Wanhao i3 Duplicator Spool Holder

by cyul Jun 20, 2016
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Couldn't open any of the obj files using S3D. Converted all except the roller to STL. That one won't convert for some reason.

The source is on TinkerCad. Check here.

Where did you source the bolts you used? Locally I can only seem to find hex head M5s which fit, but are a bit interesting to tighten.

eBay, mostly.

Works very well. Well engineered. Component fit is excellent. Thanks for sharing.

If you can't load the .obj file, use https://www.makexyz.com/convert/obj-to-stl to convert to stl.

Well, that is a good suggestion. Thank you.

Wont work for the roller.obj

Go to Tinkercad, copy the model to your account and export in STL format.


Cura failed to load the obj files.
Anyone else who have this problem?

Yep, me too. You got a solution rather than converting?

I used Slic3r

Has anyone who's made this experienced a tangle where the whole spool is yanked off the holder? I like the idea of this spool holder, but have had a few tangles lately - rather than the extruder snapping the filament, I think the failure mode would be much more dramatic... unless the pull point is behind the front support points (can't tell from the images).

I had it happen with the PHIL holder. since i was looking to switch to a top-mounted spool, i took at look at this one and assumed it might have the same downfall.

I think i'm going to try this one out anyways, and use the factory spool holder mount/rod to thread through (but not touching) just to ensure that it is physically secured to the top so that it won't fall off. i have a similar set up now with the PHIL holder placed by the factory spool mount on top of the console.

yes. it happened with both this one and the PHIL holder. it's a flaw in the basic design, not just this model. my printer is about 6' off the ground, and the spool fell all the way down to the floor. it obviously unspooled as it went, so it didn't hurt anything, but it scared me pretty bad.

This might be a dumb question but have you noticed a difference in the quality of your prints after using this? I just got a Wanhao i3 Plus and it seems like the filament is pulling on the extruder. I like the look of this design and the use of bearings. I would love to hear anyones experience with this. I'm also considering a table top filament holder because I'm worried that any additional pull and weight to the top of the frame may be cause vibrations.

I upgraded to a spool holder (the PHIL holder) with 608Z bearings because the previous spool holder i had relied just on the extruder to pull the spool around a fixed rod. i did not like the friction it was causing, and while my prints were coming out fine prior to switching, i feel like they are just a hair smoother (but its probably not actually visually detectable). most importantly, i have more peace of mind now that the extruder gears aren't having to work hard to overcome the friction/weight of the spool roll itself

I use (Z-braces)[http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:921948] for vibration. That improved quality tremendously. I haven't noticed a difference between the old system and this one, except it's easier to change the spool.

Z braces for Wanhao Duplicator i3, Cocoon Create, Maker Select, and Malyan M150 i3 3D printers.
by AzzA

Note to author:

Under assembly you write
"4 x M5x20 screws with bolts
6 x M3x20 screws with bolts (you can get away with those)"

Should those be screws with nuts? Or nuts and bolts? Your pictures seem to suggest screws.

Also, I see under the comments you mention possibly adding washers. Where should these be added?

It's nuts and bolts, I am sorry.
Washers are not needed. I suggested that as a quick fix to someone whose print seemed to have come out a little wrong.

I made this, but it requires more force to pull the filament than the original spool holder. I bought my bearings here:


Pretty cheap bearings, but they are smooth when I turn it by hand. Could the bearings be the issue?

There is a small indentation around the 5mm screw that is supposed to press on the center part of the bearing. If you tighten too much, the plastic may press on the outer (rotating) part of the bearing.
You may want to try washers on both sides of the bearing to hold the inner part and give more clearance to facilitate the rotation.

it says only 2 m5 20mm screws, is that correct? Or do you need 4?

You are absolutely right. It's two per side.

I'm trying to 3d print the rods to hold this together as I do not intend to buy a bunch of nuts and bolts. What diameter and length will I need?

I think you can get away without installing the 3mm bolts and nuts, but I don't see how you could do without the 5mm bolts and nuts. Depending on where you live, a 3/16 inch bolt and nut can work.

You can also print you own bolts and nuts, there are libraries here, but I have never tried that.