Customizable spool holder for M3D printer

by evandepol, published

Customizable spool holder for M3D printer by evandepol Mar 19, 2015
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This spool holder is intended for the Micro3D printer, and sits on top of the unit, above the extruder, and using the printer chassis as base.

These are brackets only. Two sets are needed, one for each side, then simply add any dowel, rod or tubing of your choosing to complete this thing. Use the customizer on the right and select the tubing diameter you plan to use for the vertical risers and top axle, and the model will adapt. Be careful not to make the vertical fit too snug, or the brackets may split apart.

The vertical risers can be anything that make it tall enough to clear the printer and fit your spool size, minimum 3" recommended; I use 6" vertical risers.

The top brackets hold a horizontal axle, which can easily lift out to change filament. The horizontal top tube needs to be 6.25" in length, and can fit multiple spools.

Update 20160110: the "Global" section in the scad file caused parameters to no longer display in December. This should now work again.


This is an evolution of a holder I made earlier (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:707089), and allows for customization to suit any size rod.

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Did you print this with a raft or not?

Hi! What`s the diameter of the holes?

It's whatever you choose the shaft diameter to be in the customizer :).
On the right hand side you should see an "Open in Customizer" link.
Click that, edit to your needs, generate, and done.

maybe for tube you can use electrical wire tube, these are standard sizes. there's even flexible tube... :)

I'm printing mine now on my brand new m3d - this is so cool. But my question is what size aluminum tube do you recommend?

Best design out there for a M3D spool holder. Thanks for making this.

The customizer appears to be not working :( Please fix.

Please try it again. There appears to have been a change on thingiverse that caused the Global section to not correctly display the parameters. It should be fixed now.

Just wanted to say thanks for putting up this spool holder. I would regularly get issues with tension with the filament, resulting in layer shifting.
With this I haven't had any issues of the sort. :)

I tried to open this in the customizer and nothing showed up to customize, meaning the model showed up but there were not selections to make the hole 12mm. I want to make this for 12mm rods please.

Please try it again. There appears to have been a change on thingiverse that caused the Global section to not correctly display the parameters. It should be fixed now.

Hi evandepol.
Is there a problem with the customizer, i dont see any way of altering the item, there are no controls on the rhs of the model when i open it in customizer

Please try it again. There appears to have been a change on thingiverse that caused the Global section to not correctly display the parameters. It should be fixed now.

After printing this, I found that the lower mounts were a bit flimsy. Really like the top mounts though. So I used the bottom mounts from this one. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:707089 Now it is exactly what I was looking for. Works perfect with HatchBox filament which are twice the size of M3d filament reels.

Spool holder brackets for M3D printer and 1/2" tubing

Without sounding too ridiculous any recommendations on where to get plastic or metal rods to fit this? No hardware places nearby that do it...

I'm in the US, and I got some aluminum tube from a nearby Home Depot.
Domestic copper or plastic PVC plumbing pipe should work. Electrical pipe, wooden dowels. I've seen people use pencils!

Do you have a B&Q, crafts place, or hobby store nearby that might have something?

OK, at least that gives me some ideas! Thanks

have to confess i printed it not on the micro, but on my creatr. 2mm abs creates enough sturdyness to keep the contruction from moving the tiniest bit. seems to work very well from what i can say judging by the first 3 prints.

The construction works fine. Thanks

I got my printer and didn't even try the internal filament feed. I made a set of these and as my dowel was a bit smaller in diameter, I wrapped it with electrical tape where the dowel fits. The M3D spools are very light, only a half pound so I have not noticed any problems like architectjon talked about. The prints are amazingly good. Although much slower than my Kossel, the prints look better so I use it for pilot figures and things that need more detail. Thanks. I use Medium and Medium.

Any suggestions on Print Quality and Fill Density? Medium and Medium?

Yes, that's exactly what I used as well.

This spool holder method has only caused me problems. The weight of the spool is now hanging off of the top of your printer chassis. When the print head moves around it causes the shaking to transfer up to the spool which in turn amplifies the shaking then causing the print head to shift print layers. Once the weight of the spool was taken off of the printer chassis, the print accuracy returned.

Thanks for the feedback architectjon. I've not had any issues myself with accuracy when using this setup, even when loaded with 3 lbs of filament; it has not made any difference for me. One thing I would check in your case: do you have excessive movement for your spindle, or is it a reasonably snug fit? If your fit is one the loose side, I can see how it could sway and introduce problems.

The 6" vertical 1/2" dowels have a very tight fit. The horz 1/2" dowel easily lifts out. The horz dowel is probably the problem, not keeping the entire frame rigid. Either way, I have claimed a multi-tiered rack that my wife bought and never used. It has been working really well. I will keep the parts of the M3D spool holder and will try it again in the future. Thanks for the reply.

I generated a set for 3/4" tubing, and the plate with the two parts had them slightly too close together, so they printed slightly joined, and had to be carefully broken apart. Printing individual parts print fine, of course.

So how is the printer? How's the print quality?
Does it use 1.75mm filament? because a friend of mine will get one in a few weeks and I have a ton of 1.75mm filament that he can use.


I have had the M3D for two weeks, and so far I'm impressed. It's a very easy "out of box experience" because it's a pre-assembled injection molded printer so there's nothing to assemble other than loading filament. It's inexpensive, small, and very portable. And you can load filament internally, making it a very neat looking unit, good for (for example) putting in a kid's room. The trade-offs are that it's slow, has limited print area, and can't operate stand-alone - you need to drive it from a computer. I plan on taking it to Maker Faires, and to drive it from a cheap little WinBook tablet. If you use their filament spools, they're tiny, but since you're only going to print small things it's a reasonable tradeoff. You can use full size filament spools externally, but not that a standard 1 KG spool of filament weighs more than the printer.

I'm impressed with it considering it's still going through a beta phase. The hardware appears to be well enough made, and it certainly looks nice, and while the software and printer worked out of the box for me, there are some rough edges still (mostly software). There was a new software release earlier today that may improve some things.
I've printed some small ornaments and figurines that came out really well.
It uses 1.75mm filament, but have had mixed results; so far only the included M3D PLA has worked consistently well for me.
All in all not bad at all for a $300 printer.

i'm using MG Chemicals PLA, and standard 1.75mm PLA settings in the M3D software, and it's working fine for me...

have you tried PLA from hatchbox?

I have not tried PLA from hatchbox, but on the printm3d forum there are people who report positive results with it. Sounds like it should work.

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