Yet another dispenser for filament spools

by Think_3D, published

Yet another dispenser for filament spools by Think_3D Sep 5, 2010


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Voilà, here is the my version of a dispenser for filament spools made from printed brackets and wheels, together with some leftover M8 threaded rods and a couple of 608 bearings, and a toothbrush to stop the rotation softly.

This design is easily adaptable to different size spools (as long as the centre hole is 51...59mm).

The picture of the assembled dispenser shows that the wheel does almost slip inside the spool, so I changed the outer diameter in order to avoid that issue. The wheel has now a small diameter of 50mm, and the outer diameter is now 60mm.

EDIT 2010/09/09:

I added another picture showing a "lightweight version" for a BFB filament spool. When I received and assembled the RapMan kit, I was not so impressed by the original laser cut design BFB provides as it it quite wobbly. I modified it using my bracket+rod design and kept the 2 acrylic discs as the inner diameter is >60mm. However, I made sure the discs do have clearance to rotate smoothly (spares you the need for bearings). Again, I used a toothbrush to stop the spool from rotating too much.


You gonna need to print 12 brackets and 2 wheels, 2 off 608 bearings, a bunch of M8 nuts and washers, 3 wing nuts (M8), and 9 pieces of leftover M8 threaded rod (150..200mm each, depending on both the bracket angle and spool dimensions - you better double check with you filament spool). The toothbrush (medium/soft) is fixed using cable ties and just touches the spool between the ribs.

One screen shot shows a cross section of the centre axis assembly. The wheels are actually cones, so they will press against the spool once you tighten the whole thing up, so there is no need for any other nuts inbetween both wheels (this will just cause friction as it will work against the bearing layout).

The number of washers between the wheels and the brackets can vary as you need to check the distance necessary for placing the toothbrush. On my prototype, I used a M8 nut instead of a set of washers. However, I will swap the nut for some washers in order to make things easier for future spool replacement. The idea is, that you undo the 3 wing nuts to lift off the whole front frame including the toothbrush, then replace the spool with a new one, and join the frame back again.

I will see how this is going to work - I have not tried this "easy-swap" functionality yet.

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love the toothbrush idea! Will use that.
Thankyou for the inspiration

I was glad to find this variation on the spool holder - I've been looking for a design that didn't use much material and would print on my 1405. I'm still struggling with Sketchup so designing my own isn't an option yet.

They printed out perfectly, and are much stronger than I expected. When I assembled the rack with threaded rod, there was quite a bit of tension on the corners. I half expected to lose at least one to my admittedly rough handling but they held together nicely.

Hi, thx for the spool holder,

I will use your wheel in combination with the frames from the reprap ...

i dont see why you could not use a joint like that on the reprap too. or would it need to be stronger.? DONT_KNOW

thanks for your feedback. you're probably right: you could use one of the reprap mendel joints to build the triangular frames. looking at their design, they are more than strong enough i guess.

however, i am not running a reprap mendel and i wanted to make the frame quite flexible in terms of using less M8 stud length by changing the bracket angle, so you can use the leftovers you'd probably have from building your mendel/darwin/... ;)

I think he meant to use your joint design on the RepRap.

:-[ OUPS - now I got it... thanks, @ MAPJe, and sorry, @ dissidence.

Well, interesting idea... I think the design as it is now won't work very well, but with some tweaks it could do the job. These tweaks could be like making sure the angle matches the mendel joints and review the wall thickness where the nut goes in, for instance.

Nice spool, and good idea about using something similar for frame vertices; I've been thinking along similar lines. I built a 1X2 repstrap, which has all rods at 30cm. Now I've nearly finished my Prusa, I want to reuse the rods to maximise the build area using the original rods - the 1X2 vertices are very chunky. If I use normal Mendel vertices, one axis or another gets limited, so developing something like this could work really well. Do you have openscad files available?


Thanks for your feedback. I don't have openscad files available as I use Solidworks.

However, If there's any other file format you'd like to have, just email/tweet me and I'll see what I can do ;)