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Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Filamometer MK1

by ErikJDurwoodII, published

Filamometer MK1 by ErikJDurwoodII Dec 21, 2011

Featured Thing!

Description

Very much a work in progress! This is an odometer for filament! It should measure filament by the centimeter so you can have a real measurement for filament used! The base it attaches to slides on to the counter assembly, so you can chose different mounts for it, but the first mount is for a ToM endcap.

I'm currently printing the first set of parts to validate the design, after some tweaks, I'll upload the first working design to share and build from!

The next version will have a second resettable counter. I will also provide just the counter mechanism as a separate "thing" once I make sure everything works okay.

Recent Comments

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any updates i like the looks of this unit can you post it in what ever format you have we can tweak it and finish it here for you.
Allo? At this point i guess this project is dead :-/ if you still have any of the design files, It would be AWESOME if you could post them, regardless of if they work or not!!
 So, Any updates? If not, then could you please post Work In Progress designs?

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any updates i like the looks of this unit can you post it in what ever format you have we can tweak it and finish it here for you.
Allo? At this point i guess this project is dead :-/ if you still have any of the design files, It would be AWESOME if you could post them, regardless of if they work or not!!
 So, Any updates? If not, then could you please post Work In Progress designs?
Please don't let this be a dead project, was really looking forward to seeing/making this! :(
any chance of an update sometime soon?
Erik, just to let you know, I've put a lifetime filament counter into V24 firmware for Gen4 LCD users (thanks for the idea): thingiverse.com/thing:15380
Behold, the power of SOCIAL INNOVATION!!!
While the software version is great, i was really looking forward to having one of these on each spool i use, so that i can track each one independently...
Hello everyone!

Sorry for the lack of updates. I'm swamped at work and the heavy snow (by Seattle standards) has made getting around, hairy. I'm printing a new design this afternoon that I think will be the one that I'll upload. I got my Thing-O-Matic back together and re-calibrated and I'm hopeful for some st
ellar prints.

Thanks for your patience and I am humbled by the popularity that this idea (soon to be released) project has received.
How is it coming? :-)
I'm sure nobody would complain if you posted the work in progress files so we could have a crack at printing them too!
Can a slideable spring be put on the counter teeth?

Something that would either ding a small bicycle bell or trigger a switch. the switch could run a batch program that might take a picture or send an email or something.

Slidable so it could be moves between the wheels, so it goes off at what ever increment you need it to be.
Short answer, yes!

Long answer, in my effort to keep every single part printable, I have designed "keepers" that intrude between the gap next to the gears to keep them from binding. A switch like that could be put in place of one of the keepers to facilitate what you're looking for.

Also, update coming!
I store my spools of filament in drawers of a rolling stack-chest, and it would be awesome to have one of these for each color of filament, maybe attach them in the front of each drawer next to where the filament exits :-)
I'm designing the mount to be removable so the square mechanism should be able to be set in and appropriately sized hole. ;)
Chop chop! I've been waiting for this thing.
i wouldn't mind an update :-D
Update forthcoming! I've been occupied with work and family needs, but I'm hopeful this weekend will see some uploads!
I just weigh the darn thing...
How does that translate into length of plastic used? I realize you can make a number of assumptions based upon average diameter of plastic, fill ratio used, number of solid shells, etc. but that seems to be really crude and not really accomplishing the same goal as Erik's piece, as you also need to know the specific density of the plastic you're working with (a piece printed with the same exact settings in SF would print different in ABS vs PLA vs HDPE, etc.). All in all, weight will only ever crudely approximate CM of plastic used.

I look forward to printing this someday :)
I hardly made an assumtion about anything... What I do know is that one kilogram roll has a certain value. I can therefore price my prints in accordance. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of a counter. It's great for estimating how long a filament you have used and obviously how much is left. So if that is important to know, then Erik's gizmo is just the thing. Please think of my post/methood as an alternative not a replacement. It just gives another control point. I have also discovered that the weight/time relationship is roughly linear and therefore gives you the possibility to estimate weight/price from the time it takes to print.
Truth-be-told, the best use I have for this apparatus which it would be best suited to fill is measuring filament for a print so I can cut deliberate amounts from a large stock spool. Say I want to print multiple copies of an object using PVA but I don't want to have my whole spool of PVA exposed for multiple prints. Print a single validation print, then measure and cut just enough for the batch (plus a little extra just in case).

Since the spool is sold by weight and not length, weighing the print and doing the math is the most accurate method for cost analysis.

I'm designing one of these you can hold in your hand when winding a custom spool.
Places like faberdashery sell by the meter rather then weight :) So something like this would help in monitoring how much is left on the reel.

Any more updates really want to print one :-D
The files are coming soon. I've been busy with work work and I haven't been able to sit down and work on this. But I'll have some time this weekend and I hope to get the rest online then.
Oh and it looks cool.
so "you" (dear thingiversian) think it can be done in another way... lovely! looking forward to see your new thing/derivative doing it in that other way :)
No kidding eh?
I hate to say this but can't this be done mutch more effectivly and accuratly buy using the extruder stepper motor and a bit of software knowhow..... intergated into repG as a script/calibration tool...

but I cant argue against a 3d object (especially for the dc motor guys)
whatever number you get from that is the same number you can calculate from looking at the gcode before you even run things.

this would be interesting as an additional/confirmatory measurement.
Yes you could get it from software, but this looks WAY cooler :) and it is an interesting talking point with people who don't know 3D printing about the power of the technology.
You could do it in software yes, but that wouldn't account for any slippage.
While it's true this can be done in RepG, I envisioned this to be more useful for those with the DC motor extruders and those printing straight off an SD card without a computer. Still this is more of an exercise in designing the mechanism which can be used for other things, than out of necessity.
I agree with timmytool... to some extent. The encoders are in place on the stepper motor, and the filament is already being pulled through the drive gears. I do see his point.

I used to know computers pretty well. Back in the IBM (clone or not) 486 days, I was pretty damned good at "hacking" into things. That was when I was a kid. Now I'm married and have a job that requires MOST of my attention. Still, people in my neck of the woods think I'm a computer geek, but I
'm not. Not at all.

Sure, I'm great with CAD software... the 3D spatial relationships just always made sense to me (I've designed and built custom homes, apartment complexes, my own homes, my own spec homes,
&
amp; basically earned my own "blue collar design/engineering degree" in the process. I"ve done things that certified architects and engineers can't do, when it comes to building.

Am I at that level with CAD? Not hardly. I've designed some pretty neat things, and have for many years. It was ONLY with the introduction of MakerBot products that I could finally see the realization of some of these designs. I used to own a metal lathe and milling machine, but it was not set
up for CNC. I used both as a hobby, just as I do my Gen-4 Thing-O-Matic today.

MY POINT IS: Many of us who subscribe to Thingiverse.com ARE NOT skilled computer programmers. THIS "THING" MAKES SENSE TO ME. Would it be as accurate as a built-in software encoder that simply put it all into on-sc
reen text?

Well, maybe for you programmer-types, it would be. (No offense to "programmer types", as I don't lean towards the stereotype that all computer programmers wear horn-rimmed glasses and are skinny runts. At least not ALL of you... :-E

The absolute theory behind making "things" like thi
s is (to me) to challenge yourself and prove whether or not you can do it.

It means creating things that have never been created before (even if your design ecorporates design elements from a previous inventor).

It means making things out of thin air (if you consider the fact that you're not R
EMOVING material from a solid block of aluminum, wood, or plastic (as with most CNC machines), I truly do believe that MakerBot (and similar Open Source-based resources) are TRULY REVOLUTIONIZING THE FUTURE.
While it could be done on a print-by-print basis in software, I think that this type of hardware device is much better suited to use for lifetime print runs, similar to how many pieces of large equipment (Mainframe lasers for example) have hardware lifetime hour meters.
Amazing tool. Cant wait to try it.
What if you put Sugru on the wheel the filament passes through. ;)
jag - in reply to Guest
Or a few o-rings
I was thinking the same thing. ;) I'd have to adjust the diameter of the wheel to compensate for the thickness though.
I love that you used the same font as combination locks.
They Don't call it "Bank Gothic" for nothing! :)
awesome.. exactly what i was looking for.

i hope i get to print one soon
Looking very forward to the dual-counter version of this "thing"... would be VERY interested to know how many inches (errr... centimeters) comes in a full spool of MBI filament, plus how many centimters I use on each print.

Awesome idea!
Very Cool, you need to make it as elaborate as possible - Heath Robinson style contraptions rock. :)
Elaborate? Optional. Functional? A must. :-D
No,No,No Pimp it to the max, funk it up and make it mad, if it actually works that's a bonus ! ;)
Good luck. I will be eager to see the final product.

Cheers
Is there a target filament size for the final assembly, or will the most common 3mm and 1.75mm sizes be supported? Awesome idea!
It's governed by the circumference of the wheel, not the diameter of the filament.
Both sizes.
I printed this thing on my Huxley RepRap. The numbers came out mirrored?!? Weird!
That means you have an axis reversed...
That is weird!
Hey...I was thinking along those lines, but I was going to use a mouse wheel encoder and count electronically.

I got as far as a wheel with a rubber band for a tire...Way to go! 8-)
I was thinking one could use the sensor from optical mice to do the same, in a contact-free manner. But perhaps the filament is too smooth for that to work..
Actually, I was thinking that the mouse wheel from most mice is a big rubberized wheel that would be perfect for this application. So your dead mouse may still prove useful!
Looking forward to printing this thing! :)
Ok this is pretty darned cool. This *will* be printed out when you've got the design ready to go. :D
This will be a must for any 5d printing. Vey cool idea. Will print as soon it's ready.
Cant wait to see the final design!
cant wait too :)

that would be THAT gimmik for my machine 8-)
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