This OpenScad module defines a hollow cylinder with parameters (outside, inside, length) that can be used for filament spooling.
Using a retort stand
It is always better to have the filament roll on top of the extruder. If you got a high ceiling or if you are moving your printer, then you need a portable solution. Together with a "chemistry stand" it will make a fine filament roll holder. Buy a retort stand, i.e. the kind that is used in chemistry labs. Yours could be made of:
- Two 1.2m vertical bars (with two attached "feet" or else attachable feet). You can take shorter vertical bars (e.g. 0.9m,) but then the horizotal bar may be at your eye-level ---
- One horizontal 1m bar onto which you then can glide the roll.
- Two connectors for fixing the horizontal bar. It is best to buy ones that allow to lift the horizontal bar quickly.
A hollow cylinder can be of use with several other filament spoolers.
Any resolution and any infill from 20 to 80 % can do. This one of the rare objects where these parameters don't matter much.
Use at least 3 contour walls (I'd say 4 is better).
Configure the OpenScad program and print a hollow cylinder so that the roll can turn with less effort.
Attached pictures show the principle. The STL examples included are for a 12mm bar and either a roll with a 31.6 mm hole or one with a 38.4mm hole. Unfortunately the filament roll holes come in many sizes. Read Richard Horne's attempt to promote an universal size (http://richrap.blogspot.ch/2014/03/universal-3d-printing-filament-spool.html).
Use the customizer to specify your size. Hole diameter is 1.2 for a typical retort stand. Filament roll hole diameters seem to vary from 19 to 74 mm. Frequent ones are 31mm, 39mm and 52mm. Outersize diameter ranges from 12.5cm (e.g. Taulman T-glase) to 30cm. Typical outer width (length of the cylinder to print) is from 6cm to 12.5cm.
This piece can be printed with any 3D printer in any quality. I suggest to use some kind of moderate fill. The printer on the picture is a Felix for which I made the cylinder. Cylinders can be printed in any plastic (except TPE). PLA is probably the best solution since its easy to print, cheap, little friction and fairly smooth surface. I was surprised at how smoothly the filament reels now turn.
Tips for slicing and post-processing
- Use a file for smoothing the inside
- A 3.7 x 19.5 cm cylinder can take many hours to print and there are no reasons for working with high quality settings. Printing with 0.25mm is really fine enough. It is more important that the cylinders are round. Therefore, go slowly with the first 2 layers.
In addition, one also could print 2 short extra-cylinders, insert before and after the big one and then use clamps to hold in position (for long "night printings"), but after a few years I stopped using these. If the horizontal bar is horizontal the reel should not slip sideways.
- Of course, publishing a hollow cylinder is not worth a "thing" here, but I am really happy with my chemistry stand solution :)
- Update 24/8/2012: Been using this for over a week now. I still like the setup a lot, but I reprinted the cylinder in better quality using PLA and added clamps. The roll now turns even more easily and can't slip off after a many hours of printing.
- Update 26/10/2012: I am doing unsupervised 24h prints with this setup. Convinced :) The only remaining trouble is irregular filament, but that's a different issue ...
- Update Feb 2016. I still am using this system. I also made it OK for the customizer.