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


by hlyman, published

LYMAN FILAMENT SPOOL WINDER by hlyman Sep 18, 2012
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The LYMAN FILAMENT SPOOL WINDER is an accessory to the LYMAN FILAMENT EXTRUDER, wherein the winder winds onto a spool the filament as it is extruding from the extruder.


The PDF file LYMAN FILAMENT SPOOL WINDER MANUAL is a complete manual for fabrication and operation instructions, including BOM, tools, photo's and drawings.

This device works great, but final testing will not be done till I receive my extruder back from Desktop Factory Competition.

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Comments and suggestions are welcomed.

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Hi Folks,
Sorry, I am not replying to anymore comments on the filament winder. I am so busy with LYMAN / MULIER FILAMENT EXTRUDER V5 that I just don't have the time and I am old and tired. If you are capable of building one you may be capable of designing your own.

Does it rotate at constant rate or changes according to how much material was extruded (sensor of some sort) ?
Thanks !

The gear motor rotates at a constant speed. The spool rotates only as fast as the filament allows. The latex tube on the motor shaft slips on the spool edge as it turns it. See my Thing "LYMAN / MULIER FILAMENT EXTRUDER V5" which shows the latest winder with a level wind mechanism.

"only as fast as the filament allows" tells me little to no information.
Filament does not restrict anything, it comes out at 160 (PLA) or 190 (ABS) at the tip of the nozzle so there is hardly any resistance for it being too soft.
Do you have a sensor in place that detects the pulling force or you measure the sag of the filament as everybody else does ?

Also, do you have this unit (winder) for sale ?
Thanks !

The pull roller maintains a constant speed so the filament winds tightly on the spool. The spool speed varies and slows down as the diameter of the filament on the spool increases. There is no sensor. I don't sell any of my things.

Spool diameter increase slows down the spool rotation is very clear, but i worry about the filament diameter, not the filament wrapped around the spool.
Is it possible that this setup pulls on the filament hard enough to make it thinner or not enough that it would make it thicker ?
Do you have a DIY on this winder that people can follow to build one of their own ?

Thanks !
Am sorry you dont sell it, i would like to buy it. I mean why else share it with the world anyway.

I suggest you download the manual and read it.

Where ? No link anywhere except for youtube video and even there there is no info on where to go from there.
Thanks !

its the first file in the downloads (PDF, 3mb file).

What is required for the power supply? I am looking at making the filament extruder also and looking at getting a 12v 5amp PSU.


unless there is something that can be used for cheaper?

that will work. I think my motors used less than 1 amp.

I saw one of these in action today. It occurred to me that the speed that the motor turning the spool pulled the filament onto the spool would increase as the diameter of the spooled filament increased. This could be remedied simply by turning the spool with a wheel against the inside of the spool rather than the rim. As the filament accumulated on the spool, the wheel would run against the already spooled filament, changing the effective gear ratio as the diameter of the spooled filament increased. This would all mean that the speed that the spool turned would be constant in terms of millimeters per minute of plastic being wrapped around the spool rather than being constant in terms of degrees per minute of rotation.

This would probably be easiest to implement using a motor with a right-angle gearbox. You could even get one with a rubber toy/robot wheel already on the shaft that could be used to turn the spool.

It would be cool to use this to spool the filament directly from the extruder without letting it pile on the dusty floor. It seems that it would be difficult to set the speed of the spooler to match the rate of extrusion accurately enough to not pull too much or fall too far behind over many hours.

A useful addition might be the use of limit switches or optical sensors that will switch the spooler on when the filament droops to a certain point, and switch it off when the filament rises a set distance.

That is exatly what I plan to do when my extruder is returned to me from Inventables. Two optical switches about 6" off the floor between the extruder and the spool winder. Thanks for bringing this up.

Then it will be another "filawinder", exactly what am trying to stay away from :)

Excellent work. Some questions: Is your power supply 12V or 24V?
What is the rpm of the 12V DC motor?
Also many of your ebay seller's item does not exist. So validating your document pricewise is a bit hard.

I would suggest something like:
24V 2A DC power supply
12V 300rpm (gear ratio 53:1) DC motor


 The charger power supply is a simple 24V DC 600mA adapter that cost me about $5.00.  I had it on hand.
Here is a list of eBay parts links:

Gear Motor:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/170839517798?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649http://www.ebay.com/itm/170839... ($8.68)

Voltage Regulator:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/180914591883?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649http://www.ebay.com/itm/180914... ($9.99)

Power Supply: A 12V will work also
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAND-NEW-24V-1A-AC-DC-Power-ac-adapter-Power-supply-/290777651462?pt=US_Powerline_Networking&hash=item43b3b2d906http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRAND-... ($5.99)

The gear motor is 70rpm but is regulated by the Voltage Regulator. 5.6V was feeding about 8" per minute.

Again - excellent! Can't wait to build one!