Did you know that some of your 3D prints may have partially or completely failed just because of humidity contained in the filament you used? This sort of humidity is invisible to the naked eye, so you probably blamed your print settings, your 3D printer or even doubted your abilities, but all of that may actually not have been the cause of your problem: it was the humid filament.
As we already briefly explained in this article, nylons will saturate with water (i.e. absorb its maximal capacity in water molecules) in only 18 hours being exposed to ambient air. The situation is even worse with specialty filament like PVA (more about PVA in our materials primer post) which is used to create support structures, which are easily dissolved by putting your print in water. PVA is extremely hygroscopic and needs to be stored in a sealed box or a special container. Otherwise, it will attract so much water from the air that it will render it useless. But not only nylons or PVA are concerned, PLA and ABS also attract water from the air, even if it is to a lesser degree.
Just get yourself some vacuum bags. Please do pay attention to only buy the type of bags fitted with a vacuum valve, which permit all air to be vacuumed out with a standard household vacuum cleaner. These vacuum bags are normally intended for storing clothes, linen and such in a place-efficient manner. They normally also provide protection against water, odors, mildew, dust and pests.
The idea behind using those bags is to store your filament spools in an air-free environment (vacuum), so that they cannot absorb any more moisture from the ambient air. As the vacuum in the bag is not absolute, you need a solution to absorb any possible remaining moisture. We recommend to simply add to your bag some silicagel beads, which are very effective moisture absorbents. You can choose to either buy a number of ready-to-use silicagel packs (a.k.a. dry packs), which can be re-used if you dry them in an oven. However, their biggest disadvantage is that you have no way of knowing when the beads are saturated with water, as the (Tyvek) bags they come in are opaque/non-transparent. It is also sometimes difficult to buy them in small numbers at an acceptable price.