Bearing for filament spindle

by chylld, published

Bearing for filament spindle by chylld Oct 31, 2010


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This bearing has an outer diameter of 51.5mm and an inner diameter of 8mm, making it perfect for making a resistance-free spindle out of an 8mm bolt, for example the one from the stock Rapman spindle. The outer diameter fits perfectly in reels from orbi-tech.de and the photos seen here are made using their amazing custom PLA mix.

This is also just a fun piece to print as it spins freely with hardly any cleaning up!

2015-02-10: Added version with 59.3mm outer diameter


Use Skeinforge support at ~20% density and let it do it's thing! Took me less than 10 minutes to clean it using only pliers and side cutters.

(Rapman 3.1.1 used to create this thing)


orbear2.bfb is only for printing PLA on a Rapman 3D printer.

orbear2abs.bfb is only for printing ABS (thanks Grok!)

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Is there anyway to get the balls uploaded as a separate file from the outer and inner ring? That way I can print them in a different filament than the outside.



Comments deleted.

is this the average size of a 608 bearing?

No; this thing has versions for outer diameters of 51.5mm and 59.3mm. A 608 bearing has an outer diameter of 22.0mm.

is it possible to make one like that?

That would require a redesign to exact 608 specs, and a printer capable of sufficient resolution to make it run smoothly. Feel free to use my design as a basis for such a project :)

When i am printing, when it prints the supports under the balls, it prints them really fast, so some of them got messed up.

circle supports

how do u use cura to make suppourts? When i try, it puts suppourt everywhere

never mind

hi, can you please make one with a diameter of 1.25" or 32mm? thanks in advance

outer diameter? that's a bit too small i think, at a minimum it would require redesigning from scratch as the number (and probably size) of balls would change.

you are more than welcome to copy the cross-sectional geometry from my model to make your own though!

Hi, can you make a bearing for a spool with a diameter of 59.3 mm?

Added :)

You're awesome(;

I have tried a couple of times to print this bearing in ABS without success. It starts off printing the inner and outer races OK but there is a problem when it comes to starting the balls. The nozzle is some way above the bed when it extrudes (say like a 2 or 3 mm gap). The molten filament does not touch. It has no chance of sticking to the bed. Eventually all the partially formed balls come loose and form a mess. I am using 1.75mm ABS 230C/110C on glass with Kapton tape and ABS juice. Printing with an Ord Bot with Slic3R. 0.2 layer/0.4 nozzle. Wade/Jhead. 0.9 multiplier/ 1mm retraction. Tried at 100% feedrate then 25%. Slowed it down to 10% for the balls. Still no joy.

Hi Dave, you'll need to turn on the "support" option in Slic3R. This will print some scaffolding underneath each ball to support it. You then break this support off once the print is finished.

Thanks for your very quick reply. I am a newbie on a steep learning curve. Didn't even know about the support option in Slic3R. Will give it a go. Thanks.

I have tried and tried with slic3r regardless of the raft and skirt structures the balls always stick to the outer ring. Breaking them off destroys the balls, thus the bearing. I am using Slic3r with an open source printer (reprap protos v2) PLA filament with a 0.3 extruder. Base plate heated to 68 c for first layer while subsequent layers are printed at 63c. The hot end is heated to 210 with a multiplier of .87 and 100mm travel. First layer is printed at 40%. Please help, I am losing my mind... Thanks

it sounds like your printer is simply printing paths that are too thick; the balls should not touch either ring. look for an adjustment in slic3r that reduces the flow rate slightly and try again :) (possibly this 'multiplier' setting that you speak of - the other settings shouldn't affect path thickness)

Thank you, will try it as soon as my printer turns off.

Could you post the source for this bearing? I'd like to crank up ID on this so I can use [less weak] printed shafts

The ONLY bearing on Thingiverse whose author states the inner and outer diameters. People, take a cue from Chylld! Would LOVE to have a parametric version of this... thanks!

This is what 3D printing is all about - And - I am about to try your bearing - 5/18/2011.

good luck! mine are still running smoothly after all this time...

My new roll of ABS plastic is not behaving nicely. Not sure if it is composition and/or moisture but it looks like too much heat with my normal 220-225C. Oh well, looks artsy but, will not function or impress an engineer. :(

good effort though - maybe once you've mastered the new ABS you can try again.

to me it looks like your printer isn't keeping the balls and rings separate - the tolerances in the STL are pretty tight. tweaking some skeinforge settings (esp. perimeter width over thickness) might help?

You certainly deserve the accolades Chylld. Your prints are awesome. Your designs prove the sky is the limit. Thanks for letting us print your designs.

How do you upload the pict of a copy? Maybe just adding to this message?


thanks variador!

the best way to upload a pic is to click on the "I made one!" button on the right.

Printed out pretty well on my thing-o-matic, but I'm having a hard time cleaning out the balls.

Also, it seems that the inner hub is hollow instead of solid. And for some reason, skeinforge-0035 skenied it without a top or bottom, so I have only random toolhead-trails between the inner diameter and the outside of the interior hub.

I had carving problems with Skeinforge 35 as well - try 36. The inner hub is solid.

Jeesh! I'm new to the Thingiverse and I wanted to contribute a tested ABS version of your bfb file and it seems it was put here!!.... http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:5677http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Maybe it can be moved here and I will get a picture up soon.

Anyway I attempted a couple of axon g-code creations and they created unusable build files, so I made changes to the PLA bfb file you posted and after a few attempts I was rewarded with a great print out of ABS that was a dream to clean

I really like the profile you used and I wish I could figure out how to generate such nice support structure myself. Ahh well, I've only had the printer built for a couple of weeks, I should be patient!

Bearing for filament spindle
by Grok

Thanks for the ABS BFB file - have added it to the thing :)

This is probably one of the best printed bearings. I like the way it looks. My filament spindle is very reluctant and I have had the extruder actually lift the Z-stage off the leadscrew nuts because the filament failed to feed. Now once I put a second one of these bearings on the spindle I will have a truly unstoppable 3D printer. I use a MakerBot Cupcake CNC, btw.

Totally understand! Every time my spindle tangled it ruined my prints, and one time even managed to tie a knot in the filament which I didn't know was possible!

I put a second one on. It works great! After tightening the plastic's slack, it turns very smoothly.

Looks awesome in your pics!!

Unfortunately I tried the BfB file with my Rapman 3.1.1 and Orbi v2 PLA, but did not work at all!!! raft and first few layers are very thin in deposition size... do you know why that?

I cannot find the right settings for this PLA! :'(


I overlooked the most important thing - is your bed level and your Z calibrated well? I think at the time of printing, I could fit 3 sheets of paper between the extruder and the bed after homing the tool head.

I now kind of sorted the OrbiPLA printing and it's awesome - can you believe I process it at 160C? It also sticks to the table fairly well but sometimes some of the raft lines do not stick properly (and yes, it is levelled properly).

I will try your bearing again soon, but from the previous two trials I noticed that the balls are sticking with the outer and inner ring quite a lot! IS there a way to set skeinforge in order to improve that?

Last question - which speed do you run the build?

Many thanks

crank up to 200C and run your machine at 100% speed, and you will never look back! (:

You might need to use a lower flow rate if you find the parts sticking - they shouldn't touch at all, but be about 0.25mm away from each other.

Can't remember the exact print speed, but I think if the default is 16/200, I'm currently at around 35/400.

That's strange, we have the same hardware and the same filament, so it should work! The only difference I can think of is that you may not be running the same firmware - when I printed this I was running 4.0.2s.

How exactly does it fail?

Maybe try printing it again straight after it fails, sometimes my first prints are a little bit off...

all my respect for the awesome design! I also tryed to print it, but unfortunately didnt came out as I expected. printed in Orbi PLA v2 and the head for some reason was kicking off the balls from the bearing :(. I know this can be a bad calibration, but all my other prints are perfect. dont know what can be the problem. well I suppose I
´ll have to try it again.

cheers and thanks for sharing!

sorry to hear you had problems with it! I've uploaded the exact .bfb file I used to print it, maybe give this a try?

Tried to print and it printed great but it was really, really difficult to clean. I think that it will be easier if is printed in two parts.

Can you be more specific on the support config?


Exact skeinforge support settings are:

Cross-hatch off
Flow rate over operating flow rate: 1
Gap over perimeter extrusion width: 0
Material choice: Exterior Only
Minimum angle: 60 degrees
Infill density: 0.2

I have the 'same' PLA for that company in Germnay but my one looks like a ivory color. Did you specify he color to them? I really like that shiny white of you print

Mine is actually ivory-ish in colour too, but my camera maybe makes them look more white :)