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Overhead Filament Spool Holder (Lulzbot Taz)

by KillaCycle, published

Overhead Filament Spool Holder (Lulzbot Taz) by KillaCycle Mar 18, 2016

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Summary

This is an overhead filament spool holder made for a Lulzbot Taz 5. It will no doubt fit other printers.

We wanted a spool holder that was easy to use and eliminated the filament feed tubes that the original spool holder required. We print with all sorts of weird filaments that break easily, have rough surfaces, and generally cause the extruder to "grind" and stall. This spool holder eliminated 99% of the filament feed issues we were having.

The "on-top" design allows the filament to cascade directly to the extruder head with no friction. The center tube is a 3/4 inch (trade size) PVC tube, available in the hardware store. It has a very slick surface so it allows the filament spool to turn without resistance. The actual outer diameter of the tube is 1 1/16". I included a printable version of the center tube for those that wish to make their own from scratch.

You need two of the spool holders for each filament spool (one for each side, front and back) and you need 6 3/4" of 1 1/16" tube for the center. The spool holder just rests on the top rails of the printer and is held in position by the ridge the protrudes from the bottom that mates with the slot in the center of the printer rail. You change spools by simply slipping the tube out of one of the holders.

We have a dual extruder, so we have two pairs of holders shown in the photo.

If you like, you can secure the tube in one of the holders by threading a screw into the small hole in the top. You can also secure one of the holders (likely the rear one) to the printer rail with two screws and a pair of tee nuts or perhaps regular nuts wedged in the center slot in the printer rail. Seems to work fine for us just resting on the rails without screws, however.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:

LulzBot

Printer:

Rafts:

Doesn't Matter

Supports:

Doesn't Matter

Resolution:

The resolution doesn't really matter

Infill:

About 20%


Notes:

We printed these supports with Innova, because we wanted them to last, but they are super easy to print so they will print will pretty much anything.

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What do you do when the spool reaches the last meter or so of filament? Do you let it curl around the top of the toolhead?

I'm glad you like the spool holders. They have worked flawlessly for us.
Perhaps you could post your "make" of the spool holders.

I can't think of a reason why these spool holders would not work on a Taz 6.

You can 3D print the tube. The file for the tube is included in the "thing" files.

You don't need the filament guide tube.

Thank you so much!
May I know would it be a good idea to use the filament guide tube?
Like for materials like PLA and ABS v other fragile ones like PVA?

Since the filament hangs straight down from above, you really have no need of a guide tube.
We have printed with a large variety of filaments, and never had any issues with breakage.
The overhead spools feed the filament without the friction of the guide tube, which is the principle motivation for using the overhead spools.

Is this possible for the lulzbot taz 6 as well?
Can I 3d print the tube as well?
Do I need to use the filament guide tube?

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