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Adjustable 50mm diameter spool holder for FFCP

by DrLex, published

Adjustable 50mm diameter spool holder for FFCP by DrLex Aug 28, 2016
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Summary

Tired of printing a new spool holder for every new brand of filament you buy, because they use spools with a vastly or slightly different thickness (axle length)? No more with this universal adaptable spool holder. This is The One Spool Holder to Rule Them All.

It has an adjustable length that allows any spool with 54 mm center hole to be mounted securely, if its thickness (at the hole) is between 35 and 80 mm, or even up to 100 mm if you wish. The length is adjusted with a knob. You can avoid that spools with a recessed axle (like the ones that come with the FFCP) rub against the side, by mounting a spacer ring. See the post-printing section for illustrations.

(There are two versions of the screw, the ‘smooth’ one is probably the nicest, but the original one is still available for those who like some extra tactile feedback.)

Another advantage of the adjustability is that the spool holder can act as a brake, i.e. the amount of friction can be regulated by tightening the flange against the spool. For instance, you can lock an unused spool so it doesn't unwind from vibrations while printing with the other spool (if a spool unwinds, there is a risk that the filament will tangle into itself when you print with it).

Assembly is straightforward. First put the screw through the end piece and secure it with the circlip (see first image in ‘post-printing’ section). Then screw it onto the base. For spools that are considerably wider at the edges than at the axle, mount the spacer ring against the base (second image in ‘post-printing’ section).

There are three end pieces, most likely you'll need the 35 mm one, which allows spools with thickness between 55 and 80 mm to be mounted. The 15 mm tip is for spool thicknesses between 35 and 60 mm. There is also a 55 mm tip, which I added on request but which I have not tested, so I don't give any guarantees that it will work well. This requires the longer version of the screw and allows spools between 75 and 100 mm thick.
To make swapping the end pieces easier, print and mount a screw and circlip for each of them.

Printing
I recommend to print the screw and the circlip at 0.1 mm layer thickness. Ensure it is strong because it will have to bear quite a bit of weight when using wider spools. I used 3 perimeters and nearly no infill (you shouldn't rely on infill for strength of parts like these, basic engineering learns that stress will be concentrated in the outer shells).

The other parts can be printed at any desired resolution, I used 0.27 mm. Infill is not terribly important, again: strength will be mostly in the shell. I used 3 perimeters for all parts.

The base comes in two versions: one with a ready-to-use hollow support that should make it easy to print the nasty overhang, and one without the support if you think your slicer can do a better job at generating supports. To minimise the risk of the support being knocked over by your unused nozzle, orient the part such that the support is at the same side as the nozzle you are printing with (for instance, if you print with the right nozzle, the back of the holder should be pointing to the right during printing).

The screw is standard M12, should you want to replace the printed version with a metal one.

 
 
(P.S. can some Thingiverse developer please disable the ‘select groups’ menu until the Thing has actually been published. I tend to ignore the small print and select a group anyway, and then I get confusing error messages and usually I need to close everything and re-open it to get it back in a usable state. If it is not allowed to use a UI element, then the element should be disabled instead of adding text “don't try to use this”.)

Print Settings

Printer Brand:

FlashForge

Printer:

FlashForge Creator Pro

Rafts:

No

Supports:

No

Resolution:

0.27 mm and 0.1 mm

Infill:

18%


Notes:

You can scale the spacer in the Z direction if you need it wider or smaller (most slicer programs should allow this).

For the 15 and 35 mm tips, you only need the regular screw. You need the longer screw for the 55 mm tip.

If you plan to use the 55 mm end piece, you should take extra care to print the base in a strong way, because it will need to endure extra stress (moreover, the reason why you would want the long end piece is probably because you have a huge and heavy spool to start with…)

Post-Printing

Mount the circlip as shown, to ensure the tip moves in both directions when turning the screw clockwise or counter-clockwise.

For spools that are much wider at their flanges than at their center, mount the spacer against the side to keep the flanges from rubbing against the printer.

The spacer can also be used to clamp very narrow spools with the 15mm tip.

Updates

2017/02/12

Added 55 mm tip and longer screw on request.

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Bravo....this is the most functional spool holder out there. It literally will fit any of the large hole spools. Very well designed and it printed perfect. Thanks.

Is a good holder. However, I would need 20mm longer. Can you do that? Tip35mm + 20mm and the screw + 20mm.

I have added a 55mm tip and longer screw. Be sure to print the base extra strong, because it will have to withstand stronger forces from the longer screw (and you probably are planning to mount a huge and heavy spool to start with)…

Thanks for the long version. Works perfectly.

First project to print with my new printer, worked like a charm!

Many thanks!

so where does the washer (circlip) go - on the indent near the end of the screw? what's it for?

also a bit confused about the purpose of the spacer and where it goes - is it supposed to go over the base near the vertical "wall" ?

great screw thread (actually works and is solid unlike most on here) and support-free semicircle design of the base saves hours of printing unlike traditional full cylinder spool holders. fits my ffcp2016 just fine.

still printing the two tips.

The circlip goes on the indent after you have inserted the screw in the tip. It ensures that the tip moves both ways when turning the knob. If you're going to swap the two kinds of tips regularly, print a screw and clip for each tip so you can replace the thing as a whole instead of having to loosen the circlip to swap the screw.
The spacer is for spools that are much wider at their flanges than at their spool hole. If the flange of a spool rubs against the side of the printer, place the spacer against the vertical wall. You can also use it on the tip to clamp really thin spools.
I'll try to update the description with some images on how to assemble the thing.

yes now i've got all of the pieces printed i get what they do thanks. the screw seems to tighten, but it still have to basically pull the tip to remove it, unscrewing the screw doesn't make the tip move backwards. i have a similar problem with your bed corners.

it fits this glow green abs spool whereas the one that came with the printer was about 5mm too short, think this spool is 52x66 instead of 51x61 of the stuff that came with the printer.

thanks for the design, saves me printing/editing a bunch of other designs for each spool.

I have added images in the ‘post-printing’ section. Make sure to mount the screw and clip as shown.

Yeah, I made this design after printing one set of fixed-size holders for spools that didn't fit the original holders, and then buying another spool that fit neither the original holders nor my printed ones… These holders are now the only ones I use.

doh! ok i have put the washer in the wrong place. i have it outside of the tip instead of inside, i'll move it and take some photo's when my print is done, then i'm going to print another set and maybe some spare bits.

Comments deleted.

I have been using these for a while now on my FFCP's (2016 version) and they are great. I thought I had a suggestion but know can't remember!!

Hello mate great design ! I have looked everywhere and your by far is the best spool holder very well design and easy to print. Not sure why you didnt get a lot of credit for your work compared to other builder. Cheers ! btw do you have step file for this design I would like to modify and add some bearings on it

Hello and thanks for the compliments.
This was designed in Blender, which has no export to STP. If you cannot import the STL files, I can provide the models in some other formats like 3DS, FBX, PLY, OBJ or X3D, or of course the .blend file itself.

I'll give it a try with OBJ file mate hopefully that can load.

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