Parametric universal spool holder

by rowokii, published

Parametric universal spool holder by rowokii Apr 11, 2015
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"Universal Spool Holder 18-56mm II, 606ZZ/608ZZ" by cntrlV seemed like a nice design, but my spool had 60mm hole.

I made a simple parametric version in scad. I added a thin boundary above the bearing, so you need to drill it out or clean up after print, but it makes printing easier. I also made a spacer to put between the bearing and the holder so the bearing does not bind against the holder.

The uploaded stl file is for a 25-70mm holder using 608 bearing.

Update: The hole for the bearing on the uploaded stl is a tight fit (I have it set to 22mm, and 608 bearing has 22mm diameter). Depending on how well your printer is calibrated, you may want to enlarge the diameter a bit.

Update 4/16: Uploaded clip that can be used instead of a nut for quicker changes. Top side of the clip (as printed) goes toward the bearing.

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Aug 13, 2017 - Modified Aug 13, 2017

Awesome! This is THE ONE! I've been trying a few different things to keep the spools under control, but kept having them roll ahead under their own weight... especially when full. This would result in loops of filament falling off the side and wrapping around the printer frame. Only a matter of time before it would snag and make the extruder start grinding the filament.
Now I know for sure that it was because the spool was not balanced on the threaded rod. This works.

I made only a few changes:
-- Open up the through hole a bit to make sure it wouldn't drag on the threaded rod.
-- Make the bearing height parameter slightly larger, so the the bearing can sit further down in the pocket.
-- Made another small part I'm calling a "tapered bearing washer", with the small end the diameter of the inner bearing race, and a larger end just bigger the the diameter across the points of the nut. This way I'm sure that contact is made only with the inner race, so snugging up the nuts won't add any drag to the outer race and spool.

The bearing pocket diameter seemed okay for my bearings. After printing, I chamfered the corner a bit with a deburring tool, and went around the outer edge of the bearing pocket with 60 grit sandpaper around a piece of dowel, just to make sure any high spots were cleaned up. Then used a C-clamp to press the bearing in, kind of like a press fit of a wheel bearing.


Aug 1, 2017 - Modified Aug 1, 2017

My printer is calibrated perfectly, but the hold is way too small for the bearing. I've had other designs where it fit snugly. Here's a neat little trick to make a bearing fit into a hole that is too small: heat up the bearing by placing a hot glue gun through its hole. When it's hot to the touch, simply slide the bearing into the PLA part using the glue gun (while keeping the glue gun in the bearing). The bearing will slowly and effortlessly slide through the hole by warming up the PLA around it. You can use this trick if you want to slide any metal object into PLA with tight tolerances. I've used it to slide magnets into tight holes as well and it works beautifully!
The other issue with this design is the default size of the hole for the rod is way too tight! It provides way too much friction onto the rod and does not spin. There's no reason for it to be tight. It's supposed to be bigger than the hole in the bearing so that it can spin freely around the rod. I realize you can change it in Customizer, but the default should definitely be more than 8.1 because my first print was no good since I used the default values.

I did the same with a soldering iron. Simply placed the bearing over the hole and lined it up, applied the heat and a bit of pressure and it dropped right in. Saves hours of reprinting and fiddling with the code/size. Thanks mza1979m for this idea. Thanks OP for the design!

I am curious to know if anybody can answer my question? Why would you need this opposed to just putting the spool on the threaded rod itself? What benefit does this have opposed to that?

In other words, it almost completely eliminates the friction between the spool and the rod, making it far easier for the extruder to pull the filament through because the spool spins so much easier. The closer the rod is to the center of the spool, the more balanced the spool is as it spins, since it now spins around the rod evenly without swaying back and forth.

Spool rotates more smoothly without swings providing more even flow of filament.

Jul 11, 2017 - Modified Jul 11, 2017

This one of those designs that are not only simple but works excellently and has a nice look to it. it is also one that was actually printed by the maker ans knows that it works.

I could not get the bearings to fit but because this very very thoughtful designer/maker mentioned that he used OpenSCAD it was really easy to adjust the hole to the correct size.

I very much like that he mentioned the software used. I`m planning on adding my "design" files to the stl files for download when I post my "makes"

Jul 2, 2017 - Modified Jul 2, 2017

Just printed this piece. Works perfectly. Had to use a rubber mallet to tappa tappa tappa the bearings in. Printed the clips for ease, great addition. The clips are somewhat weak, I snapped two in a row trying to get them onto the threaded rod. I printed all these parts in PLA since they won't be going near heat, to solve the weak clips though I would use PETG or ABS. Cannot say much for improvements on my print quality as I already have my ANET A8 dialed in fairly well. I'm sure if I had any under-extrusion issues this might solve it.

Jul 11, 2017 - Modified Jul 11, 2017
AlwaysExploring - in reply to halsafar

Hi I also printed this. Just "screw" the clip from the end of the rod. Mine did not snap but I use so many setting that it may have had more fill than normal. BTW I also printed in PLA. Just use a little more less fill for flexibility.

O just printed the holder and fits perfectly into 608 bearings, no issues anymore with filament jam, thank you!
Regarding the clip, it looks to have dimensions M6 instead M8, can't attach to the rod...

Just give it a little "push" it fits :-)

Building a filament holder with this item, used 608 bearings, made a dramatic difference in quality of print on my setup. My spools had big holes as well and these work perfect. Thanks!

what bearrings are you using? i just broke one trying to fit a 608

I also broke one fitting the 608. The tolerances are not very good around the world.

However if you open the design in OpenSCad just change the parameters in the left column to look like this:

// bearing dimensions
bearing_d = 22; //just change this to 22.2
bearing_h = 7;

Hey there, I made a design incorporating this set. Will attribute, thanks!

Overhead, 45 deg. spool holder for 3030 extrusion

Version for spools with a 100mm hole?

Jul 11, 2017 - Modified Jul 11, 2017

If you don`t have it download Open SCAD and install it.

Open the STL file then change the parameters. Remember to "Render" afterwards and save the file in STL format on your computer.

Try playing with the following code and see what happens. Notice that my comments for possible changes are in {{ }}

// bearing dimentions
bearing_d = 22;
bearing_h = 7;

// max and min size of the spool holder diameter
max_d = 70; {{Change this to 110 and see what happens.}}
min_d = 25;

// height of the holder
cone_h = 30; {{You could change this as well but it is not really necessary}}

// rod diameter
rod_d = 8.1;

// circle control
$fa = 1;
$fs = 1;

Thanks for the great design, it's actually improved the quality of my prints, as the filament doesn't have to be pulled so hard by the stepper.

Comments deleted.

Great design. The bearings i used have a 8mm ID and a 23mm OD. In order to get the bearing to fit I had to increase both the x & y axis dimension to 65.5 in Cura. They work great! Thanks.

I want to say Thank You for this design and posting your work for others to use.

You have a typo in your code. Replace plus sign:

// the center rod

with minus, like this, in other case the hole for rod gets blocked by a layer of plastic:

// the center rod

Thanks for this. I was wondering what I was doing wrong in OpenSCAD...

Do you use 8mm threaded rod or slightly less than that?

Would it work with the spool horizontal?

Thanks for this design, I love it.

I'm no good with scad but it would be awesome to see this combined with emmett's parametric gear bearing so no 608's need to be added.

Gear Bearing
by emmett

I was going to say exactly the same thing! A remix with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:53451 would remove the need for added bearings and could even be printed in one shot, no assembly needed. Not into drawing and remixing yet but someone should do it for sure!

Gear Bearing
by emmett

I was going to say exactly the same thing! A remix with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:53451 would remove the need for added bearings and could even be printed in one shot, no assembly needed. Not into drawing and remixing yet but someone should do it for sure!

Gear Bearing
by emmett

Good work!

Still, a couple proposals:

  1. In spool_holder.scad, line 29, should be "cylinder(r=rod_d/2, h=cone_h+.1);", no "translate" required
    Otherwise, the rod hole might get blocked with plastic e.g. with these params:
    2.Additionally, imo, would be better to make the bearing cylinder a bit larger, e.g. 8.1-8.2 by default

Printed it and love it.

I have an M8x150mm coach bolt as the axle, mounted through an 8mm hole in a piece of timber. The bearing fit was very tight. I softened the print up with a heat gun, then used my vise to squeeze the bearing in. A suggestion for the next version: print the "washers" in place rather than as separate pieces.

I just printed the original of this design, only to realize like you my spool was larger than 56mm (57 actually haha) so I printed this one along with the genius clips that have saved my raggedy filament holder I cobbled together in my rage! Thanks for the share!

Apr 15, 2015 - Modified Apr 15, 2015

I had drilled out one nozzle to .5mm and u can go to 75% of nozzle diam. for the print height, which is .375mm and makes a lot of difference in accuracy of the print, esp if there are holes and circles... pla rules for just laying down on the glass and not having to have funky sticking procedures to minimize warping, but pla dries so hard that it doenst 'snap' together with other stuff well so , since i am out of PLA, adn had the abs , i went with that thinking the bearing would snap in better , i'm not too advanced on the 3d design yet , as u can see i only have posted one simple design, i did learn solid works but that was 10 yrs ago and havent used since. i did increase the printing speed to 100mm for infills about a week ago. the color of dye in your material also affects the temp you need to extrude so maybe my gold pla dries harder than your red color. i did use slic3r but have not fooled with the xy comp much , ill look into that, thx. You must have printed 2 spool holders at a time to only have spent less than 2 hrs for both, or maybe the rectilinear fill is much quicker than the honeycomb. ha ha, the fine line between the perfectionist and the cheapskate ! i have yet to do a circular / spiral bed calibration to make sure thickness stays the same!! on the list of to-do's though !!!

Apr 14, 2015 - Modified Apr 14, 2015

each one of the spool holders takes no less than 2hr 20 min, about 40% infill , honeycomb and .3mm layer height -
perhaps if i used more accuracy (.2mm lh) the hole for the bearing would have been better ? my product requires alot of scraping around the edges , sort of chamfering or hogging, reaming it out in order for my bearing to fit in the socket nicely as shown in your picture. Material was ABS, had the bed at 99deg C, had glass with kapton tape on it , had dropped some polyurethane on it for stick as i had no hair spray or superglue. The black ABS 1.75mm used was extruded at about 225-230C. Each spool holder weighs ~ 20g, a far amount off from the prediction cura gave of only 5g.

Apr 14, 2015 - Modified Apr 15, 2015
rowokii - in reply to freNRG

The fitting of the bearing to the hole really depends on your printer. Sorry you had so much trouble. On my machine, the 22mm hole come out ~22 to 22.05mm, which makes it a very snug fit. I just set the bearing on the table and pressed the holder down using my weight. I think how well you have tuned the extruder flow rate and speed you print have more to do than the layer height. If you ever want to print it again, you can enlarge the 22mm to something a bit larger as compensation. If you use slic3r, the new version has xy compensation setting as well. I've only printed PLA, so I don't have any experience with ABS. 210C with 65C bed, printed with 25% infill, rectilinear and .35mm layer height (I have .5mm hotend)... took around 1:45 for the pair I think? I didn't note how much plastic was used.

If you want to get more accurate fitting parts, try:
"Part Fitting Calibration by MEH4d" (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:342198) or
"Nickle Calibration by jvanroekel" (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:84795)...

Perfectionist in me kicked in and I spent a lot of time trying to tune the machine until the cheapskate in me told me to stop wasting plastic and time! :)

Part Fitting Calibration
by MEH4d
Nickle Calibration

Do not understand how is the washer use. And spool holder with bearing only for 1 side? Thank you for sharing .

Apr 13, 2015 - Modified Apr 13, 2015
rowokii - in reply to oldmaker

You need two of everything, one for each side of the spool. Put the washer in the hole then the bearing gets pushed in. The washer has larger hole so the hub of the bearing (inner race?) is not hitting the holder. Now that I think about it, I guess if you want to make the hole for the threaded rod larger than the hub of the bearing, the spacer is not required.

My spool is placed on a threaded rod, so two hex nut on each side is tightened to push/clamp the two holder against the spool that is in the middle.

Thanks for the complement and the inspiration!