Essential Guide on Properly Storing Filaments for 3D Printing

FDM/FFF 3D printing is increasingly becoming a go-to choice for domestic use. Its versatility allows for a variety of applications, from generating everyday items at home or in the workplace to giving unlimited power to one’s creative output. It’s an engaging activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges, with filament storage being a major one.

There exists a wide variety of filament materials used in 3D printing. Multiple manufacturers produce filaments from several different types of plastics. The spectrum of options stretches from standard plastics like PLA, ABS and ASA, to PETG, nylon, and premium plastics such as PEEK and PEKK. Despite their differences, all these filaments have something in common: the need for appropriate storage to ensure premium print results. This guide aims to shed some light on the proper storage methods for 3D printing filaments.

Why Is Filament Storage Important?

First, it is crucial to understand why it’s necessary to properly store filaments for 3D printing. Each type of material has unique properties and characteristics; for instance, some plastics like nylon and PVA are more susceptible to environmental factors than other types. Improper filament storage can result in flawed and unattractive prints.

This can cause severe stringing and incredibly brittle and fragile parts. Lumps on the surface of the item and frequent blockages of the print head can also suggest that the filament has been stored incorrectly. Based on data, the strength of the filament can reduce by as much as 33% if the filament was stored in a damp environment. Consequently, to prevent this in the future, there are certain steps and practices to keep in mind for correct filament storage.

As noted earlier, each material has distinct traits, meaning that the “right” storage technique varies depending on the plastic type. However, it’s necessary to note that every filament, regardless of its type, will see a change in its printing attributes under unfavorable conditions. Nonetheless, there are plastics such as ABS, PLA, and PETG, which are relatively resistant and thus show less noticeable effect due to incorrect storage when compared to other more sensitive materials.

Best Practices for Storing Filaments

It is optimal to use newly bought filament within 12 months to ensure the best printing process, but if that’s not possible, it’s important to store it correctly to preseve it. Ideally, the filament should be stored in a cool area with temperatures between 15 and 24°C (59 to 75°F).

Humidity is another crucial factor in filament storage. All plastics will absorb moisture over time, with the level of absorption varying from one material to another. Plastics can be classified into two categories depending on how much moisture they absorb: hygroscopic and non-hygroscopic plastics. Non-humid materials such as ABS, ASA, PETG, or TPU only need to be dried before use for best printing results. Meanwhile, highly humid plastics like PLA, PVA, and nylon absorb much more moisture and do not completely rejuvenate after drying, making them more likely to result in problematic prints.

To safeguard filaments from the detrimental effects of moisture, certain precautions can be taken. For instance, it is beneficial to store filaments in airtight containers, preferably with desiccants. Sodium silicate bead-filled little bags are commonly used as desiccants, as they are capable of capturing the resultant moisture and hence, maintaining the dryness of the filaments.

However, vacuum bags can also be used to store filament without any problems. There are also dedicated solutions that can be bought which are geared towards proper filament storage. If you keep these things in mind, materials that are not dry enough will no long be an issue in your 3D printing!

Have you already had experience with a brittle and fragile filament? What did you learn about filament storage? Let us know in a comment below or on our


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