DIY Dry box — Part 2

So now I have the “box” part of the “dry box”.

There are several ways to make the air drier, but first of all “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it”. Humidity is not something our senses can measure easily, so I need a hygrometer to see if whatever drying technique I choose is effective.

There are plenty of cheap hygrometers that can be enough for this experiment. But in the long term they might not be the best solution, given that they require batteries to be changed on a regular basis. I have some ideas for the future but for now, a cheap one is enough to validate the solution (also I already had some).

PLA spools usually come in sealed bags with pouch containing a desiccant (usually silica gel) in them to absorb water in the air left in the bag.

There are companies selling silica gel that change color when they are full of water indicating when they need to be replaced. The good news is that some silica gel can be regenerated by heat: put it in (microwave) oven to get the water out, then reuse it.

Let’s print a container for the silica gel, put it in the IKEA 365+ box and see what happens. After a few hours we can see the relative humidity being 36 % in the box while being 46 % outside the box (and that’s quite a dry atmosphere already).

So the silica gel solution is validated.

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