Universal stand-alone filament spool holder (Fully 3D-printable)

by CreativeTools, published

Universal stand-alone filament spool holder (Fully 3D-printable) by CreativeTools Oct 20, 2014

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A fully 3D-printable rotating stand for filament spools, designed to be easily made without the need for fasteners such as screws, nuts, shafts, glue, etc. Every single component in this spool holder comes right from your 3D printer's filament.
The spool holder's spindle is shaped to fit the vast majority of commonly used filament spools with shaft holes ranging from 16 mm to 62 mm in diameter. It is also compatible with spool-less filament coils.
The spindle which holds the spool's weight rotates on its own roller wheels, which makes it turn effortlessly.
The spool holder included an arm for filament guide tubes of both common sizes 1.75 mm and 3.0 mm. The arm also contains a pocket for inserting a piece of sponge which acts a a filament filter - thus keeping the filament clean and lubricated.

  • Easy to 3D print
  • Needs no glue or fasteners
  • All parts can be 3D-printed
  • Fits almost any filament spool size
  • Has built-in filament filter!
  • Can also hold spool-less filament coils
  • Base versions available for standing on flat surfaces or fit on extruded aluminium profiles.
    Next time you need a new filament spool holder, just 3D-print one! :)

Please also see our Universal Cantilevered Spool Holder for 3D printers

By Creative Tools

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Please see video and instructions below:

3D-print only what you need while testing!

As you already realise this image is not the entire filament spool stand (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:508896). It shows a crucial part and best-practice related to 3D-printing.

As with any product development one never knows exactly from start how things will fit together.

Depending on what 3D printer and settings you use, this spool stand will take a few hours to print. It is therefore unnecessary to 3D-print lengthy product iterations just to find out that you need to change a portion of the whole design.

The 3D-prints shown in this image represent the parts of the model with fittings which we wanted to give a test-run before we defined the final dimensions.

Therefore we cut away the smallest possible volume surrounding the fittings and 3D-printed them in a fraction of the time which otherwise would have taken hours and hours to find out.

After measuring the results we could adjust the CAD-model correspondently and get perfect fittings when 3D-printing the final model.

This procedure is perfect for testing overhangs, fittings, crucial dimensions, material consumption cost, etc.

So in other words.... don't waste time and filament! :)

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Gave the spool coil version a try but unfortunately the spool coils I get from makerbox are wound too small to fit. Wish there was a version with shorter arms to accomodate coils that are wound smaller.

Printed great, except for the "Centerring_and_locking_cone". That one has your name protruding out from the bottom, causing the part to be slightly in the air (S3D will place the bottommost part on the platform, so even through your name is under the 0.0 coordinate of the z-axis in the file, it'll be exactly on the axis in S3D). That ruined the print about one hour in, because the adhesion just wasn't there (and I didn't think to check the bottom of that part).

Personally I'd recommend you upload a new version of that file and delete the old one - it serves as a trap and nothing else (PS: I know there's a second file without the text, but I recommend you delete the old one, leaving just the fixed one. No need to leave the "broken" one up). No one can see your name of it's at the bottom of that part, and since it's protruding, it'll likely wear down very quickly - if it prints at all, because it makes contact with the bed in less than 10% of the area.

The rest is absolutely great and well done. Thanks.

First off this printed great. Tolerances were great and everything fit like a glove. However, I dont get this. The path that the filament takes from the spool and into the guide seems logical but once it exits the guide it needs to either go up or down and there's too much friction/resistance if you pull the filament in any direction other than the original direction its going. Am I missing something here? I put some PTFE tubing in and its better but unless the spool holder is bolted down somewhere, pulling the filament thru will lift the entire thing up in the air. Might be better if the arm that the filament goes thru be on an angle.

Is there a chance to modify to Guide Tube holder and filament to have a thread on both ends to fit a PTFE Tube Push Fit Connector ? This is the very best spool holder I've seen and most easy to make too with my printer, everything fits perfectly. Thank you

Comments deleted.

Can this holder be used to stack several (1kg) rolls on top of another while each roll is still movable?

I want to place 5-6 rolls like a tower on a platform above my printer and quickly change from one filament to another.

awesome design . anyone tried to fit it inside a sistema klip it 5l container ?

Is it recommended to print all of the parts in one go using the file where they are all placed closely together? I have the Tevo Tarantula.

I would just like to acknowledge this Amazing design and functionality..Thank you so much for this work of Art..
Just printed in Tech-G clear filament..could not have been happier and so impressed..Sincerely..ca.:)


Thanks for your kind words and appreciation of our filament spool holder. We are very glad that you like it! :)

Just printed the Base_on_2020_Al and it came out great, until I took it off the bed and the tip where the spool attaches snapped off on both prongs to down to the narrowest part of the taper. I was using 0.25 mm layer height out of a 0.4 mm nozzle and that portion of the print was solid PLA with no infill, any advice on how to avoid this on my next attempt would be appreciated.

Hi, NemoKeine.

Thanks for posting your comment. Do you have an image of the failed print so that we can see what you describe?

I think he means the grey part in your pictures where the parts snap on.

Thanks :)

Probably the print can be made stronger by increasing the perimeter lines in the slicer settings. That will make a stronger part.

I had 4 perimeter lines on my slicing, and the section that failed was solid PLA as you can see in the photograph. Could it be the material I printed it in was to stiff for this particular application? [photo attached] https://www.dropbox.com/s/jfyp5h25ejtpjke/2017-04-26%2010.04.28.jpg?dl=0

I have been trying to print the holder. My issue is that the pieces are breaking. I am using XYZ ABS 1.75 filament.

bump up the temp, turn off the fan and try to enclose it into something. cardboard box will do.. if you got one big enough.

Thanks for your comment. ABS is a tricky and difficult filament to print with. If the temperature of the nozzle and the inside of the 3D printer is not optimal, the parts are prone to warping and cracking. If possible, you could 3D-print in PLA or PETG, which will give you much stronger parts.

This impressive design was one of the first I have found when searching for a spool my Printrbot Simple Metal, many other designs also utilize the guide arms and are situated at the top. However, I believe that these 'top' designs for Printrbot are NOT a good idea because the center of gravity is raised; this seems to be confirmed by @proooo in a comments below.

So after more searching I have found an alternative that places the spool on the back - my modification to it can be found here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2034472

'Printrbot Metal Simple' Back Mounted Dual Spool Holder

Thank you Daniel for your comment. It is totally true that having the spool on the top of the PrintrBot Simple Metal is not optimal. We adapted the spool holder due to users asking us if we could adapt it for that purpose. :) We like your simpler and clever solution for the PrintrBot Simple.

Due to popular demand, we have now released the CAD files as STEP format for our Universal stand-alone filament spool holder.

You can download the file "Universal stand-alone filament spool holder (3D-printable) - By CreativeTools.se.stp"

Enjoy and happy holidays to you all :)

Comments deleted.

Is there an stl file for the centering and locking cone that doesn't have the words at the beginning of the print, it starts the actually print on the 3 layer making it impossible for my printer to even get the print started!!!!!!!!

Hi Troy8hohulin, Thanks for posting the question. The first version of the cone can be printed with the pointy side downwards. But we highly recommend you printing a newer and longer version of the cone as seen below.


Is there an stl file for the centering and locking cone that doesn't have the words at the beginning of the print, it starts the actually print on the 3 layer making it impossible for my printer to even get the print started!!!!!!!!

when is the spool holder coming for the flash forge finder

Very soon! (a few days). Please follow us and stay tuned :)

Very soon! (a few days). Please follow us and stay tuned :)

Very soon! (a few days). Please follow us and stay tuned :)

Following and staying tuned, any update on this ...?

Hi Buckwheeat. We released the new spooholder two weeks ago. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1967410

You can always find our designs at http://www.thingiverse.com/CreativeTools/designs.

You can also follow us on social media to get the latest releases as they happen.

Youtube - https://youtube.com/CreativeTools
Facebook - https://facebook.com/creativetools
Twitter - https://twitter.com/CreativeTools
Instagram - https://instagram.com/creative_tools
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/+CreativetoolsSe

External spool holder for the FlashForge Finder 3D printer

How did I miss that !! Printing it now !

Thank you !

We are glad you liked it. Enjoy! :)

We are glad you liked it. Enjoy! :)

Comments deleted.

Any idea how to make this work with the flashforge finder? Dont think my feed tube is long enough...

Thanks for your question! :)

Please follow us here at Thingiverse and stay tuned. There is a really nice spool holder in the making for the FlashForge Finder.

Love it.
its a bit on the loud side tho any way to quiet it down a bit? (:

We're glad you like the spool holder :)

The movement while printing is quite slow and does not make so much sound. But we think that you could try to lubricate the small wheels and the groove they run in, with some thick silicone grease.

CreativeTools, Great spool holder with a lovely simple design. Best I have seen.

One request, the Guide Tube arm is too short for use with 3Kg spools with a diameter of 300mm. Would it be possible to create a Guide Tube with an arm which is 30mm longer? This is enough to provide clearance when using the larger spools.

We're glad you like the design :)

Your wish is granted! You can now download a file named Guide-tube_holder_and_filament_filter_longer.stl

Hope it works and please let us know if you need a modification.

Cheers and we will let you know how it works with a 3kg spool.

This is one of those few outstanding designs on Thingiverse! Functional AND aesthetic. Thank you so much to the creator!

Thank you for your kind words tschaboo! :) We are very glad you like our spool-holder design.

Anyone have problems with the centering and locking cone? When printed it seems like it is trying to print the letters sticking out and thereby not letting the rest of the part adhere to the bed. Is it Simplify3d failing to slice right?

I am printing it standalone.

Oh and this whole thing is awesome. I love some of the design tricks used. Will inspire some of my designs for sure!

Ahhh maybe printing them skinny side down might work

Hope that works seigel. Just let us know if there is something we can help you with. :)

Just a follow up, anyone else had problems with this?, I built it great for use on my fab mini, however I've had to failed prints because if it.
I came back to find the spool holder had been pulled right up to the Extruder at the side of the printer.

I tnink it's the feeder, I built the smaller one, but it doesn't seem to pull and turn very well, was wondering if the larger,longer feeder would work better.?
I've sanded in the tube,and the tracks, but nope , which is a real shame, this is perfect.
So anyone had similar ?, or any ideas?
I just need a good spool holder for large 1k spools?

Thanks for your feedback tozol! We are currently looking at redesigning some parts of the spool holder and upload upgraded files. One thing will be a more flexible tube holder. Stay tuned for more info and files :)

Thanks for reply, I'll hold off printing a different one then

Just want to say, this by far THE best design I've seen on here, brilliant, and I'm just off to get it done. Nice one.

This works great. So glad I found this. I'll post a make once it is done serving filament to my current print job.

One thought / recommendation: I'm feeding an Original Prusa i3, and don't have any kind of feed tube that connects to the arm. I just run the filament through the open 3mm hole (i'm using 1.75, but thought the extra clearance would be better since I don't have a tube). Would it be possible to make another arm that has a much simpler guide hole? I'm thinking drop the cleaner/oiler port and just basically have a nice smooth reverse funnel with a narrow opening sized for 3mm or slightly bigger. The filament can then enter at the "bottom" of the funnel and exit the "top" of the funnel with a nice smooth surface that lets the feeder be above or below the top of the printer.

any ideas how this would function with the robo 3d r1 plus because right now my spool sits on the top of it

Unfortunately we don't have a Robo 3D R1 :( But maybe you could download the part below and adapt it in http://meshmixer.com to fit the 3D printer.


I made remix its in the remix section could have a look and see and give feed back? please and thank you

A kind person just lent us a Robo 3D R1 machine. We will look into making a specialised adapter for the spool holder and then upload it here. We will update the comment to let you know.

Awesome thanks you :D

There is now a file called "Base_for_Robo_3D_R1.stl" that you can download. It has a curvature similar to the top part of the Robo 3D 3D printer. At the bottom you can see three holes into which you can insert M3 screws to fix the base to the printer.

Please note that you will need to use support structures while printing and then break them of. Hope it works and that you like it. :)

which way should it be facing?

Upright with the axle pointing upward and the curved part downward.

It would be great to see a picture of the result of your printed spool holder. :)

ive uploaded a new remix of the base that you made by just adding a little clip because I didn't want to put holes in my r1 just yet because its still covered by the warranty. can you check it out and see if it needs any work to if you have the time

I printed and posted a picture of and cool I th100th person to make it lol and 200th comment yay lol

its printing right now I will upload a picture of it when it finishes

It looks great Kingkuul! :)

Comments deleted.

What did you use to lubricate the filament???

We use rapeseed oil for lubricating the filament.

Hi, the design looks really good, but I have a problem. I have already printed amost all parts.... All of tehm fits perfect, teh thing rollls with no problems. But I wanted to use a spool less filament, a laywood roll. There is a picture here showing a laywood roll. But, has anybody actually tested? because I tried and the filament just gets out of the arms, and basically after some filament being used, the roll is a mess around the center and the holder just dont roll anymore. The filament "escapes" to the inside, not to the outside of the spool holder. Any solutions?

Thank you Tinchus2009 for your comment. We are very glad you liked the spool holder. Handling loose coils of filament is always a bit of a challenge. To help you we have updated the things list here and uploaded two new versions of the files in which you can insert a loop of filament also onto the top part of the holding arms. Please see this image as a reference to the filament loop. http://thingiverse-production-new.s3.amazonaws.com/renders/7a/e4/59/45/c1/Universal_stand-alone_filament_spool_holder__Fully_3D-printable__v14_preview_featured.jpg

The new files you need to download are the following:

  • Spool-less_coil_holder__attachment_v02.stl
  • Spool-less_coil_holder__main_v02.stl

I already printed those parts from the very begining. The filament loop prevents the filament to escape to the outside, but the problem is that actually the filament when it is pulled by the printer, it tends to escape to the inside of the spool.

Please make sure to download the new files below. They did not exist from the very beginning and we modified them specifically for the purpose of inserting a loop of filament - which avoids the filament from escaping inwards.


I Did print those new version files. It doesn't work with spool less laywood rolls
I have checkes everythiong and I have printed all parts and tested them. For other spools the design works really noche, but for lywood rolls... forget it. The problem is the orientation: there is no way of pulling from the filament in an horizontal way. The filament just stretchs and adjust around the spool. When the extruder pulls from the filamet sometimes the filament is pulled, sometimes the filament starts to adjust around the spoll and sometimes it adjusts itselsf so hard that it breaks (laywood is very sensitive to this. So people: great design but it doesnt work with spool less laywood filaments.

Very nice design, which I have pretty much printed by now. After a lot of files-sorting...

You do pride yourself on not wasting filament while at the same time omitting any form of direction for the rest of us to do the same.
There are so many pieces with no immediately recognizeable meaning/function to them.. like the bazillion bases with slightly different names with no reference to function (for normal people not initiated into the aluminium-extrusion World)

The Centerring_and_lockingconenarrow.stl is another issue... I did not know narrow = if you want to use it to Lock it.

How do you make the rollers stay inside the spool-spindle? nails, or?

We are sorry to hear that you did not find the parts of the spool holder self-explanatory. This was an experimental design project aimed to create a spool holder that was 100% made of 3D-printed parts. Please watch the https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6ArZeWYSZE video for further usage clarification.

You wrote: How do you make the rollers stay inside the spool-spindle? nails, or?

Please watch the video at this time in the timeline https://youtu.be/X6ArZeWYSZE?t=1m. You can use 1.75 mm filament which is the most common type of filament on the market. If you use a 3D printer with 3.0 or 2.85 mm filament, we recommend you use piece of wire, nail, or anything else with a similar diameter to 1.75 mm and fix it in place with a drop of glue.

You wrote: You do pride yourself on not wasting filament while at the same time omitting any form of direction for the rest of us to do the same.

We apologize for making you unhappy with our design of the spool holder. Our aim was not to make you confused.

You wrote: ike the bazillion bases with slightly different names with no reference to function (for normal people not initiated into the aluminium-extrusion World)

We designed these parts as a favour to users who asked for the base to be adapted in the different sizes of extruded aluminium profiles.

dintid wrote:

Very nice design, which I have pretty much printed by now. After a lot of files-sorting...

You do pride yourself on not wasting filament while at the same time omitting any form of direction for the rest of us to do the same.
There are so many pieces with no immediately recognizeable meaning/function to them.. like the bazillion bases with slightly different >names with no reference to function (for normal people not initiated into the aluminium-extrusion World)

The Centerring_and_lockingconenarrow.stl is another issue... I did not know narrow = if you want to use it to Lock it.

How do you make the rollers stay inside the spool-spindle? nails, or?

I figured it out.
Mostly I just get tired of the lack of explanations and/or guides. Especially since it in this case goes against the very priciple upon which it is made.
Just a tiny guide on the wheels would be nice :)

About 1,75mm filament being the most common type.. I highly doubt the market is quiet there yet, but it is moving that way for common materials :) I use both sizes, but that is not really important in this case.

Nice build.

We are glad that the parts are together now and appreciate that you like the spool holder. In future things that we release here on Thingiverse we will add more instructions to the designs.

The video is fantastic and works in all languages

Haha, does no one find this super ironic?

Love the design! My new favorite filament holder!

Great Spool Holder!!! Thank you for a great design.

We are glad you liked the spool holder Jimmy! :)

Great design and easy assembly!

I'm still trying out which locking cone works best as it seems to slide up, so I'll print the other versions tomorrow. I printed at 10-15% infill with no supports and 2 perimeter shells. Holds 1kg spool and seems to prints well with it, didn't need any lubricant to function.

The locking cone doesn't really lock the spool in place for me. The spool slides around and the cone pops off. Has anyone else seen that behavior?

You can look at the list of files. There you can find and download the following STL file that we designed to adress this issue.



Should the guide tube holder and filament filter fit flush against the back side of the base slot insert? There's about a half-inch gap there on mine. It fits snug and doesn't come out unless I give it a good tug. I'm just curious. Can you post a picture of the bottom of the entire print so I can see how it is supposed to fit?

What type of oil is recommended as filament lubricant? I do not see any consistent recommendations for lube, or if you should even use a lubricant, from a few google searches. Thanks for any info!

This is great, useful and genial model. Thanks a lot.

Comments deleted.

I love this design, but I'm having trouble with the pieces not fitting together for some reason. The spindle is too big for the hole in the locking cone to fit over it, and the wheels are also too large to spin when in their housing.
I didn't change any of the scaling, so is there a setting in my slicer I can change to result in better fits?

Thank you for doing this. I am printing it out right now. Pretty excited to see what it can do.

I think it would be cool to implement a Bowden extruder into this.

Does this bypass the feed module on my printer? I have an XYZ daVinci Jr. If so, can I sit on top and feed down?

This thing is GENIUS!

What infill percentage should I use? and does it need support?

Is there a version of the spool_spindle.stl with holes for 3mm filament? I don't use 1.75mm filament so...

The guide tube holder has a hole for 1.75 (lower one) and one for 3 (upper one).

I'm talking about the spool spindle. That's the thing you put on top of the base, with the bearing wheels attached to it.
Those holes for the wheels only come in 1.75mm.

Wheels that work on 3mm would be great. i don't have 1.75mm in my house.

I don't suppose you would ever share the source files for this? I would love to make some custom changes to mount it on my printer and possibly use bearings for the wheels.

You can ask for a 1,75 mm sample in any online shop, they will send you for free and you will have all the needed filament.

Didn't know we should use filament to fix those.. I thought to just use some nails :)

In order to fit the full parts I have to shink this down to .49 on my bed just print the individual ones? Micro 3D isn't really the best platform

Universal filament spool holder - M3D version
by leo_acc

This is pure genius... Just printed one to use it on a show. Will be a perfect exemple of perfect 3D design.

Thanks from the deepest of my heart !

Thanks so much for creating and sharing this! This is exactly what I needed, since I discovered certain spools don't fit on the Flashforge Creator Pro's existing spool holders.

I also have the Flashforge creator Pro. I was going to go to the store and buy some pvc and make a wall mount but this looks like it will work great! I will be printing this when my current print is done.

We're glad to hear that you liked the spool holder. :)

i´m having trouble placing the tripod_base.stl in slicer for my delta printer, that has a bed of 15 cm of diameter. the center of the object seems missplaced and i can get the object to fit the printing plate, even when the measures fit that plate, can you help me with that? thanks

The tripod is designed to be able to be printed on a 150 x 150 mm square build plate. Since you have a cylindrical volume we understand that it won't fit. Our best suggestion is for you to cut the STL in two parts (use the softwar netfabb free) and glue them afterwards.

This is brilliant. Thank you. Just printing up the filament guide arm, but even without that it works a treat. Definitely have to print another one for the second extruder! Love the fact that I didn't have to find any other pars to complete it.

We are very glad to hear that you liked it! :) Thanks for the kind words.

Hi! Awesome spoolholder! Just wondering if you could help me choose which version of the tripod I have to print. Tripod_base.stl does not fit on my printbed (only 4.3" x 4.5 :-().

Thanks FisHNorway for your kind words :) We are glad you like to spool holder. If th Tripod base does not fit your build-volume we recommend you to use netfabb Basic to split the STL into two or more smaller parts. You can then print them separately and glue them afterwards.

And is the "Spool-less_coil_holder_main.stl" necessary? I have no spool-less filament rolls.

This part is only necessary if you have spool-less filament coils.

Thanks for the help! Would I need to print the filament tube or is it not necessary? I'll use Netfabb to split the STL, thanks!

You are most welcome! :)

You won't need to print the filament tube guide.

Thanks for creating this! How close does the filament spool need to be to the printer for it to have no problems printing? And can it be mounted on a wall?

Sure! No problem. :-) You can easily mount the spool holder on the wall as long as you still can pull the filament and feel little or no resistance.

Remember that by lubricating the filament with oil will considerably reduce friction inside the guide tube.

If you lead the filament from the spool naked without guide tube, then there is no distance limit.

That was an impressive video.
Not only do I love your design, I really loved picking up a few techniques from it.

Using filament as the axel for the rolling wheels was great!

Comments deleted.

Thank you for your comment Nathan! :) We are glad you enjoy the filament spool holder. :)

Where can I find a base for a 75mm frame (Prusa i3 Hephestos) ?

This thing is updated with the following three new STL files. A curtesy by Elmo Clarity (thingiverse.com/ElmoC/about) who adapted the base part for easier 3D printing.

  • Base_on_2020_Al_beam_extrusion (Split version adapted by Elmo Clarity).stl
  • Base_on_4020_Al_beam_extrusion (Split version adapted by Elmo Clarity).stl
  • Base_on_Al_beam_extrusion_top (Split version adapted by Elmo Clarity).stl

Thanks Elmo! :)


Universal stand-alone filament spool holder (Fully 3D-printable)
by ElmoC

Thanks for sharing . Once I get my printer built and tuned This will be my first print attempt . This looks so functional and awesome. Hope I can pull off the print.


Glad you liked it MannyJayBustos! Just let us know here if you have any questions. Good luck with the print!

Can't wait to print it, nice work

Thanks! :) Glad you liked it.

AMAZING!!! Use this everyday! Thanks so much for the brilliant deasign!

Thanks PrintThatThing! :) Glad you liked it.

Thanks a lot for sharing this great work. What is the diameter of the spool-less filament coils ? My spool-less filament has a diameter of 220mm.

Thanks Viald!

The arms of the spool-less coil holder have a core diameter of roughly 200 mm. We made two holes at the end of the claws to fit a small loop of filament so it can hold slightly larger spools. See the image below:


Absolutely brilliant!!! The best so far I've seen. Cannot wait to print it out.

Thanks neildonn for the kind words! :) We are glad you like it and hope you enjoy your printed filament spool holder.

that is a professional video, -- i wetn to make copies of the bearings so i wouldnt have to do 1 at a time , when i put 5 or 6 into slicr, it made the image and gcode then the printer proceeded to get about 4 or 5 layers and juts abruptly stop .. so then i tried 2 , then 3 .. i guess u dont push your luck .. ha .. baby steps ..

This thing is exactly what I needed. I get filament from Ultimachine in coils and hate the options out there for managing them while printing. This is great. Just great.

Thanks for commenting :) We are really glad you liked our spool holder and that it fits your filament coils.

This doesn't look Simple Makerable. Could you draw up a weld together version of this that will fit in a 100x100x100(98x98x100ish, Cura limits us):) build plate?

Thanks jacobaaron11 for your comment. Unfortunately the design is not suitable for adaptation to this print volume. Our advice to you is to download the files and split the ones that are to too large.

You can use a software called netfabb Basic for doing this. http://www.netfabb.com/downloadcenter.php?basic=1

Hello all,

I just wanted to "put some salt in the wound" - if theres a wound. I tried printing it for Printrbot Simple Metal Black.
Printing went pretty well - but in operation this spool on top of a Printrbot, a no-go.. You will then have to babysit your 3dprint all the time..

So Printrbot-people, be aware of top-mounted spool holders..

What problems are you having? I've been using this spool holder on my Printrbot Simple Metal for a couple months now with no problems at all.

Thanks for your reply.
I have the problems that the filament wont roll easily of the spool - causing the whole thing to fall off (because of momentum)..

Perhaps it could be tightened more so that it would not trip over so easy?
Anyway - I believe its connected to the filament rolled on the spool. Agree?

Sometimes filament spools can be "faulty" from the fabrication process if the filament is too tightly wound. When this happens the easiest way to solve the problem is te rewind the filament onto another spool. With a power drill and a bit of patience, it is quite easy to do. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic0sLUblIf8

Great model with the behavior of a 3D printer in mind. My only complaint is the centering plug thing has raised lettering which prevents it from sitting flat without support material. that's the only complaint I have :) Everything else about this design is great. I would have paid money for it lol

Mine printed flat without support material and I've printed both the original style plug and the new, narrow one. It did seem they changed the design of the lettering for the narrow plug, so you may want to try printing that one instead. It also holds the spools better.

Thanks vcolombo for answering. It is true that the narrower and taller version of the cone is an improvement of the earlier version. :)

We added two new parts as follows:

  • Spool spindel (4 inches tall).stl - A shorter version of the spindle made to be printed on 3D printers with 4 inch build height.
  • Centering and locking cone (narrow).stl - A new version of the cone to center the spools on the spindle. The taller and narrower shape makes it suitable to fix spools with small axel holes.

There is now a new file of the base stand which fits 15 mm square extruded profiles.

  • Base on 1515 Al beam extrusion.stl

I need a base on 15X15 is it possible add it?

No problem! :)

Please donwload Base on 1515 Al beam extrusion.stl

I tried this out for the first time on my Wilson. I don't know how others have found this but with vinyl tubing (water tubing) as a guide I got too much friction to easily pull filament from the spool mounted horizontally above the extruder. Maybe with Teflon tubing it would work, but I think a vertical or even a diagonal guide would work better than a horizontal one, it's simply asking too much for the filament to make a 90 degree turn on a dime from the spool down to the extruder. Probably would need a Teflon roller above a vertical guide (or a Teflon roller on the side of a horizontal one) for this to work right. I can hear my extruder strain to yank on the filament. The spool turns easy enough, it's the friction of the filament in the guide.

Thanks for your feedback! We will take that into in consideration regarding future updates to this filament holder. We fully understand that the holding arm should lead the filament vertically downwards when the spool stand is mounted above the extruder.

What size spools (max dia) does each of the two guide arms allow? I'm trying to decide which one to print based on the spools I usually use.
So far I just printed the 2020 base and it sits PERFECTLY atop my RepRap Wilson!

We are really glad to hear that you had good use for the 2020 base of our filament stand. :)

Regarding the length of the arm. The long version is made to fit MakerBots new 5th generation larger spools (at 250 mm diameter). The shorter arm is suitable for the usual standard 1 kg spools at about 200 mm in diameter.

What an awsome design! I printed everything and am happy with the visual result. All assembled, however, the friction between de bearing weels and the support is to high so it will not rotate smoothly enough. Also, the cone comes loose at the rop.

Printed with PLA, 210 degrees, 0.28 mm layers, 35mm/s speed, 4 perimiters of approx. 0.5mm thick.

[edit] After some sanding and lubrication with thin machine oil, it now runs smooth enough!!! Happy with it! [/edit]

greetz, Arthur.

We are glad you could make it run smoothly! Enjoy the filament stand! :)

Did you use support or raft? Should I?

It depends of what 3D-printer, plastic and settings you use. If you are unsure you should use raft and support. All parts are designed to be possible to print with PLA plastic directly onto a suitable print bed surface, without the need of raft or support.

To be on the safe side, use PLA with slow print speeds such as 30 mm/s and make sure that you have a good and effective cooling fan aiming at the 3D-printed object.

How is the locking mechanism inside the cone supposed to work?

My first print failed as the mechanism fell over during the print.. So then I created supported and printed it again.. And once I managed to release it, it just snapped as it was inline with the grain/layers of the print.

I assume its supposed to act like a spring.. But is seems a bit thick to do this, without snapping.

My plan now is to put some 'foam' in the square recess which is left, which should add some 'friction'.. But this isn't ideal.

Am I doing something wrong?


Thanks for your feedback Jon,

The springiness of the "friction tongue" is defined by the number of shells (perimeters) of your printing settings as well as the "quality" or type of filament.

Depending on what material you are using you get different results. We recommend you to try a print with 3 or more shells for increased strength. Also print at 0.2 or 0.3 mm layer thickness.

If you having trouble with layer adhesion (if the tongue breaks) then you could try to print in PLA filament at 230 °C and slow speed (30 mm/s). If you choose ABS plastic you can also increase the strength of the model by treating the surface with a thin layer of acetone.

For best results you could also choose to print with nylon-base filaments such as from Taulman3D (http://bit.ly/1d4W9ea). That will make the parts super strong! :)

I am using PLA and printing at 185 (205 on the first layer), and have already identified that my inter-layer adhesion is pretty poor.

I am printing at 1.2mm walls (so with a 0.4mm nozzle, thats 3 shells) and am using 50% infil as I wanted it to be strong. And am printing 0.2mm layers, so I am OK in this area.

I don't mind slowing down and heating up.. But I am not going to buy different filaments until my current stock runs out...

I think I might do a few tests this week with vertical shafts to see if I can do anything to make things a bit stronger...

But I am not convinced that my current setup will ever be able to produce that "Friction Tougue" that will always be under tension, and think I might look elsewhere for a different design (i.e as I said a piece of foam in the recess where the tongue used to be).

Thanks for your update. Your settings seem to be just OK and hopefully you will print a working version.

Nevertheless you just came up with a splendid idea! If the tongue breaks of you could, as you wrote, just put a piece of foam or rubber to take up the space and create friction.

We will see if we can make a derivative of the cone building on your idea. Maybe there is a simple way to put a commonly available office rubber band to create the friction force.


We updated this thing with a new file (Base on 4040 Al beam extrusion.stl). This base stand fits square extruded aluminium profiles measuring 40 x 40 mm.

What do you use to lubricate the filament?

We use commonly available lubricating oils such as for door hinges, sewing machines, etc.

Sewing machine oil will influence the printing effect? Thank you very much!

How many millimeters - or rather centimetres of filament should I have before printing this? Any experiences with this?
I have only the small spool of filament that I got with the purchase of Printrbot Simple Metal just recently.

Probably its not enough for all I want to print...

The small spools usually have about 300 grams of filament. This is more than enough to print the complete stand. Below are the consumption values for all the parts.

Build time: 11 hours 21 minutes
Filament length: 44659.1 mm
Plastic weight: 134.27 grams (0.30 lb)

At what infill and speed? The base alone took 8 hours at 20% infill.

We usually 3D-print at 15% infill and 3 perimeters. The speed is usuall 40 mm/s.

Hey... nice work!

I really need something like this, but in a kind of a vertical way. Could you please remix your print, that I can mount it directly on a wall or something?

Would be very nice! :-)

That is a good idea. We will look into this and see how we best can adapt the design surfaces. Thanks for your suggestion!

Just got my Printrbot Simple Metal the other day. After fiddling with it and getting it adjusted out, getting some great print output. One thing I wished I had purchased with it was a spool holder. Was planning on making one out of PVC pipes until I came across this wonderful project. Started printing out the base for the Printrbot not realizing how it was used. After an hour of printing, it dawned on me. It goes on the top of the z-axis bars. Even better. But then started thinking. How does that affect the stability of the printer moving the center of gravity so much higher? Anyone with a Printrbot who is using this have any comments on the stability of the unit with a 1kg spool up top?

Oh, and I really could have used this spool holder while I was printing it. :)

Just a quick update on the stability of the printer with the spool up top. Seems really stable so not too worried about it. However, I am going to print some wide feet for it anyways. Just to be sure.

We are really glad you liked it! :)

I was looking for a much better filament holder for my modded XYZ Da Vinci.....

Saw this one and decided which version too print, printed beautifully if not alittle long on 0.1 resolution
I've used PTFE tubing both sides of the cleaner. AWESOME

Thank You for sharing.....

You are welcome! We are glad you liked the spool stand and found it useful. :)

You beat me to the printrbot spindle adapter! Well done and thanks! I have to dream up something else to design now while it prints...:)

It is a 3d-print race! :)

Glad you liked it!

Wow congratulations to this awesome desin and thank you for sharing it. This is why I love the maker scene so much.
Is there any chance to get a Base for the smartrap like your printrbot Base?

Thanks for your kind words :)

Sure... we would be glad to adapt it. Please describe the attachment dimensions. We need to know the diameter of the rods as well as the distance between the centers of the rods.

Comments deleted.

Is there any chance of a "Base on 40x20 V-Slot beam extrusion.stl"? By that I mean the base modified to fit onto any 40mm t-slot /v-slot profile :-)

You asked and we deliver! ;)

Please download the file "Base on 4020 Al beam extrusion.stl"

Thanks guys! Printing it now. :-)

There is now also a new version of the guide tube holder which is now shorter and fits smaller spools.

Please download the file: Guide-tube_holder_and_filamentfilter(shorter).stl

For users who want to place the filament spool stand on square extruder aluminium profiles, we have now updated the base STL to fit both 25x25 mm and 30x30 mm beams.

Please download the files below correspondent to your beam.

  • Base on 2525 Al beam extrusion.stl
  • Base on 3030 Al beam extrusion.stl

Thank-you very much for this!

Sorry for rude comment, I was disappointed yesterday by my failed print. Thank you for fixing the issue!

No problem nzzz :)

Your comment was not rude at all. It is a very valid point to be able to print more easily by having a flat base which offers better adhesion.

We have now included a new version of the centering cone which has a fully flat base and can therefore be 3D-printed standing on its large base instead of the tip of the cone.

Please download the file: Centerring_and_lockingcone(flat_base).stl

It was a great idea to emboss your logo on bigger surface of the cone, so cone doesn't stick to the printing surface. Great waste of filament, some hours in Blender trying to remove embossed text. Will remember your logo forever.

Thanks nzzz for your feedback :)

We have now added a new file called Centerring_and_lockingcone(flat_base).stl. It has a completely flat bottom.

This thing is now updated with a new and taller version of the spool spindle at a total height of 200 mm (7.9 inches).

Please download the file Spool_spindle_200mm_tall.stl

My eye had been catch by this holder, when My PRUSA i3 3D printer was ready for work, and just waiting for a flament holder. I think this is a very good design, will be functional in most cases when properly constructed.I can tell the designer put lots effort into this.

Then later I think it was fun to print, but turned out not too useful for me, as the tunnel for filament in the satellite arm is straight instead of bend, added the length make it produce a little too much fiction for the filament. and for my printer the filament must first go from desktop level to the top of my printer frame, then go back to the extruder, the travel angle make it almost unworkable. Also for my cheap Chinese filament, the spool hole is small and the overall spool is quite tall, make the cone not able to secure.

I still find this piece very enjoyable, and very inspirational, will save it for future use.

Thanks for your feedback larry_h. Our suggestion would be for you to slightly modify the length of the arm and the filament spindle so that it fits your needs.

These changes are very easy to make since they are only straight cuts or elongations in one axis. For instance you could use the software netfabb Basic to cut the spindle's filament axel at any hight, move it up and then join the two parts together. Then you would have a long filament spindle. Make sure not to make it taller than what your 3D printer can make.

We will make this modification for you and post a new taller spindle STL file.

Looks awesome! I will be printing this out!

Awesome! It's one of the most useful accessories that I've ever printed!

We're really glad that you liked it and that you found the filament stand useful! :)

The locking cone wouldn't need to be printed upside down if there weren't text embossed on the top of the cone. I didn't discover that until I started printing.

Next time, deboss the text on the surface that you would logically be printing on. Just a thought.

Thanks for your feedback. That is totally true about the embossing. We chose to put the cone on its tip to be able to make more room for the 3D-print plates with all parts in one build volume.

I built one of these. Running a 1kg filament spool. The wheels weren't quite perfect so the spool just spins without the wheels turning. Also the filament feeder is more of a hindrance than a help. It just creates more drag. Otherwise, it is doing its job and looks great.

You could try to hold the wheels on a long nail through their holes. Then press it against a flat piece of sand paper on a table top. Move the nail with the wheels in a diagonal fashion so that you make them turn but at the same time also achieve som sanding of the wheels. This should make them round which makes them turn easier.

New (repaired) part uploaded: Base_on_2020_Al_beam_extrusion_v02.stl

Bukobot owner reporting in - is there any chance you could make a base for 2525 extrusion as well? I would definitely appreciate it.

Your wish is our command :) There are now 25x25 mm and 30x30 mm versions of the base part. You can download the files:

  • Base on 2525 Al beam extrusion.stl
  • Base on 3030 Al beam extrusion.stl

Hi there, out of curiosity, how tall is the overall spool holder, from base to the top of the spool shaft? I'm wondering if it will fit in the space I have for it.

Edit: wondering about the normal table base one.

The total hight of an assembled filament spool holder is exactly 136 mm (5.35 inches). This thing is designed to be printed in separate parts. The tallest part is the "Spool_spindle.stl" which measures 113 mm (4.5 inches).

Awesome, thanks for that. I might just get away with what I'm trying to do!

I'm impressed makerbot decided to feature this, seeing as their Gen5 printers won't work with this.

They themselves have gone closed source and aren't as compatible as before but that shouldn't stop them featuring this.

Amazing, printing it right now....

Excellent design, I made it but now I see a problem: the filament becomes tangled on itself.
Perhaps it is possible to reduce the effect with an higher arm in order to mantain the filament coil near the original position, don't you?

Filament entanglement is a very common cause of air prints (3D printer extruder can't pull the filament when it gets stuck in a knot). The most common underlying reason is that the filament tip at some stage becomes loose and get twined. In the long run this causes a knot to form.

We designed the arm on the filament spool holder to give an adequate entrance point for the filament for most sizes of spools. So far no knots have occurred.

THANK YOU! Great video too.

Printin' this thing ASAP!

I must say it. The little cone is the best idea I've seen in a while. To the one who had the idea: I love you!

Thanks for the very kind words. :) It is great to hear that you liked the filament spool stand and the function of the cone. We are all 3D-print addicts here at Creative Tools and sometimes our ideas manage to convert into a useful 3D-printed object ;)

I'd like to see a version of the base that could be mounted atop the horizontal support of a printer made from 2020 aluminum such as the RepRap Wilson. You would need a channel grove in the bottom to sit on top of the 2020 extrusion, and two arms coming out 180 degrees apart with bolt holes to attached to T nuts in the channel with screws. Can you post cad file sources for the base part?

It sounds like a great idea to make the base adapted to fit on top of a 20x20 mm extruded aluminium beam. So we gave it a try and have a file available for test! :)

Please download "Base_on_2020_Al_beam_extrusion_v02.stl" and see if it works. It should work fine. The narrow surface could be a bit tricky to remain firm on the build plate but if you turn on extra adhesion such as raft or brim it should work fine.

Oh one more thing, can you make a plate of parts without the base so I don't have to print it twice and waste plastic? You don't have some of the small parts such as the wheels by themselves, only on the two plates that include the free standing base.

OK never mind, I do see the little wheels by themselves, I will have to make my own plate of parts with slic3r or repetiere host.

I quickly loaded this into slic3r to see how it would look. At 50% infill would take over 6hrs to print and 46 meters of 1.75 filament. At 15% infill about 4 hours and 27 meters of filament. What settings did you use?

I'll try printing the base over the weekend if I get a chance. Haven't built my new Wilson yet, still printing the last of the parts on my Repstrap. I could enable support material to hold up the base while it prints, Rafts are such a pain in the butt to remove!

The parts in this filament spool stand are printed with the following settings:

  • Shells: 2
  • Infill: 10%
  • Layer height: 0.2 mm
  • Print speed: 60 mm/s
  • Travel speed: 150 mm/s

Anyone know the measurements of the individual parts. I have a printrbot and it doesn't have a huge build area. It's 150x150x150 mm.

There is now a new base part which can be place on top of the Printrbot 3D-printer's Z-rods. You can download the STL file named: Base for "Printrbot.stl"

All individual parts are designed so that they can be 3D-printed within the max build volume of 15 x 15 x 15 cm. Most parts don't have any severe overhang surfaces. It should work fine and let us know if you have any issues.

Thats great! I'm going to try to print it this weekend

This awesome! I love it!

Such an amazing design! Great work!

Quick question! I 3D printed this spool holder! It's a very nice design, but what infill did you print with? At 5% infill, the holder wasn't heavy enough and lifted off the ground instead of traveling through the guide arm.

Normally we 3D-print at 10% or 15%. Our suggestion would be for you to glue metal plate to the bottom of the tripod. Otherwise you can also just screw the tripod base to a wooden board. There is a hole underneath the tripod which was designed for that purpose.

so awesome. love the filament axles

Excellent design. Printing right now
I'm assuming this can be used on a Replicator 2 (since you provide the single print files for the rep2 build plate) however I'm not seeing how its supposed to be attached to the back of the printer
The regular spool holder hooks into the holes at the back of the printer. I dont see that attachment

Glad you liked it!

The filament spool holder is designed to work as a stand-alone accessory which simply stands on your desktop. In a way it is more practical since you can always see the spool and access it, which is not the case if the spool hangs on the backside of the Replicator 2.

I didnt catch that - very cool

Thank you, very cool!

well done! Starting up my printer now ;)

I like your Spool holder. Great design, much much thanks.

We are glad you liked it!

mind explaining why 4x4x6 can't print this. it looks small then it comes out big on repetier

Assuming that by "4x4x6" you mean build volume of your 3D printer in inches (1 inch = 2.54 mm), then the max width and depth you can 3D print would equal 101,6 mm. This is unfortunately too small to be able to fit most parts of this spool holder.

Nevertheless you can download them and cut them in smaller parts which you then can 3D-print individually and glue together. We recommend you using a software called netfabb Basic (http://www.netfabb.com/downloadcenter.php?basic=1).

  • Download and install netfabb
  • Import an STL file
  • On the right side below the parts list there are three sliders
  • Drag any slider to until you see a slicing plane on the model in the 3D view
  • Choose the appropriate slider and (X, Y or Z) and place it where you want to cut the model
  • Press the button "Execute cut"
  • Now you have two parts
  • Right-click on one and save as STL
  • 3D-print them individually

No idea if Norbu1987 found this reply useful but I did. Thanks for the design and the advice above, while my tiny build area on the fabrikator mini (aka tiny boy) is only 80x80x80mm I've just managed to slice up the main parts nicely to fit within it.

Project for the weekend is gluing it all together once i've printed. Fingers crossed it works.

We are glad to hear that you managed to split the parts and print them. Good luck with the assembly and enjoy the spool holder :)

Your video shows you dripping a fluid into the filter. What is it and what filament type is it usable on?

Any lubricant that makes the filament glide easier in the flexible guide tube leading to the extruder and also inside the extruder where the filament travels down to the hot-end where it melts.

We have made many tests with common mineral oil (for sewing machines, bicycle chains, etc) which works well. We have also tried with cooking oil which had the same positive effect.

As filament we use almost every polymer which we can find out there such as PLA, ABS, Nylon, etc. (we love to experiment) :)

Neat! btw, the Centerring_and_locking_cone.stl is upside down. It wasn't immediately obvious that it wouldn't print as is.

Thank you tbuser for noting that. The best way to print this cone is tip-down. The adhesion surface to the plat is not very large but it should stay still during 3D-print. Otherwise we recommend to print with a raft.

Great design, much much thanks...especially great for those of us with Makerbots that use odd spools.

You are welcome! :)

Way to go! Clever and useful.

Thanks! Glad you liked it :)

Thanks! Glad you liked it :)

This is great!

.. How many KGs are on that gigantic spool? I have to get myself one of those! :)

Thanks! :)

The largest filament spool is the XXL from MakerBot. It contains a whopping 4.5 kg!