Updated Overhead Filament Spool Holder (Lulzbot Taz 6 or Taz 5)

by Dereksunday Jun 5, 2016
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This was literally the first thing I ever printed (my refurbished printer didn't come with a bowden tube, which made printing very inconsistent as the filament kept getting snagged on the frame). This Thing made all the difference in the world.

I recently made an enclosure for my Taz 5, but of course that meant that there would no longer be enough room on top for the spool holder. Rather than get something different and print an entirely new spool holder, I decided to make some rail proxies so that I could just hit the ground running.

TAZ 5 Rail Proxy for Overhead Spool Holder

Just printed this, thanks for sharing the model.
Printed in lulzbot green to match the rest of the printed parts. Luckily the small 250g roll from polylite is enough to print both holders and the rod. I wasn't sure so I print one at a time. Also seems to be holding the extra large 3kg rolls nicely.


Updated Overhead Filament Spool Holder (Lulzbot Taz 6 or Taz 5)
by nuroo

Finished the print and have it installed (PLA). Design works great. Thanks!

Just finished the print. Came out great and not only did I print in Lulzbot Green but I had zip ties that were the exact same color. Very nice thanks!

Printed using your specifications and it's working perfectly! Excellent design!

Something I do have a question on, however: what should I do about the end of a roll of filament?

The bowden tube of the original design (however clunky) was very useful in keeping the last few inches to last foot of filament under control (due to high tension). Since there isn't a tube (I guess you'd call this direct feed?) with the overhead spool, the last few inches of filament will snap off the spool holder and curl up top the toolhead.

Any ideas?

Does it matter if I print this in PLA or not? Are there any heat issues that would affect the integrity of the PLA?

No I can't imagine and haven't seen any heat issues with any materials (it's rather far away from the heated printing surface.

I see two files do you print the side file twice for both sides?

Yes the sides are the same - so print twice

Thanks will do that. Great contribution as the printer SHOULD come with this already for the price!
How did you clip the holder to the Taz printer like you have in the photos?

How do you clip it to keep the spool holder in place on the top of the machine?

"Now we're cookin'!" Ambient heat was my main concern. I figure now leaving a spool mounted high on the Z-axis and one on the X/Y-axis' will suit our needs with the dual-extrader setup. I'll be sure to post pics and update when/if we utilize this model for sure! Thanks again for sharing your work with us all!

Not a clearance question, sorry for the crappy typing. From a single/dual-extruder head, would the heat rising from the bed and print not effect the filament or print itself after a long print time ? I could see the height of the print playing into this factor also. I would like to mod the TAZ6 very much but the side mounts seem to be the way to go. Your design leaves more room all around though and keeps the feed line short and simple for changes or other possibilities of attachments and such.

Got it, no worries. I haven't experienced any effect on the filament from a heat rising perspective. It's a pretty open printer so think it's able to circulate pretty well. The heat bed seems to give off the most amount of heat due to the surface area of the bed - so I'd speculate that the side mount would likely be more affected being only a few inches away as opposed to the top. Additional, with the side mount the long filament hanging out the top/back moves and waves around as the filament's being pulled into the extruder leaves the filament close to the heated print bed. I've found the top mount is consistent and reliable - it's also not permanent so you can use both top mount and side mount.

Would heat not become issue say for dual-extruder head attachome to and/or longer prints?

There should be adequate clearance for tall prints. I've taken my printer heard to the highest position and still have additional clearance.

I don't have a dual-extruder to test that directly, but it uses the same mount (top screw) and there's looks to be appropriate clearance. If for some reason there isn't enough clearance, another user created a remix for a spacer/riser to give it even more clearance (for custom print heads/etc) http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2202093

Taz 6 Spool Riser

I have the 3kg (6.6lb) roll of polylite PLA that lulzbot sells. Will this hold it?

Yes I haven't found any issues with larger rolls - I have mine zip-tied so it's solid as a rock.

I would recommend making the rods 6.8mm longer. They work as is, but have a bit of slack in the holders which makes me nervous if I were to mount 5LB spools.

Just printed it for my Taz 6. I printed the sides with HIPS and they came out perfect. I tried printing the spool tube and after it got 3/4 of the way printed, the bed did not hold the tube with the HIPS.. I went ahead and printed the spool holder with nGen and it worked great. This is one time where nGen on a heated bed was not too difficult to remove. Nice design!

I totally forgot that I had the same problem with the tube and had to print the tube with Brim to hold it in place. I updated the details to add that setting for the tube.

My spindle never broke, but I never fully trusted it, especially with the bigger spools. In the end I replaced it with a short section of excess 1" PVC pipe I had laying around after using it as conduit for an outdoor electrical line. It fits beautifully and now I have peace of mind.

This conduit is cheap and common a Home Depot or store like that. I'd suggest that anyone consider using it rather than trusting the strength of the print in shear where it is somewhat weak, even with a good print. That said, there is something satisfying to having printed everything yourself so I can see the temptation. :-)

Thanks for making this thing! I'm going to print 2 sets for my Taz 6.
I haven't had my printer long, but I can't stand the tube feed system that it came with... my filament is always in a bind and tends to break off if I let it sit for too many days... just bad.
Feeding straight in from the top is ideal... less tension on the filament, less resistance when pulled in by the extruder... better all around.
Bravo! :)

Thanks. Yeah the stock filament feed system was pretty bad - it didn't even use a round peg for easier spool rotation. With it mounted above I find it's more compact on my desk too. I keep telling myself I'm going to print a second one but honestly just haven't needed it.

This is very nice, but will it fit two rolls on top?

Yes it should fit two rolls on top for the TAZ 6 (like mine). YMMV for other versions of TAZ.