Sunday, 15 July 2012

Filament cleaning sponge...

As I blogged earlier today I had ordered some new black filament from Faberdashery. I was in the process of changing out the white filament as I want the black I ordered in the printer and thought I would take a look at my wiping sponge.

Dust from 200m of filament
I saw one of these on the printers at Bath when we built Huxley #710. I was chatting to one of the guys busy printing a Parliament of Owls. He told me that the filament has or tends to attract lots of dust. With the amount of printing he does, he found that it made a big difference.

I don't consider that I do a huge amount of printing but clearly there is quite an amount of dust and fibres that might block the extruder and contaminate the extruder mechanism.

Obviously if it doesn't get stuck somewhere,  it ends up in the plastic.

Tesco pan cleaning sponge
The sponge was peeled from one of those cheap rectangular cleaner sponge pan cleaning pads. But I imagine any foam will do the job nicely. I just wanted some white foam so I could readily identify if it was doing anything.

The sponge is simply wrapped around the filament and held in place with a cable wrap that came keeping one of the cables neat and tidy during shipping.

There are designs out there on Thingiverse such as this for example.


  1. Replies
    1. I can say I have never had a blocked extruder as a result of unexplained behavior i.e. contamination.

      I do a lot of printing with white filament, so any contamination would show quickly. Parts certainly attracts dust after printing. The dust is very similar to that found in our 3M Filtrete FAP03 Ultra Clean Air Purifier. So I am confident a large proportion, if not all of it comes from our environment and not the filament.

      Since this picture, lots more dust accumulated and I changed the sponge after a few more hundred meters. Using the re-usable ties allows me to put the filter on if I forget i.e. it does not have to go through the filament ;)