Minimal Spool Reel Guide for Snapmaker

by kelvin8r Mar 29, 2018
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I'm finding the caps don't fit onto the bearing holders. Measuring with calipers they could use another 0.3 or 0.4mm of clearance. I'm reprinting the caps at 104% and will test fit them. I calibrated my Snapmaker's extrusion rate a week or two ago. I'll try reprinting the calibration cube and verify my line widths / extrusion rate again. I'm using the newer version of Cura with the same flow rate that I was using in the older version of Cura, so I need to rule out the slicer. I've printed things in the past that had really tight tolerances, but so far I'm not real impressed with Cura 4.0. Maybe it's just me though.

Edit: I am using PETG though, so that could be part of it, too.

Edit: 104% on the cap and 100% on the bearing holder works perfectly for me. They now fit snug but not crazy. If I were doing the caps again, I might even try 103% on on them. I'm happy with them though and the bearings should be in tomorrow. $5 on Amazon for a 24pack. Sounds like these ones come greased. I'm going to soak them in mineral spirits or flush them with brake cleaner and then hit them with some spray teflon. Should make them nice and free-running and still protected well enough for a 3d printer, for sure.

Thanks for your feedback. The inner diameter of the caps and the external diameter of the bearing holders match in the 3D file. It should print and fit fine. It will be a tight fit because I didn't design in some tolerance.

However when I was designing v2, I noticed that the metal rod fits a little tight and was causing the bearing holder to flare out. So i added a little bit of tolerance in the hole for the metal rod. When the bearing holder flares out, the caps won't fit because the bearing supports are a little farther apart. Is this what you're experiencing? Or are you having issues with just the cap internal diameter and bearing holder external diameter? I'm curious to know.

The v2 holder fits on the rod snugly. In my print (with PETG), It could have maybe another 0.05mm bigger hole and maybe another 0.05mm more gap between the bearing and the plastic that goes around the rod. That's almost nothing and may not be worth a change for you. I installed it today and the bearings rub against that plastic towards the center every so slightly. If I was worried about it, I would just sand it down a little bit right there. Not a big deal. If there was more clearance there, the bearings would spin freely.

The center post that goes into the bearing were too tight on one of the prints. Again, it might be related to the PETG because it has different properties from the PLA... I was printing it pretty hot so that I would get good strong layer adhesion. The center post that holds the bearing could stand to be at least 0.05 less overall diameter or maybe even 0.1mm less overall diameter. That would also fix the fit with the cap.

I think there should be a slight tolerance difference between the post of the bearings and the cap that captures the bearings. Printing the caps at 104% worked great. In fact they would probably still work at 102%. So instead of changing the cap size, try just reducing the center post 1% or 2% tops.

Please know this isn't a criticism at all..this is just a minor refinement request that would reduce the hand fitting I had to do with PETG... which you might not want if you are targeting PLA. I just find PETG to be better, overall. I did have my extrusion rates and thin wall line / flow rates calibrated, but then I started using CURA 4, so I need to rerun my thin wall line calibration test. In fact, I'll do that today.

Regardless, this thing works great. It will keep the spools from getting hung up on the screw heads that Snapmaker should have recessed into that mount instead of having them stick out. This will also make the back tension on the filament more consistent and reduce the friction overall. Great little thing you've shared with all of us! Thank you!

This is good information to consider when designing for 3D printing. However a little finishing and adjustment is to be expected in this hobby of ours. I appreciate your insights.

True, but some things easier hand finish others because of parts being thin, hard to hold, small, or round posts. In this case it was easy to just increase the size of the cap a few percent to make the cap fit the post. However getting the bearing on and off was really tight. I thought I was going to break the part. So reducing the post size a small amount would take care of two birds with one stone.

So I agree about hand fitting, but that is more appropriate in some places than others.

Thanks for your work on this, it works wonders. I have the enclosure and use Hatchbox 1kg spools. They would constantly bind up and I would have to babysit my prints by advancing the spool by hand every 5-10 minutes. I did a small test print and no problems now at all. Some of my other minor print issues even seemed to clear up as well.

Glad to hear it's working for you. Yes, I too noticed some filament reels can get stuck on the corners of the spool holder. These guides eliminate the contact between the reel and the spool holder.

Printed the guides ages ago. Finally got around to buying some bearings and assembling/installing them!

Works great!

The spool glides a lot smoother and even 'rewinds' (by the push of the filament) when jogging the Z axis up.

This is perfect! Thank you so much! Love that it will work with different size spools so easily.

Great to hear. I specifically designed it to work with different size spools.

Great, worked instantly, together with a rog and some old metal bar snappi filament runs smoothly now :)
4 bearings from the local hardware store (3,15€)
Thanks, kelvin8r!

Glad to share with the community. Always nice to hear it's working as intended.

Works perfectly. The bearings are 8 for $5 on Amazon

I'm glad it's working for you. What are you going to do with the remaining bearings?