[Alec Richter] had a good idea on how he could convert the leftover filament spindles from his 3D printer into multi-compartment storage. An empty spindle is fitted with several trays that rotate out from the circle for easy access. With multiple spools rotating on a central axle, you can really see how a bunch of parts could be organized in a column, though not being able to see through the sides probably limits its use somewhat — most of the modular component storage we’ve seen has clear trays.
He has designed drawer bases with removable compartment trays, along with alignment jigs to help you get the drawer installed perfectly the first time. You can download the designs (14 files!) but you need to sign up for an account first. Also, [Alex]s designs fit very specific spindles so be sure of your measurements, etc.
Hackaday is awash in posts about modular storage, like this computer tower turned storage shelf and this technique for using peanut butter jars for storage.
[mucho apreciado for the tip, George!]
20 thoughts on “Creating Modular Storage Out Of Used Filament Spools”
Seems a bit impractical to me. I’m all about modular storage, but by the time you pay for all the filament and spend all the time needed to make the prints that go to this project, you might as well have just bought some Akro-Mils storage drawer sets.
Or, if you’re like most people with printers, use spools you already have laying around, and spend a few dollars in plastic to print the parts. Repurposing is a good thing. No need to crap on the idea just because it doesn’t make sense from your perspective.
Well said sir. I throw a load away at the recycling centre the other day. Could have made this, will next time. :)
I didn’t crap on it, I simply stated my opinion and gave valid reasons for it.
The point is to do SOMETHING with the empty spools that quickly start piling up once your outside of the low-poly Pokemon and Benchy phase of 3D printer ownership.
Granted best use is probably putting wire or rope on them as they were intended for, but failing that, at least this keeps them out of the trash.
Bah! I say buy more filament to print more spools for filament!
Personally I like the modular quality of it. I tear down a lot of stuff to either repair or scavenge parts, regardless I tend to try and put the thing back together in the end. However, I tend to be doing multiple repairs/tear downs at once for different projects. This would allow me to dedicate a spool to each of my ongoing tear downs, that way I can simply label the spool and walk away from the project for a week or two without losing any parts.
I’ll definitely be printing some of these.
How about chunking up the spindles to extrude into ABS filament?
The quality of plastic degrades with each melt cycle… Depending on the spool you may be able to remelt and reuse the plastic… If it is a type of plastic you are willing to print… Most of these are unmarked and the plastic properties are unknown
I like it.
This is a great idea, I can see a way of stacking them and allowing them to rotate too. Very nice.
For the record, there are a few projects that did this same thing before, so some debate over if this is really Alec’s idea or if he should have given some credit where credit is due:
Why don’t they make these friggin things out of material that can be turned into more filament? Then you just grind it up and reuse it instead of even having to worry about hacking some use out of it, or throwing it out, or piling them up…
Combine this with a handy plastic grinding and extruding machine, voila, million dollar idea… (free for the entire internet).
They’re made out of ABS, so they can be ground up and made into filament. Just most of us don’t have filament extruders.
That’s exactly what they are made of, and you can buy a filament extruder to make your own filament out of it.
But with as cheap as filament is, and as expensive as the machine is, it doesn’t make any sense for an individual.
I like the design.
and silly me was just going to use them as wheels
Don’t forget to print some bearings
Am I seeing correctly that one of the trays has cough drops adjacent to candy-colored push pins? That seems like a very nasty surprise waiting to happen.
Yah, like your template slipping at just the wrong moment because you tried to pin it into place with cough drops. ;-)
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