[Updated] Tom's easy spool holder with 8mm rod for Prusa i3 MK2 (or Plus) V3

by tomulinek, published

[Updated] Tom's easy spool holder with 8mm rod for Prusa i3 MK2 (or Plus) V3 by tomulinek May 31, 2016


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Yes, another i3 spool holder…But do you need to quick swap different spools with 1.75mm filaments? I like the simplicity of the original Prusai3 Plus/MK2 spool holders, but I refuse to move it along tight dural frame with every different spool width. If you have some old/spare 8mm rod (156mm or longer), my design is directly for you. Simply lift the axis and change the spool with filament. It is suitable for the original Prusa i3 Plus/MK2 with dural frame or clones. No bearings needed at all.

[UPDATE 2017-09-02] Added lighter Insert part "V3a" (less material, faster print) and Filament Guide (V3a) for full spools where filament tends to slide aside. All is printable without supports.

Print Settings

Printer Brand:



Prusa i3 Plus






0.2 to 0.3


40% for both holders, 20% for the rest


You need to print one Insert (0.3 layers are OK here as it will have better grip with the spools and they will not slide from one side to other during 3D printing). Then two Holders – they are identical and you can play with more colours etc. Use more infill here (40% is OK). And the two Stoppers are there to minimise friction between the Insert and the Holders (and avoid the rod to slide to the sides). Use their smoother side on sides with the Holders. The Insert alone has sufficient friction to secure the rod between the Holders, but those Stoppers are simply an insurance. ;)

[Optional] Print also one Filament Guide part, it's simply attachable to main frame of original Prusa i3 MK2/Plus.

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@tomulinek, could I get the holder mirrored, so the word 'i3' will be able to be read from left and right side identically ?

Yes, both holders are identical in this version.

I meant, when I read from right side, it is 'i3' but from left side I read it '3i'. So I am wondering if you could mirror the holder so can be read as 'i3' from both side.

Ahh, OK. Maybe in a the next version. (This one works for me well.) ;)

Do i need the insert thing?

It's way better if the rod and spool are coaxial. Material is smoothly feeded.

This design beats the original Prusa design hands down, thanks for sharing it. I didn't have any steel rod on hand, but used some left over 8mm carbon fiber rod temporarily and it works like a champ. I'd like to see Prusa change over to this as their stock design. I printed the holders and stoppers in black PETG and the insert in orange PLA - blends perfectly with the Prusa color scheme. Once I get some steel rod I plan on cutting a groove around each end of the rod and using a split ring that will set just outside each of the holders. This will give the rod itself a bit more security from left/right slippage (probably doesn't need it, but I'll sleep better with it in use). So far this is my favorite i3 MK2 upgrade, thanks again!

Thank you very much. Nice to hear that this model helps also other users. I use it since the 1st assembly and even I had some ideas of simlifying it a bit more, I have no reason to change what is working well. ;) Please, do not forget to share the photo of your build here with us! And share the link if you know any other MK2 users which need to change spools often. B-)
PS: I am afraid the era of spool holders is ending on Prusa i3 MK2+ – see today's news from Prusa Research: https://plus.google.com/+TomasVit/posts/G69uVSyXBcb

Finally got the printer moved to where I could get a picture, was sitting in front of a window. The more I use this design, the more I love it. I've got spools from a lot of different manufacturers and the insert fits them all. I've got the photo up on the Makes and I've shared this with all the i3 MK2 users I know. Thanks for the design!

I saw that about Prusa's quad extruder upgrade, pretty exciting stuff. I may think about it for a future machine, as I want to keep the extruder direct drive on this one. If they come up with something to deal with flexible filament like they say they are working on, I'll reconsider.


Thank you again!
Yeah, multi-material 3D printing looks very nice and handy on MK2, we will see the efficiency when the final design will arrive. I know guys from Prusa Research personally and know the passion with which they work on new upgrades.

I don't have the experience yet on alter a design.
Is it easy to make the opening / hang gap 50mm ?

Hi lijtek01. If you mean the gap on the Holder01 part, it was designed for the original Prusa i3 metal frame (40 mm). Enlargement of this spacing means to remake whole lower area geometry.

That was the thought. Then it would fit just Perfect on top of Laser-cut frame that is 50mm.

And it works flawlessly from the day one. ;)