Filament Spindle MK1

by MakerBot, published

Filament Spindle MK1 by MakerBot Jul 5, 2010


Filament Spindle MK1 by MakerBot is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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This is a filament spindle for your MakerBot, RepRap, or other filament based 3D printer out there. We've spent quite a bit of time getting the design just right, and this spindle / box combo is very reliable.


Visit http://wiki.makerbot.com/spindle-mk1 for full instructions.

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Already mentioned on the blog post about this, but PLA is a little harder to get into this spool than ABS, mostly because it has a tougher time being extracted out the top right hole in the top. If the output were moved to the right side panel it would be more easy, though less good looking, and needing more bends to reach the extruder.

Don't push the filament back into the spool either, it really makes a mess of things.
I'm making a derivative with a crank as my first modification.

I am curious how this works for swapping out filament spools. In other words, when a spool runs dry or I want to switch colors, it seems like everything has to get unscrewed. I guess most of us won't have to worry about that for awhile. :)

If you leave the top panel with just one or two bolts (or none at all) it is pretty easy to open. The weight of a printer will hold it closed, though friction seems to be enough even.
After that you just lift the spool out, and it comes up off the mounts easily.

Oh, and for switching colors, you can just use multiple spools. I was going to make a double-spool, as I have ABS and PLA, but it would have used too much material and taken longer than I had time to laser cut.

Are you kidding me? Changing filament on this is a nightmare. Ok, if you have it fully assembled, you need to remove 12 t-slot nuts and bolts. If you leave the top unbolted always, you need to remove 6 screws. Then you remove the top of the spindle (top circle) from the tabs. Now you can replace you abs. Now here is the part that takes an hour of frustration and may require two people, gettng the top of e spindle back on the tabs! This is s very very difficult task and this design could easily be changed to require one thumb screw in the middle, if you think about it. I am working on that modification now and will post if it works out. Anyway, then you have to put the six or twelve screws back in. And you are done. This filament spindle is flawless otherwise. It works really well except for the poor design for changing filament.