Empty spools from 3D printer filament are the kind of thing that begs to be repurposed, and one option is [3d-printy]’s vertical filament spool parts drawer design. The way this solution works is by using the spool to hold twelve vaguely pie-shaped drawers that can be individually unlocked and removed entirely, which makes accessing their contents (or dumping them out) much easier. This method requires the spools to be oriented vertically, so it ends up handling a bit like a Rolodex.
One downside of the design is that it requires two inserts to be installed on the inside of the spool walls, which act as guide rails and lock points for the drawers. Another is that managing a vertical spool can be a bit awkward, given its lack of flat surfaces. Happily, there is an option for a matching stand that not only provides a flat base, but keeps any accidentally-unlocked drawers from falling out and spilling their contents.
The project files are OpenSCAD files, which allows easy customization for different spool manufacturers and dimensions, and [3d-printy] provides measurements for some common ones. Another nice element of this design is that no single part uses more than 30 grams of filament, which makes printing them an attractive way to use up the last bits of filament rolls.
We’ve seen drawer-style storage for filament spools before, but haven’t seen a design quite like this one before. Watch an overview of the drawer design as well as the spool holders in the videos, embedded below.
Continue reading “A New Spin On Empty Filament Spools For Part Storage”
When you really start fine-tuning your 3D printer, you might start to notice that even the smallest things can have a noticeable impact on your prints. An open window can cause enough of a draft to make your print peel up from the bed, and the slightly askew diameter of that bargain basement filament can mess up your extrusion rate. It can be a deep rabbit hole to fall down if you’re not careful.
One element that’s often overlooked is the filament spool; if it’s not rotating smoothly, the drag it puts on both the extruder and movement of the print head can cause difficult to diagnose issues. For his custom built printer, [Marius Taciuc] developed a very clever printable gadget that helps the filament roll spin using nothing but the properties of the PLA itself. While the design might need a bit of tweaking to work on your own printer, the files he’s shared should get you most of the way there.
All you need to do is print out the hubs which fit your particular filament spools (naturally, they aren’t all a standard size), and snap them on. The four “claws” of the hub lightly contact a piece of 8 mm rod enough to support the spool while limiting the surface area as much as possible. The natural elasticity of PLA helps dampen the moment that would result if you just hung the hub-less spool on the rod.
The STL files [Marius] has provided for his low-friction hubs should work fine for anyone who’s interested in trying out his design, but you’ll need to come up with your own method of mounting the 8 mm rod in a convenient place. The arms he’s included are specifically designed for his customized Prusa Mendel, which is pretty far removed from contemporary desktop 3D printer design. Something to consider might be a piece of 8 mm rod suspended over the printer, with enough space that you could put a couple spools on for quick access to different colors or materials.
Hackers have been trying to solve the spool friction issue for years, and as you might expect we’ve seen some very clever designs in the past. But we especially like how simple [Marius] has made this design, and the fact that you don’t need to source bearings to build it. If you’re thinking of giving this new design a shot, be sure to leave a comment so we know how it worked out for you.
Continue reading “Printable Filament Spool Hub Skips The Bearings”
3D printing pens may be toys to some, but they can be genuinely useful tools to repair 3D prints, rescue a support structure, or weld together different pieces. However, [BManx2000] found that the way the filament simply sticks out of the back of a 3D printing pen like a bizarre tailfeather was troublesome.
The solution? A Mini Spool System for 3D Printing Pens, with which you can use your 3D printing pen to weld together the parts after printing them. The unit holds 1.75mm filament coiled under its own tension in a tidy package that doesn’t interfere with feeding. Since different 3D pens are shaped differently, the interface to the pen is a separate piece that can be modified or changed as needed without affecting the rest of the design.
We’ve seen some interesting innovations with filament holders before, like this entirely 3D printed filament holder, but a mini spool for a 3D pen is definitely a new one.