One way to dry filament is to put it in an oven. This is great if you want to spend the money on a food dehydrator or your spouse doesn’t mind you putting plastic into your nice new kitchen oven. However, one other way it to use a chamber and a light bulb. This method works well but different materials can require different temperatures due to glass transition temperature (the point where plastic begins to soften). By using arduino, we can build a closed loop control drying box that works similar to your oven. Set your max temperature allowed, your amount of temperature tolerance, the number of hours you’d like to dry and you’re good to go. The controller heats the chamber up to your max set temp, turns the light off until the chamber hits the Max temp – tolerance then turns the light back on again to continue cycling. After the specified number of hours, the controller switches to “Humidity Hold mode”. The user inputs a maximum percentage humidity to hold in the chamber and the controller only turns the light on long enough to keep the humidity below that percentage. It’s a nice energy saver mode if you’re not going to get to your newly-dried filament right away and bag it up. Through our testing, I’ve been able to dry nylon that was submerged in water for a few days and get perfect prints again!
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.