Hatchbox Spool Drawers

by bbraun, published

Hatchbox Spool Drawers by bbraun Feb 15, 2017
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This design was inspired by Skalla_J's spool storage boxes, but for Hatchbox spools. The hatchbox spools are roughly the same outer diameter, but the inner diameter is different from the original design. Additionally, the hatchbox spools have four sets of holes for holding the end of the filament. This design uses those holes for the drawer hinges, so no drilling is necessary.

For the hinges, I use 6-32 threaded rod cut to approximately 67mm in length. Like Skalla_J's design, these thread into the drawers, with a small amount protruding from the top and bottom. The rod should thread somewhat securely into the drawer. I put the end of the threaded rod into the chuck of a power drill and used that to thread the rod into the drawer. The protruding rod ends fit into the existing holes around the edge of the spool.

After trying out Skalla_J's Spool Storage Boxes and finding it didn't fit my spools, I designed this from scratch in OpenSCAD. Since it's OpenSCAD, it is hopefully straightforward to adjust the dimensions for other spool sizes.

Unlike Skalla_J's design, this is only the drawer. I haven't created a mechanism to join the spools into a full storage system yet.

I've enabled the Customizer for this, here's an explanation of the customizer values:
Inner Diameter: The inner diameter of your spool
Outer Diameter: The outer diameter of your spool
Height: The interior height of the spool. The drawer will be this height.
Gauge: the thickness of the bottom & walls of the drawer
Hole Diameter: The diameter of the hole for the threaded rod. In theory, I believe #8 rods should be 4mm, and #6 rods should be about 3.5mm, although on my printer with this filament, a value of 4 here works well with 6-32 threaded rods.
Hole X: The X position of the center of the hole for the threaded rod. Since the diameter of a hatchbox spool is 200mm, with the spool centered on the origin, the location of the outer wall of the drawer would be 100. The hole is inset 4mm from the outer edge, so 100 - 4 gives a value of 96 here.
Hole Y: The Y position of the center of the hole for the threaded rod. This is how many mm from the edge of the drawer the hole should be inset.
Post Location: probably shouldn't be touched. This is the x/y/z location of the cylinder of the post, which should be adjusted with the hole x/y and gauge values rather than modified here.
$fn: This is openscad's idea of how smooth rounded edges should be. Higher values = more round, lower values = more blocky. There's probably no need to modify this here.

Update Feb. 25 2017:
By using longer threaded rods, you can stack spools into a tower configuration. Just thread the rods down the entire length of the tower. I've uploaded a picture of a 6 spool tower made this way.
When threading the rods through the stack of spools, I recommend using a spacer (I just used a length of 1.75mm filament) between the spools to prevent them from binding together and making the tower lopsided. After the rod has been threaded through the spools, the spacer can be removed.

Update Mar. 30 2017:
I've uploaded a _with_pegs version of the stl file. Instead of using a screw or threaded rod to attach the drawer to the spool, the drawer has pegs that should fit into the holes in the spool. It is much more difficult to print, but was added by request.

Also, by combining the drawers with thing:1677024, a tower could be built with half the number of spools.

Update Oct. 3 2017:
Uploaded hatchbox_box_thinner.stl which has slightly thinner side walls and base, and a more rounded appearance ($fn increased in the openscad file).
Check out remix thing:2556068 for a turntable base, and thing:2229936 for a set of handles and a way to screw multiple spools together. The handles and the turntable can even be used together!

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This is a three drawer thing for a standard Hatchbox reel, correct?

I think it takes four, not three...

I'm glad others are up-cycling their spools. Creating a parametric OpenSCAD design is brilliant. When I use up some of my other non-Inland spools, I'll definitely give this a try.

This is great.. I need to print these right away.

... All my empty spools have been sat in my shed for ages, no more with this I can make an amazing set of parts draws :)
Although, I'm confused by why you'd need to use the threaded rod as a hinge? why not just print dobbles in place instead?

That is a good idea, and would probably work fine. I had some concerns about the strength of those, but I might make the change and see how it goes.

Have you tried the change? I'd like that since getting threaded rod without ordering online is a bit difficult for me. I suppose I could use bolts, but that wouldn't be a pretty!

I've uploaded a file "hatchbox box with pegs.stl" that has the pegs. I haven't tried printing it, mainly because I haven't figured out a good way to orient it without having a ton of support material. If you try it, post back how it goes!

I printed one with the pegs, but the pegs are too short. I'll make 3 of the other ones and hope the cinch the thing down enough so I can use the other one.
Other than that, perfect fit

You might also check out remix http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2229936 . That's got a single peg and a screw hole, which seems like a good compromise between ease of printing and not needing as many screws/threaded rods.

Hatchbox Spool Drawers

thank you - I will try it.

Tries to print a peg first, then it is up above the bed. Rest of it doesn't stick good because its too high. Thanks though. Great idea.

Oh my god... thats a brilliant Idea!! I have loads of spools that I do nothing with. Love it Thanks