Answers to frequently asked questions about Smart Cabinet
BCN3D has answered all frequently asked questions about the BCN3D Smart Cabinet. BCN3D specialists also talked about their approach to the absorption drying method, which ensures a trouble-free 3D printing process by storing all filaments at the appropriate level of humidity. In this article, you will learn how Smart Cabinet works and you will learn all the basics you need to know before you start working with the device.
The Smart Cabinet is a device that complements and enhances the Epsilon series of 3D printers, which was launched in November 2020. It is an alternative to other drying methods that can damage and degrade the fibers. Smart Cabinet maintains materials at an optimal level of humidity without the need to use potentially harmful heat, thus eliminating damage to the filaments.
BCN3D Smart Cabinet
Smart Cabinet is designed to extend the life of materials, protect the filament and reduce printing errors caused by moisture, greatly improving the quality of the prints. Smart Cabinet (SC) has a gel that absorbs moisture from the air in the chamber. Once saturated, the gel is isolated from the materials and heated until it releases the moisture, removing it from the system. This process effectively keeps the filament dry and optimal for use.
How often do I have to change the desiccant?
BCN3D Smart Cabinet works based on the absorption dryer method, alternating between drying and regeneration cycles to maintain a constant dry environment around the stored reels and protect them from sudden external changes.
Smart Cabinet controls the relative humidity inside the airtight container with a desiccant that absorbs the moisture, in this case alumina granules, which are open to the drying environment. By isolating the absorbent material from the heating chamber and increasing its temperature, the absorbed moisture is released outside the chamber and the material is regenerated. After cleaning, the desiccant has been refreshed and is ready to pick up more moisture. The hermetic container and cyclical internal ventilation via fan, heating and valves ensure that no user interaction is required.
This process effectively keeps the filament dry and optimal for its use, meaning you never have to change the desiccant.
How is Smart Cabinet connected to my printer?
The 3D printer is connected to the Smart Cabinet via a USB port, which is responsible for exchanging important information such as battery charge, power outages and humidity levels.
The extension cord allows electricity to flow through the Smart Cabinet to the printer. The cable comes directly from the UPS.
Two Teflon tubes (one for each extruder) run from the back of the Smart Cabinet to the printer, guiding the filament from one to the other. This allows you to print directly from the Smart Cabinet, ensuring the material does not leave the controlled humidity environment.
Which printers are compatible with Smart Cabinet?
Smart Cabinet is fully compatible with all the printers in our Epsilon series, consisting of the Epsilon Original launched in 2019, the Epsilon W50 and the Epsilon W27, in addition to the Sigma D25.
Smart Cabinet is equipped with wheels that make it easy to transport regardless of the weight or size of the printer.
How many filament spools can I store in it?
The Smart Cabinet can hold up to 6 spools of cartridges weighing up to 750g. To take full advantage of the features of Smart Cabinet, it is recommended to use BCN3D cartridges.
Without the use of cartridges, it is possible to store 10 small spools of filaments weighing 750g - 1kg or 4 large spools weighing up to 2.7 kg.
Smart Cabinet is a versatile device that allows you to place filaments of different sizes of spools, allowing for different ways of placing the spools depending on their size.
Additionally, there is an extra storage space at the bottom of the device where you can store items such as filament boxes and glass printing surfaces, as well as a side maintenance tray for storing maintenance tools.
What is the BCN3D cartridge and how many of them are included in the Smart Cabinet?
The BCN3D reel cassette (cartridge) is an individual reel storage unit designed to improve usability, facilitate user interaction and contribute to the smooth operation of the smart cabinet. The BCN3D spool insert surrounds the filament with a magnetic cover, prevents the filament from tangling during unloading, allows air to flow and has a visual indicator of the amount of filament remaining.
When purchasing Smart Cabinet 2, BCN3D cartridges are free.
Do all my filaments benefit from storage in Smart Cabinet?
Basically, all materials are affected by moisture, only some more than others. Most polymeric materials interact with water to absorb it, regardless of its physical form. To counteract this, raw thermoplastic materials are usually dehydrated to remove all harmful water bubbles from the polymer matrix. As the most popular 3D printing filaments are formulated with hygroscopic materials such as PA, TPU, PVA, PLA, BVOH, PET-G or ABS, it is recommended to store all filaments in a Smart Cabinet.
Can Smart Cabinet reverse the effects of moisture degradation of materials?
As soon as you open the filament spool, the first thing you think about is protecting the material from any damage. To do this, immediately store the filament in the Smart Cabinet. When a material is damaged or degraded by moisture, it traps the moisture on its surface or deep inside its matrix. In such cases, other drainage methods must be used to bring the material back to usable condition. While the Smart Cabinet will not reverse the effect of moisture degradation, its design for optimal storage and preservation of materials will prevent damage in the first place.
How to load filaments in Smart Cabinet?
There is a place in the SC where we can load one spool for the left extruder and another spool for the right extruder. To load filament through the Smart Cabinet, first open the drying chamber and place the filament spool in the BCN3D spool cassette. Select extruder and material on the screen and insert filament through the loading point. This will activate the extruder motor and there are 2 Teflon tubes that guide the filament from inside the Smart Cabinet directly to the extruders via the FRS sensor.
Can I control the humidity level in Smart Cabinet?
Smart Cabinet works best when the humidity of the working environment is within the HSE recommended 40-60% range. In case of extreme external humidity (above these values), Smart Cabinet will always keep the filaments in the optimal humidity range for 3D printing materials, below 40%. This means there is no need to manually adjust levels.
What happens if there is a power cut?
Smart Cabinet is equipped with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) that protects both the equipment and the operation from power outages that can spoil many hours of printing. If there is a power failure of ten minutes or less and the battery is fully charged, the printer pauses the printheads and automatically resumes the print job when the power is restored. If the power outage lasts longer than the battery allows, you will need to manually allow the print job to resume. Fortunately, the Smart Cabinet BCN3D also has low power consumption, averaging 12W / 100W max.
Of course, the advantages of Smart Cabinet are only greater than ensuring the highest performance of your printer. We hope this has convinced you to consider keeping your materials in optimal condition and shed some light on any doubts you might have about the BCN3D Smart Cabinet.
Smart Cabinet in a set with a BCN3D Epsilon W50 or W27 3D printer - 25% cheaper .
See our offer.