The Universal Spool Holder - Main Page

by jjpowelly, published

The Universal Spool Holder - Main Page by jjpowelly Sep 6, 2015
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This is the main page for my universal spool holder design... This page contains every single file I have made and every derivative of the holder... I'm going to lay out instructions on how to get the perfect fit for your spools in the instruction tab... You can also watch the YouTube video below where I explain everything you need to know...


There are three "sizes" (different length arms) for this spool holder... Every arm length is on this page in STL form, but to make it simpler and to avoid confusion, I made three separate pages for each sized holder (Small, Standard, Oversized)... When you watch the video or read the instructions you know what measurements to take to get the perfect fit... On a side note, if you want a truly, all around "Universal" holder - you can simply print two "OverSized" Arms and 110mm Rods... This will fit damn near every spool - it just wont be a tailored fit - and thus wont look pretty... This is why I decided to make three sizes - strictly for aesthetic reasons.

Small - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1001360
Standard - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:943563
OverSized - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1001359

This is a full redesign of my popular, but old and relatively weak spool holder that I designed nearly two years ago...

Old, Obsolete Spool Holder:

This new design is 100% better - I completely redesigned my screws and spinner bolts for better tolerance for 3D Printing... My old screws were good if they were machined, but they were way too fine to be 3D printed well... So I made the threading much better and made the screws much stronger... I also added a lot of structural features that I explain in the video...

Here's a list of what I did in the new design.

  • Made both arms (the base and the spinner) 2.5mm shorter in height, I also added fillets to every corner so every contour is nice and rounded.

  • Redid the bolt pattern and made that easier on the hand while spinning the spinner bolt.

  • Increased the diameter of the screws and added 45 degree chamfers for strength... Screws are very strong now.

  • Redid all the threading... This will thread smooth and tight right off the printer - I had 100% success rate on prints.

  • Added a hole on the lower Rods to hold ends of filament to keep them from unraveling or raveling in - resulting in getting the spool tangled up.

This is now about a 33% decrease in total print time from my old design... Overall, it should take about 6-7 hours to print an entire holder on a standard .2mm layer setting... But you can speed it up by going .3mm and everything will be perfect... Infill is not a big issue... 15-20% should do it... If you want everything to look nice on the outside - do 3 perimeter shells.

Other than all of that - this should work for everyone and will fit on 95% of spools... The only spool I know doesn't fit on this univeral holder is Taulman brand spools... But never fear, I made a spool holder specifically for Taulman Spools...

You can find the Taulman spool holder here... http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:938437

**I hope you find this spool holder useful... Thanks for reading... ENJOY!!!



The instructions to get a good fit are pretty simple....


Find a spool you want a holder for.

In the center of the spool there will be a hole... This hole will have the top rod going through it. You need to figure out which sized top rod you need - a big one or a small one - most spools (90%) have a hole of around 50mm in diameter... However, some (like hatchbox) have a smaller hole of around 30mm...

If your hole is less than 50mm but greater equal to than 30mm - you're going to need a Small Top arm pair...

If your hole is greater than or equal 50mm - you're going to want a Big Top arm pair... (This will be most spools)


Now you're going to need to figure out what sized arms you should use...

Take your spool, lay it flat, and now measure the full outer diameter of the spool from end to end... All the files needed are on this page - but I'm going to give you direct links to the individual pages so you don't accidentally get the wrong one.

If your spool is less than or around 160mm - you're going to want to print the Small size...
Link -

If your spool is greater than 160mm but less than or around 200mm - you're going to want to print the Standard size... (This will be about 90% of spools on the market)
Link - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:943563

If your spool is greater than 200mm but less than 270mm - you're going to want the Oversized size... (This is the size for the big Makerbot spools)
Link -


Now that you know what sized top you need and what sized arms you need... You should be good to go on the arms...

But just to be sure...
If you measured and decided you need a Big Top and Standard sized arms... You will need two files for your two arms


If this makes sense - you're all set. Now you can move on to the next step which is rod length


Now, like I said above, you need to figure out what sized rods you should use... But first you need to understand how the rods work.

I have two rods... BigRod & SmallRod

If you determined that you have a BigTop in the first step - you will need to print 2 Small Rods and 1 Big Rod of equal length

If you determined that you have a SmallTop in the first step - you will need to print 3 Small Rods of equal length

Now to determine length...

Lay your spool down on its side and measure the height of the spool from end to end... (If the spool was upward, it would be the width)...

Whatever measurement you get (in metric) - add 10mm to that... So if your measurement was 65mm from end to end - you're going to want 75mm rods... The extra 10mm is to account for the 7-8mm lost when the rod screws into the base arm... I did this to add strength to the holder... But you have to keep it in mind and account for it...

All of my rods are in 5mm increments from 40-110mm in length... So, 40,45,50,55,60,etc... So if you get an odd measurement like 63mm... You'll add 10mm to get 73mm... What you will need to do is simply round up and take the 75mm rods... The exception to this rule is Hatchbox - I made a specific 63mm rod for Hatchbox and it is annotated in the file name of the STL...

Well that's it I hope you enjoy the spool holder!!!

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We are new to 3D printing and this is one of the first things we are printing. After uploading the stl file and clicking on build, it then asks me for another file that doesn't end in the stl, but the only files I see in the downloads folder are stl files. Am I missing something? thanks for any advice, we appreciate it.

This design is great. I've been using up my old PLA that's been sitting on the shelf to print a handful of these stands.

Very nice. Thanks again!

the small one fail got to 99% befor it was done

Thought on a new iteration of your stand. If you make it a tad more triangular (Not a whole lot), you could have 3 separate sizes of rods to make it usable for up to 3 different styles/brands of filament.

Where my thought is coming from... I use PrintrBot, Inland, and Hatchbox filament. All 3 are roughly the same size (Hatchbox is wider). But each has a unique center hole. I printed out the following:

1x Standard_BigTop_BaseArm.stl
1x Standard_BigToip_SpinnerArm.stl
1x 90mm_BigRod.stl
1x 90mm_SmallRod.stl

The 90mm width allows for the thicker hatchbox, and works with the Inland too. The 90mm_SmallRod works with the PrintrBot. I don't use the 2nd SmallRod because it gets in the way when I rotate the stand on to its side to use with the PrintrBot filament. If it were just a ~5mm wider, the spool wouldn't rub on that third SmallRod.

So, if you widened the base just a touch (See ~5mm or more), and kept the threading the same for the Small and Large Rods one could pick 3 different size rods to assemble to make it work for 3 separate filament types.

Just a thought and figured I'd throw it out there for you. Your spool holders are fantastic and work great!

I use PLA Tianse... what files should i print?

Measure the width of your spool with calipers and figure it out for yourself.

great design! love your setup too!.

do have have a STL file for longer rods for 2KG spools? I measured it to be about 148mm wide so would need one about 160mm for the big top and standard bottoms. thx

hey jjpowelly...

just wondering why slic3r wont work when slicing any of your soinner arm stl files ??

well I should explain more clearly. slic3r will slice it, but it has flaws.
For example, on the standard, the lower right spinner arm prints all arse about.
on the oversized, the lower left spinner prints with a filler inside of the spinner, prevent anything from being threaded inside of it.

please help, I want to use your design but its driving me freakin CRAZY !!!!

P.S big fan of your work

This is pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing and for explaining it, documenting it, photographing it and even videoing it so thoroughly. Donation left.

Great design! Printed perfectly the first time around. Love the captive nuts!

The filament we use is Amaz3d from Amazon.ca and the filament roll is 20.2cm in diameter. Are the tolerances enough that I could get away with the standard arms or should I go oversized?

Thanks for the great design the fit all my spools except my 2kg ones http://www.hafner-spools.com/english/business_areas/master_list/data/spule_sd_300_k.html

can you maybe make a size that fits the sd 300k from hafner-spools.com ?

Gotta say this looked promising but I'm highly disappointed with it. A single thread gets munged up and you have to throw half of it away. Captive nuts are interesting, but if they were loose, you wouldn't have this problem. Bad nut? Print another one. Wasted a lot of time and plastic on this one for a single bad nut.

thank you for alll of your hald work. sincerely.... you're amazing. i have had issues with the prusa edition slic3r. it cuts up one of the bottom 2 feet thingys when slicing the standard size spool holder for 105mm. dunno whats thats about. but i wanted typ share it. AGAIN, Thank You for everything youve done. i have designed my own pieces and i know it takes forever

I had the nuts from the spinner arm part come off the bed and destroy the print half way through. total loss.

Would a raft be ok with this print? Or should i just try a gluestick for those smaller parts?

Can the nuts be printed separately?

These look awesome, and I'm looking to under-mount them if possible. Did you do anything special with the hooks? Do you just have them hooked around one of the base rods?

EDIT: I just hadn't looked long enough to find your hook thingy (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:748702). You're doing some great work!


I had to print the design at 90 percent in order to get it to fit on my 140 mm FlashForge Finder bed. Any bigger than that and the printer head hits the edge of the printer. I thought that would work based on a test fit on a spool that was almost empty. But when I put on a full spool, that added weight changed the performance it was just a few mm too tight to spin. This was for an Inland 1.75 mm, 1 KG spool. Anyone have a workaround for printing it in a different configuration to fit the full size in a 140 mm square printer space? It printed up really nice and went together great. I'm bummed I don't think I'll be able to use it.

ive printed the oversized small top brace and the 110mm smallrod.
i have noticed that the top rod where the spool is going over that the thread is bigger then the bottom rods. but i cant find the top rod with the big thread. can you halp me?

Had a stab at printing these on a reprap d-bot.
Am new at 3d printing.

ABS, 0.2mm layers, 20% fill.
Small top, standard arms, 90mm rods.

The spinning nuts are pretty neat, worth printing the spinner arm just for the fun of that feature!
Note that the base arm is fixed, so the filament spool rotates on the rods - the rods don't spin once assembled.

The arms and nuts came out really strong.

The rods threaded into the spinner nuts easy, but the rod snapped/delaminated if tightened too tight.
The top half of each rod is definitely weaker than the bottom half,
so am guessing that the higher away from the heat of the heat bed, the weaker the bond between the layers of ABS?
Guess I'd have better luck with a printer enclosure, PLA, or printing the rods faster (one at a time rather than all three in parallel)?

Didn't have any luck threading the female ends of the rods onto the male/base arms though.
Not totally sure why as the male ends of the rods threaded perfectly into the spinners.

Hello, nice idea! Do you know what model of these I should print to hold XYZprinting Jr. PLA filament for my 3d printer? If you need it, my printer is a Da Vinci jr. 1.0 and my spools are all 600g.

Could u design a smallrod with a inner spool diameter of less than 20 mm, cause thats what i got on my Flashforge PLA spool :-)

Do you need to use supports when printing?


Works awesome! Love this sort of print that works "out of the printer" with no further bolt messing :D

Working great when I printed out the first spool holder I had just built my printer , my older version of slicer wouldn't slice the model properly . I deleted the version I had a got the latest version and recalibrated my extruder and printed out a couple of fitment calibration cubes a reprinted this and printed out very nice . So if you are having problems check and make sure that your printer is ready to go

The part I tried to print (Standard Bigtop Base) is apparently just a bit too wide for my printer platform on my Flashforge Creator Pro. It's possible there is a slight centering error, but I don't know how to track that down if so. Will try a different style of spool holder.

Hatchbox reels are big rod size, maybe they used to be small? A big rod 73mm side rod is needed instead of the small.

Great Work, but i cant find the 73mm Hatchbox Big Rod File. The Small Rod works Fine.


So I love this thing, I have printed a couple of them, but sometimes I wonder if there is any way to reduce the amount of friction/resistance that happens when a 1kg spool is rotating on the rods.

Have you thought about or experimented with any method of decreasing that friction? Perhaps covering the top rod in some kind of more slick material or something?

I went ahead and sprayed my main center rod that goes through the spool with a product called "FingerEase", which is a silicone based guitar neck and string lubricant. Seems to have greatly reduced friction.

I just printed a set of oversized, but the distance is too large between the 2 small rods for the spool holder (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1831752). Is there a way to reduce the distance between the two small rods?

Spool Holder Bracket 2020 V1.1

A couple of thoughts on the design. I love the idea (just finished my first one) and it works well.

The first thing I tried was mating the stands together, without the rods, but they appear to be different threads on each end. They are close, but won't work. If you were to make the threads on each side identical, you could possibly make the rods "extendable", that is, add multiple ones together to make longer ones. This would help those that need to print longer rods, but cannot due to print size limitations. Plus, it may make storage of extra arms easier, since they could sandwich together.

Also, is there a reason that the thread for the spindle (big) is different than the base (smaller) rods? I know that for your small top arms, it is the same, it would seem that you could adapt that thread to the top of the standard and then you could possible make this set even more universal.

Forgive me, I am an old engineer and this is where my mind goes on these things. Thanks for making such a great set.

THis is good to know. I did the same... and was hesitant to print the rods thinking something was wrong with my print.
I agree, it'd be ideal to have all threads identical. I will continue printing the rods... perhaps even a test run to see if the ends fit before i finish the prints

It was all arbitrary. Being an engineer myself, I tried, originally to use a standard M6x1.0 thread when I designed, but found that it was too fine and the tolerances were to tight for most people to print and use consistently without breaking. So when I redesigned, I beefed it up and used an arbitrary minor/major and helix for the pitch and size. I didn't spend too much time on the design to really dive into making it multi-functional.

It was all arbitrary. Being an engineer myself, I tried, originally to use a standard M6x1.0 thread when I designed, but found that it was too fine and the tolerances were to tight for most people to print and use consistently without breaking. So when I redesigned, I beefed it up and used an arbitrary minor/major and helix for the pitch and size. I didn't spend too much time on the design to really dive into making it multi-functional.

Do you need to use supports when printing?

could you make increments with lengths of up to 200 mm? I have a 2KG spool that has a width of 150 mm

Standard Big top Spinner arm shows up as non manifold and the right bottom nut does not print. Only about 3mm of the bottom of the nut print the rest is "gone". Any ideas how to fix that?

Using Slic3r

use cura instead

Any luck using the 2.85mm 2k roles from colorfabb?

Thank you! Great Spool Holder! One Question can you make the Holes for the Filament bigger so i can insert a 2.85 Filament?

Thanks for a nearly perfect spool holder.

Only minor improvement would be to make the big nut longer and less rounded, so you can easily grip them with your figners or with a matching tool.

Perfect fit!! thank you!

Thank you for this. I've got a spool which is 125mm width. So I need a small rod of 135mm. Please can you advice on the 3D application to use to update your 110mm rod. I'm a newbie in 3D design and 3D printings ;o). Thank you.

I love theses spool holders and am hugely grateful for all your work, thank you. I am finding when I print them that the threads are not smooth and I have to use a wrench to turn the nuts. I wonder whether it would be possible or beneficial to make the centres of the nuts, which are currently circular, a hex shape and then design a simple printed key with corresponding hex head that could be kept close by and used to screw/unscrew the nuts when they prove a little troublesome.

Thanks again for an awesome design.

You shouldn't have problems with the threading... That is what I was fixing by doing the redesign... What are your print settings? Other people that have had this issue, more often than not, were printing too hot and the overhang on the threads became sloppy... But in terms of CAD and actual design, the threading is perfect.

Thanks jjpowelly. I used the same settings (PLA, 190 degree extruder with 35 degree bed temps using 0.2mm layer res) as all other prints, although not printed any threads before, which work well so strange it should have a problem here. I'll print another and reduce the temp by 10 degrees and see what result I get. If the same I'll adapt the parts I need and add the hex and key.

Thanks for the prompt reply.

can you use this holder to hold the filaments while it's being used for printing?

Of course, that's the whole point... If you go to my page or watch the video, you'll see the enclosure that I use them in .

can you make a giant version for 5lb rolls?

You should be able to find a configuration that works for those spools... Watch the video and do the measurements you need.

Does it matter if I use PLA or ABS?

I use them all, it doesn't matter... Only one that won't really work is NinjaFlex (for obvious reasons).

Is it just me? or is the HATCHBOX stuff really cheap and super good quality? I find it to be strong and reliable ... and like I said... cheap 22$ on amazon for a 2.2lb spool ..

Hatchbox is awesome stuff... It's not the "best" PLA and ABS and the market... But it's very good... The price is even better... So if you looked at it as a ratio (quality/price) it's the best filament on the market - IMO.