What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?
 
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Tango
(@tango)
Estimable Member
What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I live in a really humid area, where temps in the summer are up in the high 90s F (35-40C) and it's humid. If I showed you a summer picture of the road from our house to the barn, you'd think I was in a jungle or rainforest. That's an issue, of course, with printing! While, eventually, I'd like to get a storage cabinet with a dehumidifier, that's not practical for now. I have a filament drier that will dry out 2 spools at a time. I bought a set of bags (brand name Amol en)with a vacuum pump and a lot of desiccant bags and have been using that. I liked the simple vacuum pump, but I found, quickly, that I was tossing out a lot of these bags. Some would never "pump out" at all. Others I could pump out, but within a few days, found they were no longer tight and had let in a lot of air. All in all, less than half of the bags in the set could hold a seal or work as storage for more than a few days. The rest all re-filled with air after, at most, half a week.

I've looked for others and I'm not finding anything that seems to work. I'd like to find a vacuum bag storage system that has these elements:

1. A pump I can easily use with the system. It doesn't have to be electric. (In fact, I'm quite okay with manual, especially since electric ones can be overpriced.)
2. The bags can actually maintain a vacuum seal for months or longer and can be reused multiple times.
3. Refills or extra bags are easily available. I don't have to pay for a set of bags that includes a pump that works with them, then, when I need more bags and can get them as just bags (preferably in groups of 5-10 or more, not as just singles) without having to buy another pump or other extras.
4. Reasonable price - this is not something I want to pin down to the cent, but something that costs $3 per bag is too much.

Eventually I would like to get a cabinet, but that's well in the future, so, for now, I just want to be able to dry out filament and store it in individual containers until I use it next.

Any suggestions?

Posted : 12/05/2024 2:48 am
JP Guitars
(@jp-guitars)
Estimable Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I've used Sunlu and some cheap no name ones, all work fine when I seal them fully, but with all it is easy to think you have sealed them but to leave a tiny bit that is not fully sealed which over time relieves the vacuum

Posted : 12/05/2024 5:29 am
Tango
(@tango)
Estimable Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

 

Posted by: @jp-guitars

I've used Sunlu and some cheap no name ones, all work fine when I seal them fully, but with all it is easy to think you have sealed them but to leave a tiny bit that is not fully sealed which over time relieves the vacuum

I checked and Sunlu, for now, is out of stock for the US. I haven't ordered from them before, so I don't know if the crossed out USA in the shipping area means just out of stock or "no longer available here." I see two kits, with bags and a hand pump, but no refill sets. Have you seen a refill set that works with their pump? And the no name ones - do they work with the Sunlu hand pump?

I have taken every bag I've had issues with and tried to reuse it by putting the spool in it back in the drier, then into the bag. I seal most of the seal, then push whatever air is left in it out. (Well, whatever I can!)  Then I use the pump. With the bags I've been using, a lot of them don't start shrinking or reacting as I try to pump the air out. I double check the seal and try again. It's never made a difference. Even with the seal checked and redone, those bags won't hold a vacuum.

Posted : 12/05/2024 7:28 am
JP Guitars
(@jp-guitars)
Estimable Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

Normally means out of stock. Don't know about the US operation but the UK one is not good at keeping stocks topped up.

I've got the electric pump, the cheap bags I've got at Geeetech (that is the correct spelling), the valve is a lot simpler than the Sunlu ones but works well enough providing you make gap for the air to get to the valve, I designed my own spacer to help then found these https://www.printables.com/model/632899-vacuum-bag-valve-spacer-remix

 

Posted : 12/05/2024 7:46 am
Thomas
(@thomas-14)
Trusted Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I've bought some bags at AliExpress which have been very reliable. I also throw in a bag or two of blue silica gel to take care of any remaining moisture. My more moisture sensitive filaments, like PVA, I put in my filament dryer before I pack them up. So far, the system works!

Here are the links if you're interested:

 

Posted : 12/05/2024 10:32 am
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I now use a Billy cabinet I modified to hold my spools but before that I used large Ziploc Weathershield storage boxes that can hold 10+ spools, combined with renewable mini dehumidifiers. Another good brand for containers is Sterilite.

As long as you keep an eye on the color of the dehumidifier and recharge it as needed every month or so, I have had filaments in there for more than a year with no apparent degradation in performance. 

Never liked those bags. Not a bad solution for a handful of spools but not very practical if you have more spools in use at any given time.

Posted : 12/05/2024 10:57 am
Thomas Lynch
(@thomas-lynch)
Estimable Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I am with @fucher, I use these large watertight plastic boxes. Each one has 3 or 4 silica-gel in cloth bags in them. I also put a humidity gauge on the inside and when it reads 30% or so I regenerate the silica-gel. It keeps about 10 rolls of filament dry for a long time. I just used a roll I had for about 2 years the other day. It worked perfectly, no stringing. 

Tom

Posted : 12/05/2024 3:41 pm
Tango
(@tango)
Estimable Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

As long as you keep an eye on the color of the dehumidifier and recharge it as needed every month or so, I have had filaments in there for more than a year with no apparent degradation in performance. 

I take it that also means, since you're tracking the dehumidifiers, that you don't have problems from having to open the boxes to get spools - that isn't letting in too much humidity?

Never liked those bags. Not a bad solution for a handful of spools but not very practical if you have more spools in use at any given time.

The thing I like about bags is that each one is sealed separately, so the ones I don't use that much stay stored and aren't exposed to an open box too often, but I guess if you're going to recharge the dehumidifiers regularly, then that wouldn't be a problem, and I could separate spools by frequency of use.

Each one has 3 or 4 silica-gel in cloth bags in them. I also put a humidity gauge on the inside and when it reads 30% or so I regenerate the silica-gel.

So you're just using desiccant bags and a gauge instead of dehumidifiers? I'm thinking that might be more cost effective.

I've got the electric pump, the cheap bags I've got at Geeetech (that is the correct spelling), the valve is a lot simpler than the Sunlu ones but works well enough providing you make gap for the air to get to the valve, I designed my own spacer to help then found these

So the spacers are only for use outside the bag, when you connect the pump to the bags? The issue I see is that I can only find packs of 4 bags with a pump. Do you know if there are refill packs you can get without a pump?

I've bought some bags at AliExpress which have been very reliable.

Interesting, since those are the same bags, under a different brand name, that I bought and had that >50% failure rate.

Posted : 12/05/2024 6:11 pm
JP Guitars
(@jp-guitars)
Estimable Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

No spacers go inside the bag behind the valve the valve, it stops the back half of the bag blocking

Posted : 12/05/2024 7:05 pm
languer
(@languer)
Estimable Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

Sovol 3D Printer Filament Vacuum Sealed Bags, and eSUN eBOX Lite Dryer box

Posted : 13/05/2024 2:06 am
Tango
(@tango)
Estimable Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

The Sovol bags are the same as the ones I linked to, just under a different branding.

I find it interesting that I buy a box of, if I remember, 24 bags, and found half didn't hold a vacuum seal, but others have had good experience with them.

I wonder if the brand name I found them under might be their factory seconds or something like that.

Posted : 13/05/2024 3:00 am
Luca
 Luca
(@luca-4)
Active Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

 

Posted by: @fuchsr

I now use a Billy cabinet I modified to hold my spools...

This is very interesting! Would you please share your configuration and stuff you are using?
Thanks a lot!

Posted : 14/05/2024 8:59 am
fuchsr
(@fuchsr)
Famed Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

This was inspired by a post I saw a while ago somewhere on Reddit (and which of course I can't find anymore). I've been using it now for 6 months, and it worked out better than I expected. 

The base is an IKEA Billy cabinet (31 1/2" x 11 3/4" x 79 1/2") with Oxberg doors.

I added Hrumque's mounting system https://www.printables.com/model/476631 , which gives me 7 rows of 10 to 11 spools.

I used weather stripping https://www.amazon.com/dp/B077LJT1F8 along the sides of the cabinet to try to keep humidity out. I designed and printed a small clip to go over the door handles to keep the door tight.

I had six mini dehumidifiers https://a.co/d/8bknDIq left over from my previous plastic storage totes, so I use those to suck up moisture (I actually found they need to be recharged much less frequently than with the totes).

For looks, I added LED strips around the glass panel on the inside of the door and power them with a smart plug.

Posted : 14/05/2024 11:14 am
Frank Welte, Luca, languer and 2 people liked
Tango
(@tango)
Estimable Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

This was inspired by a post I saw a while ago somewhere on Reddit (and which of course I can't find anymore). I've been using it now for 6 months, and it worked out better than I expected. 

The base is an IKEA Billy cabinet (31 1/2" x 11 3/4" x 79 1/2") with Oxberg doors.

This might be a good idea - with a major variation - for me. I just recently put in a vent system because I'm having problems with my CNC - whenever I use the laser, it sets off the smoke alarm. My workshop is on the 2nd floor in our barn, which has a barn roof, so there's a crawl space/attic area to the side of my shop, where I put the vent fans. While in there working, I realized that I could easily fit in a few storage cabinets within the crawl space. (I'd have to get insulation to put around the sides.) So I could do something like this in the new wall cabinets I'm considering. I'm still working out how it'd work out. I like glass doors so you don't have to open doors until you know where the filament you want is, but I have peg boards on the walls and those are a major part of my tool storage/tool management system, so space taken up by a glass door is not useable for pegboard. (Maybe a 2 layer door - swing out the peg board and there's glass behind it?)

Posted : 14/05/2024 3:04 pm
GerryPB
(@gerrypb)
Active Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

https://www.printables.com/model/644541-dry-bucket

Try this. I have been really happy with it. It stays at 10% for months. Holds 5 spools. Isn't expensive. I haven't found an issue opening it for quickly grabbing a spool.

Gerry

Posted : 14/05/2024 3:53 pm
Tom Horsley
(@tom-horsley)
Trusted Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I keep my filament in a big plastic bin from IRIS USA with a gasket on the lid that seals tight with clips around the edges. A DampRid bucket in the bin absorbs humidity well, and you can tell it needs replacing when the crystals are all liquefied :-). I rigged up a rack inside with some plywood and conduit pipes to sit the spools on. I use a smaller, but similar sealing bin to feed filament out of into my MMU. I put desiccant bags in it.

Posted : 14/05/2024 9:21 pm
Cynan
(@cynan)
Estimable Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I use the zip lock bags that the spools come in with the silica gel packs.

When I change filament I take a spool out of a bag and put the one I was using back into the bag, squeezing out as much air as I can.

Its worked pretty well for me so far.

My printer is in a cupboard though and I do store my filament in shelves above it so whilst the printer is on the bed does heat the space quite nicely which may be a contributing factor. I tend to partial close the cupboard door whilst hinting, keeping it slightly ajar to maintain the heat better in there.

I have just purchased a PolyDryer box to try out to see if I can improve quality (though quality has always been good for me) and popped one spool in that to see what happened. Hydrometer started on 50% (starting value when turning it on for the first time?) and after a few hours it read 26%.

According to another sensor humidity in the room is  63%.

Posted : 14/05/2024 9:24 pm
SailorEric
(@sailoreric)
Estimable Member
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

Using the eSun bags here in the tropics since some were donated. Use printed desiccant holders in the hubs. So far, so good.

Posted : 15/05/2024 2:31 am
Tango
(@tango)
Estimable Member
Topic starter answered:
RE: What kind of vacuum bags do you use for filament storage?

I really appreciate all the input on this! I still haven't decided just what I'm going to do. For now, I'm using my plastic ziplock bags, but considering my failure rate on them is now notably over 50% (in terms of holding a vacuum), I won't be buying anymore. I'm not opening any filaments until I start to use them. I'm glad to know it's not as hard to make a serviceable dry storage cabinet as I thought and would love to go with that.

I recently had to add a door into my crawl space to the side (it's more like an attic - the gap between my workshop wall and the side of the Dutch roof, and it gets hot in there!) so I could put some fans in there for ventilation (for my CNC when I use the laser and it makes a lot of smoke, and for the printers to air out their container when I print with something like ABS). I found it was easy to cut between the trusses and add a door to it. I could easily do that to make a storage cabinet built into the wall and put a lot of insulation around the sides of the cabinet. I say "easily," but that would take a few days and, due to the ducts in there, I can't use the full vertical space in there, so I might have to make several cabinets.

The issue is I use pegboards for organizing and storing my tools, so all my wall space is in use. I'm also considering breaking up the large peg boards into smaller sections and some could serve as cabinet doors. (With an inner glass or plexi door, so I can swing the peg board out and look for the filament I want without opening the inner door.)

That's a big project, it's what I want to do, but it could be a year or more before I can do it, so I'm still looking at interim solutions. I may go with the bins and dehumidifiers that I can later put in the storage cabinets when I can finally build them.

Posted : 28/05/2024 4:31 pm
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