Mendel Snap-in Filament Spool Holder

by rhmorrison, published

Mendel Snap-in Filament Spool Holder by rhmorrison Apr 30, 2012
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I came across the Yet another dispenser for filament spools
by Think_3D and the SIMPLE SPOOL HOLDER FOR MENDEL which I liked very well but it had some problems. The main problem was due to the fact that the spool is so low and far back that the filament would rub against the threaded bar which was not good. There are quite a number of different solutions to this problem, mine was the Mendel Filament Guide which is the ancestor of this thing. It snapped onto the top of the Mendel and allowed using left over round bar as a guide so the filament didn't rub against the threaded bar. This served its purpose but as one Thingiverse user pointed out required round bar that he didn't have on hand. It also proved something else; my snapin design worked very well. Then a couple of weeks ago I saw the Over The Top Spool Holder V2 by BackyardWorkshop and thought that this was very similar to my snap-on filament guide. I especially liked the idea that the spool was mounted above and not as far behind such that the filament went straight down. That thing had to be held by M8 nuts and I thought I could improve upon that so I started with my Mendel Filament Guide thing and then decided where I wanted the center of the filament spool to be relative to the guide holder and put it there. Then I added to circular support struts such that the snap-in capability wasn't lost and then added a support circle with the RepRap LOGO.


Print out one left spool holder and one right spool holder and snap into the inside of the top frame vertices by sliding the long hook to the front threaded bar and pressing on the rod holder to snap onto the back threaded bar. To remove grab entire spool holder with one hand down low and pull up and back.

Print out two wheels, pop one 608 bearing into each of the wheels.
Cut a piece of threaded bar to a length of 24cm.
Put one wheel into each side of a standard filament spool.
Put the threaded rod through the bearing with the same amount sticking out of both sides.

On each side add an 8mm washer, 8mm nut, 8mm nut, 8mm washer, 8mm washer and an 8mm nut. The inside nuts should be make tight enough to hold the two wheels in. The second set of nuts should be 1 cm from the nuts just tightened with the following washer right next to it. The last set of nuts should be as close to the end of the threaded bar as possible with its matching washer right next to it.
Now center the threaded bar onto the Mendel snap-in filament spool holders and by hand tighten the second set of nuts to the inside of the filament spool holders. Now tighten the outside nuts to the outside of the filament spool holders. Tighten with a wrench.

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What percentage infill do you use?

I generally use 20% unless the object is really huge then I use 10% and additional shells.

Thanks, just found your reply. I did print a set back then cant remember the infill I used but they turned out well and I'm still using them.

Just looking for a spool holder for my Prusa Mendel and this looks pretty good. I was wondering what the effect on stability is having that much weight high up. Also it looks to be hung over the back rather directly above the top vertex does that not make the whole thing top and back heavy?

Only just learning about this stuff having got my printer last week, loving it so far though :)

It is placed far enough behind such that the filament runs between the two top threaded bars without ever touching them. Originally I used a different holder for which I then made the Mendal Filament Guide (See link in Derived From section).

It is very stable and places such that the rolls of filament that I have (a standard size) is as close as possible to the printer but positioned such that the filament comes straight down and never (ever, ever) touches the threaded bar. If it did then you would need a solution for the problem of
which there are also quite a few - but it is easier to simply avoid the problem!

Thanks, will give it a go printing it tonight as I now have a roll of filament :) I'll post a photo should I get it working ok

Nuts. Tried it but it was slighty too big for my build platform, even with some scaling down and rotating.

I tried printing, but it sits a little too tall on the y-axis for me. If I can move it forward then all would be good. I would have to skip printing a skirt too.

I opened in netfabb and moved y-axis -30mm and tried printing, but nothing changed. I guess this is more of a netfabb question. How can I move it 30mm forward? Moving the y-axis 30mm in netfabb and saving as stl should've worked no?

Did you then EXPORT as STL after you moved it?

This is something that is normally done in your slicer program.
I use Skeinforge and have Multiply active with center X,Y at 100,100.

Whatever slicer program you use should have a similar feature.

Annnd done. Great design. The snap-in works great. I can throw my cheap wooden solution into the garbage!

The wheels are also fantastic! The taper really makes them versatile, since most other wheel designs I'd found where just straight cylinders. I had two spools within the 50-60mm range, both of which worked well.

You may want to make the front legs a little more beefy, I worry about them snapping.
I reinforced the area with some ABS glue just in case. I had no actual issues, though.

The front legs must be able to flex, that is what allows the snap-in to work so well. I print exclusively in PLA and it is not as flexible as ABS. Also it only has to work with a minimum pulling force, the back leg is what carries the weight of the spool.

I think I'll probably scale it down and try it anyway. I think at 90% or higher it'll still be sturdy enough.

Regarding the wheels... What is the diameter of the hole in your spool? I've got a printed spool and I'm trying to track down wheels of the appropriate size.


Wheel.STL is good for 50 - 60 mm.

Well, I guess you need a bigger build platform... :)