Would you like to use loose silica gel in your filament box instead of a silica gel bag*? Then the 3D printed silica gel box is just the thing. Here you get the free 3D print files for the silica gel box. It offers space for approx. 500 g silica gel granules and can be attached to the lid instead of the original holder. If you want to build the filament box, you can get the necessary 3D print files in the shop.
The article contains affiliate links / advertising links, these are marked with an asterisk (*).
Why the conversion from the original bracket?
Do you already have silica gel and do not want to buy a new silica gel bag* or do you want to buy cheaper loose silica gel then print the silica gel box here. The box is provided with fine ventilation slots at the top and bottom so that the air can get to the dry granulate. To close the lid, it is placed slightly offset on the box and then moved about 1 cm, wedging itself at four points and thus closing securely.
With the help of 3D printed holders, the silica gel box is then held in the filament dry box. The Silica Gel Box can then simply be pulled out of the holder by lifting it up. The the silica gel could be dried or the box refilled with new one. If the 3D printed silica gel box is installed, the dry box looks shown in the following photos.
Instructions: Build a DIY silica gel box
The instructions are divided into individual steps. The required 3D printed parts, purchased parts and needed tools are summarized right at the beginning.
3D printed parts
The files of the required 3D printed parts are available free of charge by subscribing to the email list, so you don’t miss any new projects and discounts.
These are purely digital products, you get all the files you need to print it yourself. All STL-files for the required components are summarized in a ZIP-file.
3D print settings
For all parts:
- Layer height 0.2 mm and 20% infill (rectangular)
- Nozzle temperature: 250°C (First layer: 240°C)
- Bed temperature: 90°C (First layer: 85°C)
- Perimeter speed: 45 mm/s (First layer: 10 mm/s)
- External and short perimeter speed: 25 mm/s (First layer: 10 mm/s)
- Infill speed: 80 mm/s (First layer: 10 mm/s)
- Top solid infill speed: 40 mm/s
Used 3D printing filament and 3D printer
Approximately 118 g PETG Prusa Orange and Clear filament* is needed for all required 3D printed parts of one silica gel box. At a price per kilo of EUR 29.90, this is around EUR 3.50 in material costs for one silica gel box. The total 3D printing time for all required components is approx. 12 hours. To calculate the total 3D printing time, all printing times are added up, whereby the total number of pieces of a component is always printed at once.
Because of the higher stability and the low warpage, I recommend a PETG* filament. The parts could be also be printed with ABS, ASA* or with PLA*. However, no test prints were made with these materials. With PLA, the parts could not be stable enough due to the more brittle nature of the material.
Bill of materials: Needed purchased parts for the silica gel box
500 g Silica gel granules* (approx. 14 EUR / kg)
- 4 pcs Cylinderhead screw M3x14 DIN912* (approx. 7 EUR / 50 pcs)
- 4 pcs Nuts M3 DIN934* (approx. 7 EUR / 50 pcs)
The total costs of the purchased parts come to approx. 8 EUR. For the calculation only the costs for the required parts for one silica gel box were added together.
Screws and nuts: They are usually much cheaper in hardware stores and can be bought there in the required number of pieces.
There are many suppliers of silica gel, the more you buy, the cheaper the price per kilo becomes (e.g. with the linked supplier for 4 kg at 9.50 EUR / kg).
Allen key set* (M3 key 2,5 mm)
Wrench set small* (M3 wrench size 5.5 mm)
Step 1: Printing the box and preparing the brackets
Printing the 3D printed components
- 2 pcs 001900_Carrier
Layer height 0.2 mm and 20% infill (rectangular)
- 1 pcs 002000_Box
- 1 pcs 002100_Lid
Layer height 0.2 mm and 20% infill (rectangular)
Assembling the silica gel box for the filament box
The whole thing is very simple. Fill the silica gel box, do not make it too full. The four locking mechanisms at the top of the edge must remain free.
To close the lid, position it slightly offset and slide it. For the 3D printed carriers, small bars are printed on the bottom of the box so that the silica gel box can not slip.
Screw the 4 cylinder screws into the pre-printed holes in the carriers. The box is now ready for installation.
Step 2: Prepare the filament box lid and screw the carriers on
The drilling distances in the filament box lid are slightly shorter than those for the holder of the silica gel bag, instead of 160 mm it is only 100 mm. Again, first mark the distances on the two central ribs of the cover. Here in the picture the first two holes are already in place.
As with the original bracket, the first two holes are approx. 15 mm from the rubber seal. The next two holes then follow at a distance of 100 mm. It is best to pre-drill about 5 mm from the edge of the rib with the 2 mm wood drill and then set the final holes with the 4 mm wood drill. Due to the lack of space, the cordless screwdriver has to be set at an angle, so it is important to drill very slowly and in a controlled manner so that the cover is not damaged when the ribs are pierced.
The filament box lid with the 4 mm holes.
Now insert the two prepared carriers from the inside and secure with a nut.
Secure the screws with the M3 nuts and tighten them. Perform for both sides.
Put the lid on the filament box and insert the 3D printed silica gel box.
Congratulations, now you can keep your boxes dry with loose silica gel granules. Enjoy printing!
Do you want to build a filament box to keep your filament dry and dust-free? Does the filament roll change on the printer annoy you and you want a simple solution for changing filaments?