Ingenious Filament Spool Holder Keeps Your 3D Printer Printing

If you have a 3D printer, chances are, the company you bought it from skimped out on the design of their filament holder. It’s okay though, it’s not like having a toilet roll holder for your spool will result in failed prints… oh wait…

We don’t normally share projects like this because, gasp, it’s not really a hack, but this completely 3D printed filament spool holder by [Creative Tools] is actually quite amazing. It’s been designed to fit pretty much any kind of spool of filament you can imagine, as well as no spool at all. But what impresses us most is how the entire thing is 3D printed or makes use of 3D printer filament. No fasteners, no nothing.

Stuff like using rubber filament instead of grippy foot pads, and hard filament as the axles with 3D printed wheels for the quasi-thrust bearing used to support and rotate the spool.

All the parts are available over at Thingiverse.com — even if you don’t have a 3D printer, you might want to see the following video for some inspiring design tips on how to make such a clean and polished 3D printed assembly.

Did we mention it also cleans and lubricates your filament as it is fed? You could also make a spool holder using skateboard bearings, but then you’d have to buy the skateboard bearings…

[Thanks Andrew!]

16 thoughts on “Ingenious Filament Spool Holder Keeps Your 3D Printer Printing

    1. In theory the sponge should keep it taut, been using a sponge to clean/hold my filament since I first started 3D printing. Course I’ll probably stick to my toilet paper roll since it hasn’t let me down what with guide/sponge setup.

        1. The creator of the spool holder says they use “commonly available lubricating oils such as for door hinges, sewing machines, etc.” on Thingiverse. That certainly doesn’t narrow it down.

          Frankly, I can’t see why you’d ever need to lubricate the filament. I don’t want lube being heated up in my extruder, and I don’t want my extruder’s hobbed wheel to have less grip on the filament. The sponge, however, isn’t a bad idea. I do want my filament to be free of dust before it hits my extruder.

      1. I built this a few days ago and ran into the same uncoil problem but I will have to see if the sponge helps. I don’t really regret building it though, I made it with the custom Printrbot base and it makes a for a nice compact holder for when I’m not printing but don’t want to seal up my filament.

    2. Agreed I avoid horizontal holders for this reason. Cheaper filament that isn’t perfect on the spool tangles itself much more too. Even in a vertical holder.

      The ‘Mendle’ style reprap machines make it easy to put 2-3 rolls vertically on the top which saves desk space quite nicely anyway.

      I find the trick is to make sure the spool holder has quite high friction keeping the filament tight between the spool and the ‘sponge’. In a non-bowden setup its important to make sure the filament doesn’t get slack around the spool as the extruder moves around (pulling and pushing the filament).

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