by ianjohnson, published

FilaWinder by ianjohnson Nov 1, 2013


This is a much more refined version of my winder for spooling home made filament. The filament drops from the extruder (ideally mounted vertically) and loops back up to the winder. At the bottom of the loop is a row of photocells with a laser shining on them. The photocells track the location of the filament's shadow and modify the speed of the spool to keep it in the same place, usually +/- about 2mm.

The filament passes through a 360 degree loop of PTFE tubing which adds just enough friction that the filament will be pulled tight as it winds on to the spool. When it comes out of the PTFE tube the filament passes through a guide operated by a servo, which spreads it across the width of the spool.

There is a switch to change between auto mode, (speed controlled by the sensors), and manual mode (speed controlled by the knob). When holding down the left button, the knob will move the guide to position it at its left limit, and the right button will do the same for the right limit.

While in manual mode the middle button puts the sensors in a calibration routine for 5 seconds. During calibration pass a piece of filament back and forth across the sensor, and it will record the values that let it detect when the shadow is present.

While the winder is running in Auto mode, holding the middle button will let you use the knob to set the current position of the guide, and whichever direction it traveled to get to that point is the direction it will continue as the spool turns.

In addition to STLs I have provided the board and schematic for the electronics, and the gerber files I used to order the PCBs from OSHPark.

The base is laser cut, but the drawings could potentially be used as a template for using a saw and drill. Accuracy isn't that critical, and the tab-and-slots could be replaced by angle brackets. The drawing for the wood is forthcoming.

This will be offered as a kit through Filastruder.com, hopefully around mid-Nov depending on how long it takes to get the assembled electronics in.


Recent Comments

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I built this and i am impressed and a BIG SHOUT OUT to Ian, He is great I had a few issues with my build and he helped me through them all. I would highly recommend this to all of you that make your own filament well worth the money.

the design files for the PCBs are on here if you want to get them made yourself.

Just looked at the Filastruder form...Does the Support Bar.stl needs to be updated here?


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FilaWinder by ianjohnson is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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Detailed instructions are available at solidoodletips.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/winder-2/

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cybersarg on Feb 15, 2014 said:

I built this and i am impressed and a BIG SHOUT OUT to Ian, He is great I had a few issues with my build and he helped me through them all. I would highly recommend this to all of you that make your own filament well worth the money.

cpdude on Feb 2, 2014 said:

Just looked at the Filastruder form...Does the Support Bar.stl needs to be updated here?

robaktime on Jan 9, 2014 said:

Congratulations on your recent graduation and good job on the Filawinder.

gaddcasey1 on Jan 2, 2014 said:

Why is the kit soo expensive?

ianjohnson on Jan 3, 2014 said:

You can look at the BOM in the files list to get an idea of materials cost. In addition to the electronics and motors, there are a lot of other little things that add up. My cost is less, since I can spread the shipping over many kits. However along with material cost there is the time it takes to cut and grind rods, crimp ribbon cables, program and test the electronics, count everything out and bag the kits. I designed and built a testing PCB to check the boards from the assembler (https://www.dropbox.com/sc/qsl... , which was time well spent since I found one with a backward diode and two arduinos that were DOA. I've spent a lot of money and time developing this since last February when I built Lyman's winder. It was only good for winding filament from the floor and still cost $80 to build. The Filastruder and the FilaWinder together are less expensive than any of the other extruders, and the ones that come with spools have winding solutions that are half-baked at best.

elmoret on Jan 3, 2014 said:

Its actually really cheap. Small-run assembled PCBs are pricey.

Auzze on Dec 30, 2013 said:

Just ordered a filament extriuder and was wondering where can I get the 2 PCB's so i can build this.

elmoret on Jan 1, 2014 said:

The full kit is available now: http://www.filastruder.com/pro...

bbriggstkd on Dec 8, 2013 said:

Any idea when a kit or at least the boards will be available from filiatruder?

ianjohnson on Dec 10, 2013 said:

I'm only waiting on assembled electronics, which will probably come in late december. In the meantime I'm hand soldering about a dozen sets to try and get some early kits up, hopefully next week.

fas83 on Nov 26, 2013 said:

hi guy!
could you upload the circuit schematics ,please?

ianjohnson on Nov 26, 2013 said:

There are Eagle schematic and board files there (.sch and .brd) and also PDFs of the top copper, bottom copper, and silk screen.

datasmasher on Nov 24, 2013 said:

One more question, the bom for the control board includes a mosfet and a voltage regulator. Which one goes where? I see two silkscreened images, on labeled M1. Does the Mosfet go on M1 and the regulator on the unmarked location?

ianjohnson on Nov 24, 2013 said:

That is correct, the regulator goes on the side near the two capacitors. When you put the hall effect sensor on, the writing should face the edge of the board. Then bend it down so the plain side faces up.

datasmasher on Nov 20, 2013 said:

Anyone know an online source (or Houston, TX one for that matter) where I can get the parts laser cut? I have put a laser cutter on my wish list, but I don't see that appearing anytime soon. Help would be appreciated.

ianjohnson on Nov 24, 2013 said:

There is a hackerspace in Houston, http://txrxlabs.org/ which has a laser cutter. Maybe they will do it for you. The material is white HDF, about 6.9mm thick.

Tomek on Nov 11, 2013 said:

Super cool. But I don't see a DXF or other 2-D file anywhere for the base that you drilled into. Was that manually done? It looks laser-cut. Have access to one at school and some scrap material, I'd love to prep everything.

ianjohnson on Nov 11, 2013 said:

Forgot those. DXF and CorelDraw uploaded.

ianjohnson on Nov 7, 2013 said:

PDFs are up. I did the silkscreen layer separate, because I'm not sure that it wouldn't overlap any of the copper. If you are doing toner transfer, you can apply it in toner after the copper is etched. I also replaced the BOM, the one I posted before was for a previous version and had a lot of unnecessary parts.

fas83 on Nov 7, 2013 said:

nice product so have you got pcb in pdf file ,please?

datasmasher on Nov 5, 2013 said:

Thanks Ian! Boards ordered. I have 3 of each board coming. I only need one. Anyone interested in the extras?

fas83 on Nov 7, 2013 said:

hi datasmasher i 'm looking for a nice double side pcb filawinder .so if you have only 1 to buy send me your price and post price
i'm living in the south of france

ianjohnson on Nov 5, 2013 said:

You can try through these shared project links - http://www.oshpark.com/shared_... http://www.oshpark.com/shared_...

ianjohnson on Nov 5, 2013 said:

I'm not getting any errors with the zips as downloaded. What is it telling you?

datasmasher on Nov 5, 2013 said:

I have tried submitting the file packs to OSH Park, but I get an error each time I get past to the order option. Anyone else seeing this?

datasmasher on Nov 4, 2013 said:

This looks much simpler that the original model. Any idea on the cost of a kit?

Tomek on Nov 3, 2013 said:

Exactly what Julia said. Very nice Ian!

JuliaDee on Nov 1, 2013 said:

Excellent! Makes filament-making much more appealing.

jpearce on Nov 1, 2013 said:

Nice work!

icare on Nov 1, 2013 said:

Very nice - well done