by RichRap, published

MasterSpool by RichRap Jan 25, 2018
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MasterSpool by RichRap is licensed under the Creative Commons - Attribution license.

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This is a 'MasterSpool' For 3D Printing filament -

Blog post about MasterSpool over here -

MasterSpool Version 4 upgrades / changes and improvements

  • 14th Feb 2018 @RichRap3D

Improvements from user feedback.
Now three positions for 1.75mm and a really nice 2.85mm end slot that's easy to load and has just enough friction to hold the end well.
Really easy to use tie-wrap system – for 2.4mm to 6mm+ tie wraps – zip-ties, reusable tie-wraps and 'velcro' straps.

The model files are designed for both small & bigger nozzles. Ideal for chunky layers (0.25 or 0.3mm layers)

It is a quicker print time for both sides A and B

Edges are now 5.6mm wide and are also flat/smooth (not rounded) they roll really well on bearing type filament spool mounts.

Lighter, stronger locking of both sides together – you may need to give then a really good first twist to align up the holes – after that it should always be a nice tight fit.

I have also added a PDF document of the key dimensions of the spool and also the refill coils – this was the most asked question from people who had not yet downloaded the model file.

Hopefully V4 is the 'final' version – you can always make any desired changes for your own requirements yourself. FreeCad files of the spools are also included in the download files.

Older information below - Ignore unless you are interested -

Update Feb 6th 2018 -

Version 3 is now uploaded - do let me know if you have any problems or have feedback about the design - Version 2.1 has been tested with a coil of filament from Das Filament - it printed this Version 3 for further testing and quality of life improvements.

V3 has a slightly smaller diameter - 198mm so it can be printed on many more 3D printers

Used less material to print

Has integrated zip-tie / tie-wrap grooves all around the spool - you need to slightly twist the parts to align up the zip-tie sections - that's intentional to allow easy unload and some resistance on the coil when in use.

End of filament management - on the side for 1.75mm and a loop for both 1.75 and 2.85mm

See new Video about the V3 and first test of a real filament coil here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqnFiI3thjQ&feature=youtu.be

Older updates below - (use V3 above ideally).
Updated Jan 28th 2018 - The Original STL files for MasterSpool had a few problems for some people - the final export was a little messed up, sorry about that.

V2R1 is also uploaded - that just adds slots for three Tie-Wraps around the main PART A cylinder - Ref : @FishyFilaments

I have now simplified the design and added the new V2 files up on YouMagine and Thingiverse

Quite a few people asked about the critical dimensions for MasterSpool (750g version) - so here they are -

Outer spool diameter is 202mm

The inner ring diameter for the filament coil is 102mm

The mounting hole size is 52.5mm

For the 750g Spool the width of the filament coil is 46.7mm

For a 1Kg or 500g filament coil the width (46.7mm) is the dimension you would change to make a different, but compatible MasterSpool for other weights (that will not stay true for very heavy filaments like copper, bronze etc.)

This is a proposed idea for filament manufacturers to supply just filament on simple coils - held with paper/card and zip-ties - then users load onto the 'MasterSpool' for use in 3D printers.

Lower shipping costs, less packaging.
No plastic spools to recycle (they are usually ~300g)
More details and an overview Video on my Blog post here -

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Thanks for this amazing project.
Can you design a small spool for "sample filaments" (around 250g / 100 meter)?
It will allows us to buy several sample filaments and change them without printing multiple spools.
We will have a large printing choice, without having a large filament stock.
When we want to change filament, we just have to zip tie the filament thanks to the holes of the spool.
A smaller spool means filament saving.

There are dozens of samples spools on thingiverse. Mine is customisable and (for me) surprisingly popular. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2837894. If you want a full-walled sample holder, there's one in the masterspool remix and if you search by 'masterspool' there are some customisable ones. Recently though I've cut out the middle bit of the hub of https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2823667 for a thinner spool that's easily assembled with a satisfying 'click.'

Simple sample spool holder
by FeNi64
Masterspool - Twist and Lock

Thanks for your reply FeNi64.
Your spool needs m3 bolts and the 3D-workshop one needs a tool to open it.
It's not as convenient as this one.
The RichRap one is better.
You don't need bolt or special tools, there are special holes to hold the filament and to store the filament, there are holes to zip tie when if you want to remove the spool of unused filament and.... I love the drop holes shape...

For a typical 1kg spool. how long would the zip ties need to be for these spools? I'm debating rigging up a spool winder to move existing spools of filament to this master spool design to allow for better dry box storage (my theory is that no spools on the resulting re-wound filament means increased exposure to heat and silica beads) but would require me to purchase a large quantity of zip ties.

This spool won't hold 1kg as-is (you would have to make it bigger). I use it exactly as you mention, to fit more spools into less space in dry storage. I printed a masterspool at 105% in X/Y and 95% in Z and wind filament onto the masterspool, zip tie it, and put the roll into a dry box (or on a 100% masterspool for printing). For full rolls, 8" ties barely work. I usually print some of a newly opened spool before winding it off into a roll for storage, so it's not too bad that it doesn't hold the whole thing. Having multiple rolls of the same filament hasn't been a bad thing either since I often print multiple things in the same color at once. Because I use wideish removable zip ties that don't fit through the slots in this spool, I really like this re-mix: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2823667 I have a total of 8 masterspools (3 variants) in use now between my 4 printers.

Masterspool - Twist and Lock

Thanks. I ordered some 12" zip ties just to be safe. I only have one printer, so having multiple rolls of the same filament won't be ideal for me, so maybe I'll print these slightly larger too just to be safe. Thanks!

Note that the 105% I printed at was for winding filament onto the spool so that when I pulled it off, the roll would fit easier onto 100% sized spools, not so I could get more filament in a roll. I only fill the spool up until the filament just covers the holes in the sides of the spool, then I know I can get my zip ties around it and it will fit onto a 100% sized spool and not slip off over the edges.

I like the idea. Much better than having a bunch of reels that need to be recycled.

Is there any way to get a STEP file ?
I like to downsize the other diameter to 180mm

Richard has provided his FreeCAD source file, and FreeCAD can export to STEP, so you are able to do it already.

Ahh missed that. I'll check that out

I have a bunch of empty eSun spools lying around. They come apart with two bolts, so I'd like to use those instead.

MasterSpool is ID 102mm, width 46.7mm, mounting hole 52.5mm.

eSun spool is ID 90.5mm, width 56mm, mounting hole 51.5mm.

So it should be pretty trivial to design a spacer which brings an eSun spool to MasterSpool specs. Awesome!

I started a concept project for anyone who'd like to finish it off: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2843755

eSun spool to MasterSpool adaptor (incomplete)

a list of manufacturers that support the master spool would be helpful, does anyone know of some?

I saw that PushPlastic is selling refills for the masterspool.

You can search for manufacturer supporting the Masterspool on https://www.filaments.directory/
In filters > Spool
But so far there is only dasfilament and add:north

Most of the big actors are working on it (at least they told me so) it includes : Fillamentum, Polymaker, Colorfabb,...

Comments deleted.

Do you have designs for various amounts of filaments like 2.2 kg or 5 kg filament spools? I deal with a lot of bulk filament, and it would be great to masterspool them and not deal with a avalanche of large spools.

There are a few remixes which might suit, including one that's customizable. If the width is all you need to change, you can probably get away with resizing both pieces in the Z direction.

COEX, LLC manufactures 3D printer filament and used your design to place on our extruder winders to produce an environmentally friendly package to ship to our customers. We are not quite ready to ship this way but really love the idea and we’re hoping for feedback from the other Thingiverse users. We’ve also added another user friendly feature to our process. We actually used a resealable zipper bag in the shrink wrap process. If you’re interested in checking out our filaments, go to: www.coexllc.com Thanks for the design RichRap.

Hi Richard,

I'm currently designing variants for printers with smaller print beds. I realized that your V4 doc doesn't mention the sticker/label dimensions - should I measure them from your designs or isn't that something that shouldn't be part of your master spool standard?


Would this print OK with a 0.35 layer height? Slic3r offers only 0.2 or 0.35.

Yes, it works really well at 0.35mm layers and with nozzles from 0.4 to 1.2mm

The FreeCAD file for this just has a bunch of meshes. Is there a solid model anywhere? Exporting to step didn't get me anything usable for making any modifications.

Let me check the files, I did make a mess of the STEP export for version 2 but I thought that the FreeCAD files were good.

I like it a lot, but the center hub of both parts is a little odd. There is a smaller center pipe within a larger pipe shape. They eventually get bridged together. Why not just make that space solid. With sparse infill the whole thing will likely print faster, would be stronger, will not require bridging, and will not have a thin ring that remains on its own during the first half of the print. I had mind center ring break loose before the bridging happened.

Thanks for the feedback, it was supposed to make the model stronger by adding the extra perimeters, then you can use much less infill but still get a strong outer shell - use three perimeters and 16% infill for a good solid but light spool.

Great concept and brilliant design. I am printing one as we speak. Idea: have markings so you can measure how many grams you have. I really like polymaker for this becasue you can measeure every 100grams.

Different materials have different density, so this would only work for a specific material.

Не подходит для GREG. Внутренний диаметр катушки слишком велик.
Not compatible with greg's filament. Inside diametr the Spool very big for it.

I think the majority of 3d print enthusiasts would not have a print volume to be able to print this.

My bed is 200*200 mm in size. I wonder if I can just barely shave those extra 4 mm off. I'd be afraid to just downsize the whole thing, as I'd be risking the coil being a bit loose.

the dimensions each are 197/198mm. So you should be able to print it on a 200mm bed, if any problems, you should maybe extrude some filament before print, incl. preheat, and not use brim or skirt. If your firmware is configured properly regarding the max dimensions, the printer is simply ignoring the commands outside the area.

Agreed......I was excited until I saw the dimensions for the spool.

Same here. Too large for my Flash Forge CP.

Comments deleted.

The FreeCAD files are just mesh files. Are you able to provide solid files so we can customize this to work on our machines?

i came across something very similar on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075K4X7RV/ <--- the refills.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075JBYS3S/ <---- the refillable spool

Ive been buying it for a while now, its pretty decent stuff.

Not sure if ther refills would fit the printed spool though.

Your links dont pull up anything.

That's a thingiverse bug and it's really annoying. Copy the text of his link into a new tab. It's a filament manufacturer I've never heard of with bad reviews

hi there i love your project really i do but we all got old spools and thats a waste printing your spool is more than a day printing aint it an idea to cut an ecxisting spool in half put some screw in it and 2 rings for taiwraps and begin fila and end fila glue it in en go.. Less printing less waste and if you got a multy material like me not a week of printing lets try to reuse the original spools with some adjustments. its an idea thats all and less waste mayby more easy to store as the more we print more colours we store

That drop-shape is getting really close to that tie-wrap slot.

What settings are the parts are supposed to be printed with? Infill?

With 3 Shells, 10% Infill and 0,2mm Layer Height I get a printing time of 20 hours for both parts and 233 gramms of filament.
That is a strict no-go on my side.

I really do like the idea and I know it is working because my company is using two-part spools and re-fills for wires since at least 2005..

But I totally fail to see how 3D-printed spools are a good thing for the enviroment.

I printed both parts in about 13 hours (sliced with Simplify3D - the algorithms are really great for prints that big).
3 shells
12% Infill

I used exactly 229 grams of filament - so ist cost me about 5 to 6 Euros.

Why this is a good thing for the environment? Because the spools are meant to be printed in PLA, that is at least a bit better than other materials normally used for spools. But they are also meant to last forever, most people are throwing spools away because there's no use for it after you ran out of filament. There's also a "budget-version" of the MasterSpool from "Das Filament" - http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2791930 . This uses much less material (still I don't think it is THAT great, but it should be working fine as well).

Little MasterSpool

Great idea and design. Unfortunately I have a printer with a bed too small to print this. Could I make a suggestion? How about a variant that is just the central core and uses the flanges of an existing spool? I could take an old spool, saw it in half and fit each side into a central core that is essentially the same as your existing central core.

There are two possible ways to do this, not sure which is best. Either cut the existing spool in half halfway along the central cylinder, or cut it in half and remove the central cylinder entirely and just use the flanges.

I appreciate the size of the central cylinder is not standardised, so there would probably have to be variants in different sizes. And attaching the flanges might prove difficult - but either friction fit or friction fit and glue might work fine.

Hi, thanks.
This is a great design. Can you please share step files to make is easier to modify?

Just download the freecad file, and export the step. Freecad is FOSS

V3 Part A STL has some defects according to meshmixer. This prevented me from remixing it. I would appreciate if you could look into it.

Hi, thanks for this great design ! I print a lot with 2.2Kg spools and I'm able to print a Master Spool max 400x400mm. Will you publish a version for 2.2/2.3Kg filament ?

Besides Das Filament, are any other vendors doing this yet?

There's a Chinese manufacturer, DBA TitanAddit on Amazon ( http://a.co/5mx6DZH ) selling filament on a refillable spool along with spool-less refills for a dollar less than the spooled filament. I don't know if the 1kg refills will fit the standard 750g MasterSpool or even if the refill will fit the MasterSpool hub. I don't see them selling empty spools, and their spool doesn't have slots for re-wrapping unused filament, but the refills are something to consider. Amazon reviews, as usual, are mixed on the quality of the TitanAddit filament.

On the picture, we can see Colorfabb.

they didn't start yet. they are doing some testing

Thank you so much for doing this. What a great idea!

upcycle Masterspool dasFilament
by techam

That filament catch on V3 is a great idea. I would add one on the opposite side too, though, so you have a catch at each half turn.

I also like the idea of the filament catch.
Is it possible to point one or both ends of the filament catch to the inside of the spool? I store my coils in plastic bags and I guess when the filament points to the outside of the spool, the filament would eventually poke through the plastic bag.

Good point. On second thought it seems that the filament catch made increased the thickness of the spool's edge over 4mm which prevents me to use my current clips as a fallback. I may end in modifying the design to keep the thickness below 4mm.

But how? Your filament is 1.75mm, so let's say you need a 2mm hole, then with 1mm walls, that's 4mm

4mm is fine indeed. I already designed a filament catch which works with a 4mm spool edge and also is located inside the spool so that the end does not poke into plastic bags which the spools may be stored in.

Hey there, this is an amazing Idea and gets lots of Support!!! DasFilament in Germany will sell Coil Filaments soon! Check out there Website with Pictures of your Spool and their Filaments they will sell...

Any idea how to print this on a 150x150mm print bed?

Please add some holes where you can put the end of the filament that it won´t tangle up - would be great!

Almost every coil has such holes.

It would be great if you could add indicators for remaining length or weight for typical materials (PLA/ABS/PETG). Only very few manufacturers do that :( If you're using Octoprint there are solutions but not everyone is doing that.

Files Are updated - fixing slicing problems - Sorry about that (28th Jan 2018) -

Something went wrong in the final STL export stage for the V1 files, and a few errors were also in the model - I have remade the files, simplified the model a little and uploaded new versions (V2) - if you check right now the new STL files are ready to use - (Also a STEP file is uploaded if anyone would like to use that) - I checked them in Cura, Slic3r and Simplify 3D - let me know if you have any other problems with slicing them - thanks. Rich.

The concept is wonderful, I like the idea to get the vendors into the boat to reduce the amount of wasted plastic a lot.
But I am facing major issues with your provided stl files (here as well as the ones on Youmagine): Neither Slic3r nor Simplify3d are able to slice them well. No hole in the center for both, and the thread is not showing up on slic3r. Slic3r is complaining for 5.8k shell errors. Slic3r 1.38.7-prusa3d with mk3 profile.

Sorry about that. Something went wrong in the final STL export stage, and a few errors were also in the model - I have remade the files, simplified the model a little and uploaded very versions (V2) - if you check right now the new STL files are ready to use - (Also a STEP file is uploaded if anyone would like to use that) - I checked them in Cura, Slic3r and Simplify 3D - let me know if you have any other problems with slicing them - thanks. Rich.

Best work Rich, confirm it is slicing without any issue - thanks for the quick reply and fix.

I tried running it through https://service.netfabb.com/service.php and it helped some, but the larger side still has no center hole. Definitely needs to be fixed up.

Sorry about that. Something went wrong in the final STL export stage, and a few errors were also in the model - I have remade the files, simplified the model a little and uploaded very versions (V2) - if you check right now the new STL files are ready to use - (Also a STEP file is uploaded if anyone would like to use that) - I checked them in Cura, Slic3r and Simplify 3D - let me know if you have any other problems with slicing them - thanks. Rich.

Thanks, Rich. :)

Could you simplify this by moving the threads to the inside of the outer cylinder of Part A, and eliminate its inner cylinder. Then put the threads on the outside of the cylinder of Part B ? Reduce the diameter of both cylinder's to keep the 55mm inner diameter, but a smaller outer diameter. This would allow more filament (maybe even up to 1Kg). It would save on weight and filament to print it.
Most spools also have small holes in the rim to let you lock the filament tip into so it doesn't flail around on the spool and tangle up. Maybe add some around one side.
Just some ideas.

The internal diameter is 102mm - and it really does not want to be any lower - ideally it should be much bigger, but we manage to get away with most 3D printing materials using this diameter. If you wind too tightly the filament will just break on use or be damaged etc.