Mega Anti-Tangle Spool Holder

by graham01 Aug 11, 2017
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First - I love this spool holder. I used some Prusament Orange PETG with some leftover black PETG to put this together and it came out beautiful (will post a Make soon).

One note - the tolerances between the pieces were very loose coming off of my MK3S, so I used some CA glue (hoping it bonds the PETG well enough) to hold everything together in the bottom pieces. I used zip ties to hold things together while the glue dried. It made me wonder if some redesign might make this zip-tie friendly without the need for glue.

Thanks for designing and sharing this great holder!

It’s a cool idea but has a few flaws and a lot of potential. It would be really nice if there was a small mount for a reverse Bowden tube and a rewind mechanism built in. Unfortunately I had a few problems putting this together. The parts do not fit particularly tight so I ended up using super glue to hold everything together. Otherwise it would fall apart in my hand just from lifting it

Thank verry nice job :)

Comments deleted.

Like many of the other comments here state - this is actually an awesome design but could be better. The ends where the arms pivot are quite flimsy. I velcro'd everything in place to a table and it is MUCH better now but I definitely think the end pieces on the base would be better off printed as one piece (if your build volume is sufficient), or it needs glued to be sturdy.

To update this comment, I wanted a way to get this thing stable without having to mount it to a table via screws or velcro, etc. I finally got this thing in a place where it won't fall apart and it requires no additional screws/etc. On the downside, you will have to print two additional parts to clip the ends together. I also had to glue the male and female parts of the rollers together because they were separating in the middle and causing the bearings to bind. Spools now roll smoothly and I can change out spools without the entire thing falling apart on me.

If you are going to print this I highly recommend printing the one piece roller and my clips:


One piece roller with bearing provision
by ctbaker
Mega Anti-Tangle Spool Holder Clip
by tScan89

I printed this because I found it looked very pretty. Used some old skateboard bearings left over without changing anything from the design. Needed to drill out the holes fitting the arms to the base but the bearing seats fitted fine. Printed with 0.2mm layer height and with 20% infill.

But after printing with it I got my first tangled spool ever since I own my printer. Damn! And to be honest, it is an awfull lot of PLA "wasted" for a spool holder.

I like the idea a lot and it looks very beautiful, it is very thoughtfull designed, but with my setup it even tangled the nylon filament spool now, so I may go back to my old setup.

What is your "old setup"? Why it tangled? The 4 rolls stop tangleing, dont they?

I´m sorry to tell that only one spool tangled because it (the spool!) was crap. I did not have this earlier so I assumed the reason was the spool holder so I blamed the it not noticing that the spool itself was tangled so badly.
I apologize and want to update my comment: this spool holder not only looks very good and it works - but if your spool is tangled no spool holder ever designed can change this, not even this one :-)

Print it, it´s awesome!

Used PLA with 220°C and 0,2 steps. Sliced with Cura. It took forever to print on my Tevo Tarantulla.
The design looks nice in green and silver, but is not very solid. Even so the printer was calibrated, the axes for the bearings are a little too small. So when they role, it is the axes moving and not the bearing.
The arms fit loosely and I ended up, drilling holes and screwing them to the holder. Drilling holes isn't easy or precises as the inner is not solid.
Printing with a small 50mm wide spool, this moved to the side while printing and suddenly opened the space between the drums. So the next step is to glue them together.

There is room for improvement, but Graham01 designed the best spool holder I did find so far. So many thanks for the effort and the sharing.

Thank you for this thing! Thumbs up to you!

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And... I had a PETG tangle and break while attempting to print this. ;)

Are folks using 608zz bearings "out of the box" or using a solvent to remove the grease for easier rolling?

I used brake cleaner to remove factory oil and then added gun oil as lubricant. With PLA and PETG I don't think it matters but for elastomers it might.

As an update, I've been using NTN bearings without degreasing and it seems fine so far.

I used the bearings out of the box and didn't notice any problems. My bearings were sealed so I couldn't have replaced grease with a light 3 in 1 oil or equivalent.

Looks nice first, but gets disconnected mostly everytime you touch it, even with reinforced screw Version.Its the 10th time now it fall apart with a roll fitted on it, so i WONT RECOMMAND ANYONE TO PRINT !!! Sorry but seem just to be designed to look good instead of function well. That bein said it will just cost you filament and much much stress

this happens to me too, so I drilled holes through every pivoting part of the spool holder and fixed it with self locking screws on both sides and a thread of M4 (or equal measurement in imperial). So nothing falls apart ever again. Or use some hot glue to fix the parts together (not the pivoting, only the static ones) and this may help, too.

Could you make a redesign so the big 2kg spools of Colorfabb will fit? That would be awesome!

Would you mind sharing the CAD files? I very much like your design but I have to adapt the bearing seats because I have another type of bearings on hand. It would be very much appreciated :)

I would also very much appreciate access to the original drawings. I've been trying to make some changes with meshlab/etc. but it has turned out to be a fairly frustrating exercise.

Just wondering, what's the benefit of this design over something simple like this? https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2047554

Because I absolutely LOVE your design, and would love to have an excuse to use it. :p

So far I can see that it removes the hassle of lining up the holder with the edges, but that's pretty minor.

It definitely would be more stable, but I haven't found stability to be a concern with the gentle, downward pressure exerted. Though it would probably be better for dealing with a horizontal pull.

If the spool is in an active area I suppose that would be a massive improvement. It doesn't take much of a bump to knock over the ones I'm using.

Anything else I haven't considered?

TUSH - The Ultimate Spool Holder

I've used both, and surely will just Tush from now on. Trust me you'll have more trouble with those above then with Tushs. One way to remove the hassle from placing them correctly is a little Wodden plate with 1 part tighten and 1 part moveable throug a hole with a pin or sth

Hi there! Well, I found that quite a lot of the time the filament would come off the side of the spool, and once it does it's pretty much game over unless you catch it in time. This only really happens with new spools of certain brands that pack so closely to the edge of the spool. It doesn't happen that often, but I do overnight prints every night on 5 printers and it happened enough for me to need to design this spool holder. So that's the main benefit really, because the spool egde is clamped almost evenly at 4 points it is pretty much impossible for the filament to go over the edge and cause issues.

I personally don't like those mini spool holders you linked to. Not only because of the issue stated above, but also quite often spools are packaged very tight that the filament is nipped in between itself and requires quite a bit of pull from the extruder to release it, this causes the spool to rock quite a lot and i'm fairly sure it would pull it right off those mini spool holders. (that's probably one of the reasons that filament does come off the edge of new spools too)

After a year and a half of using TUSH, I've just had exactly what you described happen on two spools. Spools fell, yanked the filament partially out of the extruder, and ruined the prints. I'm now looking at new options with yours on the list or toying with making an add on for TUSH that will perform similar to what you have done.

whats the base dimensions of this?

Where does the m3 nut go to?

Look at the arm that the rollers attach to, there are two pegs that stand out with holes through, put the m3 bolt through from the peg side and an m3 nut from the other side should fit into the hexagonal hole.

Do I attach the ball bearing to the arm with the screw? Does anybody have an image please. I don't get it.
What are the benefits of the screws?

Edit: I think, I understand it now. It is just to support and strengthen the material where the ball bearing is attached to. Nothing is screwed together with this screw.

Please see attached images. The bolt is to strengthen the peg that just pushes into the bearing, it is not to hold the bearing.

I have now remixed the Rollers and Base P2 components together for ease fo printing plus strengh and stability.
Base P2 Rail https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2850591
Rollers https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2851011
I hope this helps others.

Firstly thank you for this thing, it really is pretty well thought out and designed.
I have printed sh base parts already but there is weak point on p3-left and p3-right at the point where they connect to base p3, two have broken already. I printed at 20 infill and this may not have been enough but also due to the fact the locking component is set a little to low and off center.
It could be quite dangerous if it fails whilst in use.

This is a Great design Graham! Just completed the printing and it assembles perfectly. Brilliant Product for use with my CR10S! Thanks.

What is the maximum spool size that would fit onto this??

Hey Graham, this is awesome and should be featured. I'm actually printing alot of your stuff. This, gantry plates and the V6 holder. Good Job.

This should be a fetured thing. Nice work.

Thanks for the design.
i made this in black ABS (because thats the best configured filament i have)
and instead of screws (because they didnt work well) i used ABS glue. to hold it together.

but dang printing took FOREVER, almost 3 days of strait printing. (including replacement parts for ones that broke on my rafts)
but it is well worth it because it is so much better than the stock anet a8 spool holder (which broke as i was assembling this item.)

I'm not sure what I've done wrong here, but mine simply doesn't want to stay together. Everything seems to fit perfectly, but if I move it at all, it falls apart. The left/right bracket on each side doesn't stay together... for now, I've put a zip tie through the bottom on each side for pressure. I built the one with m3x15 (I had to use m3x16) screws. Any thoughts?

Any tips folk? Do ya'lls stay together or are the part fits loose? I've done quite a bit of upgrades/tuning to my printer since I first printed this, and I use it and love it, but don't like the Zip-ties-that-hold-it-together. :) It's quite a bit of filament, so I don't want to print another one with size modifications without having some idea of the fix.

mine was loose until i realised i missed 2 items and was cutting of a snapping part

sh_arm_cross_beam_top_v1_r1.STL (one on each side) is what i was missing and they have a snap retainer on each vertical arm. (i cut off 2 before i realised what they were)
also i printed in ABS so i used some ABS glue to hold all non hinged parts together.
also some items were really tight and needed a hammer to fit all the way in

there is also a bottom support. "sh_arm_cross_beam_bottom_v1_r1.STL" but this sat there loose and i did not feel comfortable using it like that so it got the ABS glue treatment

one super great mount will on top of the cr-10 directly on the aluminum profile. you are a great designer and i think it will not take to much to design one more part to mount it on top. this will make this piece of art even more beautiful and functional.

Ive been using a different spool holder design but once the roll gets halfway used it won't stay on the rollers. This design looks like it might solve that issue. I'm printing one now.

have a question do you think this holder will handle 400 mm diameter and 157 mm wide spools looking to do 10 kg rolls

Very nice design! The first but not the last I made!

2 Questions/Suggestions

  1. I would prefer to print "sh base p2 v1" + "sh base p3-left v1" + "sh base p3-right v1" as one part
  2. I would prefer to print the male/female rolls as one part

maybe you can add such stl`s in further updates?

Comments deleted.

Yes, it's a waste of material and time to print the rolls in two parts!

Ok, I love this design! A few notes:

1) It took me a couple of days to print all the parts
2) I 100% recommend using the M3 bolts / screws!!!! If you don't, there a very high likelihood you'll break off the protruding bits that go inside the 608 bearings.
3) I had trouble getting the nuts into the holes (i.e., a super tight fit) so I used a small flame torch to heat the PLA and the nuts set right in.
4) My 608 bearings had a hole that was too big for the M3 bolt's head. A small washer on each one did the trick!

Performance: Things didn't go together as nicely as I would have liked. Everything was a tighter fit than I expected. Maybe my CR-10 / CURA settings aren't right? The rollers didn't roll very smoothly, even though my bearings spin great. I think maybe the rollers or the way the bearing are seated, isn't perfectly square / plumb / flush, etc. so they aren't spinning as freely as they do in the video.

So, it was a fun project, but I'm bummed mine didn't work out to be nearly as smooth (in installation or in performance) as the one in the video.

Nifty, you mentioned that you added a small washer to the M3, this might be part of your problem with the rollers. Could be binding the bearings. As the designer stated, the M3s don't hold anything on, they only reinforce the bearing supports. Suggest pulling the washers off and see if it clears up part of your problem. Just a thought.

Suggestion: where the P1 base overlaps the joint between P2 and P3.... is a little too small.
If P1 extended out a little more it would better hold p2 and p3's together.

So, I said 'with no problems' on my other response, but there are definitely a few design issues I need to address. 1 of them is as you stated, the p1 pillars designed to hold the p2's and p3's together are a little small, and I need to add some kind of of clipping mechanism between p1 and p2, as after a month of wear and tear the p1 base does just fall off if I try to pick the holder up. I will address these soon and update the model here, just need to find the time... Thanks for your comments.

Can you describe how the M3 bolts are used?
Obviously they go into the holes and connect to the nuts in the hex holes, but how does that hold the bearing in, or the arm to the base, or whatever it is intended to do? I can see them in the video, but it's not at all evident what they contribute to holding things together...and after assembling my PLA version it's fairly apparent that they do need to be held together. I get the feeling you may have neglected to mention a component or method.

They don't hold anything together, it's simply to reinforce the studs for the bearings, because they take the entire weight of the spool and you are relying on 8mm circle layer strength, which isn't a lot. Nothing should need to be held together any further, the base and the supporting cross beam (that says DESIGNED BY GW) do a pretty good job holding the rollers in place, for me and a few others I have talked to anyway. I have used the this spool holder for about a month now with no problems. Just make sure the cross beams are in place properly, the arms have slight notches that lock them in place.

Ah, ok. I might look into printing a washer/disk to secure them somehow. Maybe it's because I used PLA, but mines pretty much falling apart, despite being quite tight in some joints, others are barely gripping each other at all. No doubt a bunch of bump and notch clipping mechanisms here and there would help.

What an awesome design! Many thanks. For me all it needs are a couple of feet on either side to clamp either side of the CR-10 power unit, so it could be a direct replacement of the one built in. Of course this is a universal spool holder and not designed for a specific printer so no worries - perhaps I could be allowed to make that small modification (Once I get to grips with mesh modification!)
Thanks for your design - it's totally brilliant!

Why is this Anti tangle? will this help with filament rolls that have been rolled poorly?

No, every filament is rolled fine and can be printed. Any tanglement or knots result from mis-use, NOT from the manufaturer! See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlmCc-vRNr0&t=368s

I've only had one spool that tangled from my mistake. I've had several that were poorly wound in the factory and had spooling problems on the printer. I've got a spool right now from 3d Solutech on my printer right now that was loosely spooled and has to be watched to make sure it the filament doesn't walk off of the spool.

some manufacturers do a terrible job of rolling filament and sometimes the do come with issues. I meant why is "anti tangle" in the name if this thingiverse? How does it prevent tangles compared to any other spool holder?

thanks for asking this. my question exactly. :)

Well, it does not let the spool roll freely, which could be considered an anti-tangle feature. Don't rely on this! BUT: the design wirks very well, just give it a try!

Awesome, elegant design! Printing this today. Thank you!

Very well done and it prints great. Thank You!

I am in the process of printing and assembling, so will post finished product when it is done. This is a great design, I have used 0.2 resolution with 30% infill, everything so far feels good and strong. 608z bearings are a standard skateboard bearing so are available all over the web, I got mine from here
I have been struggling with tangles on spools so this is a welcome design, I agree, this should be featured. So let me now say thanks for this fantastic Thingi !!!!

You should modify this to have torsion springs in the base that holds the arms open when nothing is in it. This would remove the ability to fold it, but make spool removal really nice, since it would just open up as you lift the spool out, and be ready to take in another one.

Awesome design though.

Alternatively, you could make some sort of CAM wheel on the bottom like on compound bows. Attach a string to either end, wrap around the cams, and connect at the middle with an extension spring. Should be able to lock open and closed. With that style, it would probably be wall mountable too.

I'll mount/glue it onto a plate, but then it won't fold together compeltely.
I'd add a stabilizing bar between the outer parts of the base!

Great idea. I'm thinking of one small mod to add 8mm holes in the base to mount them on a pair of 8mm rods going through the center of my tupperware case. I line up four spools across in a sealed container. The current setup of one center rod with spool holders on it has proven to be unreasonably cumbersome. but something like this would make changing out the filament easy. I keep dessicant on the bottom of the container which is why I don't just set this on the bottom.

Thanks for the info. If I do another revision I will try to mod something like this into it.

I was thinking of adding mount points to the base to allow attaching to a larger/heavier base or the bottom of a container.

Awesome idea. How much infill did you use?

I actually used as little as I could just for proof of concept, somewhere between 5% and 10%. I will use it as it is, but if it shows signs of weakness or breaks then I will reprint some components with more infill. The amount of infill is totally up to you, as these are all pretty big parts then obviously infill is going to be a pretty big chunk of your filament. If I was going to print this again I would probably do between 20% and 30% anyway. The rollers are probably where infill is most important, so I recon about 30% on those.

Sweet thank you.

Now i need to build this!

How about a link to the bearings?

That would depend on your country, and 608 bearings are a very standard bearing you can get almost anywhere. Amazon, Ebay, etc.

Or you can finally make a fidget spinner useful and destroy it to remove the bearings

Awesome! This is worthy of being featured.

Thanks! That would be cool.