In order to get the most out of your Matt’s Hub filament, we’ve put together a few tips. Not only will these prolong the life of your filament, it’ll also make your life easier in the long run too. If you have any other questions about how you should best care for your filament, feel free to contact us.
Always secure the loose end after use
Filament tangles can be a real pain to deal with, and also costly if it results in a failed print.
We guarantee that your filament will never arrive tangled. In fact, it’s not even possible for a filament roll to become tangled during the manufacturing process of our filament. Once the winding of each spool is finished, the end is cut and immediately secured to the side of the spool.
In order to keep your filament tangle-free and preserve the neat, uniform winding, do not let go of the loose end of the filament until it is fully loaded into your printer. When you’re unloading the filament, always secure the loose end in the holes on the side of the spool immediately after.
Keep your filament dry
PLA is mildly hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb moisture from the air.
When you extrude filament that has absorbed too much moisture, you will see that it starts bubbling, crackling and steaming. This is due to the water inside the plastic evaporating under the high temperatures and escaping, and it leads to a very poor surface finish and inconsistent extrusion in your prints.
This is just one side effect of moisture absorption though - The water molecules absorbed into the filament also break down the polymer chains in a process known as hydrolysis. Ultimately, this can lead to your filament becoming much more brittle and having worse mechanical properties all round.
Due to all of the above, we strongly recommend keeping your filament in an airtight container with a desiccant for long term storage. This is why your filament arrives vacuum sealed in the box - and you should keep it this way until it is ready for use. Once opened, the filament should ideally be kept in an environment with an ambient humidity of less than 50% at all times in order to achieve the greatest lifespan possible.
Don’t switch off your printer while the hotend is still hot!
All 3D printer hotends function on the principle of a hot end that needs to stay hot, and a cold end that needs to stay cool. In most printers, the cool end's temperature is regulated with a fan blowing on a heatsink. This is an important part of the printer as it stops the heat creep from occurring and ultimately avoids clogs.
If you switch off your printer while the hotend is heated, this will shut off the heatsink cooling fan and allow the heat to creep up and most likely clog your hotend. To avoid this, make sure the hotend temperature is below 50°C before you switch off your printer.