Resizable Loose Filament Spool
by shaunp, published
**Update 19 May 2013:** Thanks to a heads up from MobyDisk I have made a small change which fixes a problem when printing the hub using Repg.
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I print using full support. The support is useful when printing the brackets as there is overhang when printing the "bracket hexagonal connector" which inserts into a spoke. Support also gives cleaner spool holes in the hub when inserting the spokes (it is easy to remove). No support required when printing the spokes vertically which is a must for strength.
I would normally print at 35% infill. The hexagon spoke system seems to be a bit stronger than other spool designs I have printed (and snapped).
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Each complete spoke has a bracket at the end to hold the filament loop. The other end of the spoke inserts into a central hub which spins around the axis of support.
1) Choose and print either the Replicator hub or the external hub as required and print with support. The Replicator hub should fit on the spool holder fairly snuggly with some wriggle room to allow for unwinding.
2) Print a bracket with support and check it is a suitable fit for your spool. The wide 50mm bracket is needed to allow unwinding on the back of a Replicator with minimal jamming (see photo). You can use narrower brackets for external spools. Once you are happy with the fit of the bracket print 2 more.
3) Estimate the length of spoke required by positioning the Hub and Brackets. USA sourced filament typically needs 20mm spokes. The spokes are stackable with a minimal size of 5mm so you can print out smaller spokes to stack on larger ones. Small sizes of spoke (5mm) need to be printed with a finer profile. Spokes MUST be printed vertically otherwise they will split.
Note that the fit of the spokes into the hub and brackets depends on the resolution of your print. It is not necessary to completely insert the spoke into the hub or another spoke providing there is some grip to hold the spoke inside the spoke hole.
The fit of the loose filament on the spool should itself be loose. It should be fairly easy to insert the final spoke and bracket inside the filament. If the filament is tight you can have problems with the unwinding.
If you are using larger coils of filament like those from New Zealand you can only mount these on the left hand side (from the front) of the Replicator as there is no room on the right due to the power and USB cables.
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