humidity is here except it's a lot from October - May during the rainy season. Is it necessary to keep yours in a 30% room? Nope. Good practice? Probably.
 

danmitch1

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Nice one! What is a semi upgraded ender 5 though? I guess you bought it second hand?

I dont think its necessary to keep the room at 30% RH.. If you are worried about it, It would be much more economical to get a large enough plastic storage container and put desiccants in it (color changing ones are great to know when they are saturated) maybe put gauge in there to monitor RH. There are tones of DIY dry box designs out there, some that you can print directly out of that have a bowden tube drilled into the side.
To the very least, As the others have said, just make sure you store them away when your done printing in some sort of air tight container with desiccants. Anyway at least for now its the heating season so keeping the air HUMID will be more challenging !

I ripped this off the web.. as you see, I doubt temperature will be an issue unless your area is way too hot( like not even a human can survive in it) or below 0.
  • PLA filament storage temperature – 10-30 °C (50-86 °F)
  • ABS filament storage temperature – 15-25 °C (59-77 °F)
  • PVA filament storage temperature – 0-30 °C (32 -86 °F)
  • PETG filament storage temperature – 8-15 °C (46-59 °F)
 

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