Yet Another Printable Spool

by MakeALot, published

Yet Another Printable Spool by MakeALot Apr 23, 2011
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Printable spool equivalent in size to MakerBot Filament Spool.

I only have one spool and the rest of my filament is a pain in the neck.
Until I have used this up, I need a filament spool or two that fit on Charles Pax's MakerBot Filament Spool Holder.

I'm sure there are plenty of good spools out on Thingiverse already, and I'm sure I should reference half of them as inspirational to this one. I couldn't find one that was a direct replacement for the MakerBot spool, which is what I wanted.

I've posted it in-case someone else is pulling their hair out trying to manage with just one, like me...

The filament guide is just a quick hack, but it also works as an adjustable break and slides onto the top of the ToM. I should really have updated the spool holder to include the filament guide.


The printed parts go together nicely :) each is an interference fit, with the printed serrations adding a comforting "ratchet" noise as you push them together. A couple of the edge joints needed a squeeze with a pair of pliers.

1 core
16 arms (4 sets)
16 edges (4 sets) with or without holes?
Firmly push them together and then load with filament
(Crank handle at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8082)

I've printed some parts raft-less, this is by far the easiest and quickest, you will need to trim a tiny piece of filament from the bottom layer in the "V" on the dovetails. The layer that was attached to the bed spreads a little.

Once you've gone all the way round, the "wheel" is a little stressed (a mm or so too long for its circumference because of all the joint tolerances). I placed the finished spool on its side on a sheet of aluminium foil on the cooker hob/stove hot-plate for a few minutes each side. This released all the stresses and I had nice flat spool. Added a bit of shine too :)

I note that if you insert the raft-less pieces top-side to top-side, they go in much more easily.

Now attach to your MakerBot Filament Spool Holder

Use until all your non-spooled filament is exhausted.

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This is a great design! I'm replacing all of my spools with these.

Any idea why the uprights of the core are solid infill rather than what I selected (0.4)?

I know this is very late, but in case anyone else has the same problem:

I'm using Slic3r built into Repetier-Host and there's a variable under Infill called "Solid Infill Area Threshold". If you have this set to anything but zero and the area of the print slice is less than your threshold, it will print solid infill. This adds stability in thin parts, but can cause uglier prints in some cases.

If you're not happy with solid infill of the thinner bits, set "Solid Infill Area Threshold" to "0".

anyone know why it would stop printing early??? was it because i had my max height set to 85mm?

I'm afraid I don't know, maybe someone else with a Prusa Mendel can help.

It stopped short of the Top of the Build.... for the Core Check your STL file No matter though I just Hot glued the One that Broke on the Top of the Core after clipping off the ends

Can you tell the the OD of the spool core pls? Thanks

How High is the Core??? Is it Higher then 85mm? I am doing a Print and I now have a Successful core on the-way from my Pursa Mendel... Ill let you know when I have Printed out all the Pieces

According to TinkerCAD, it's 68.37mm across the flats :)

 Thank you. I decided to printed anyways. One of my spools has a large ID so i might make a spacer/adapter cylinder for it. Great design.

Just printed one on my Printrbot LC. It printed nicely at my default Slic3r settings: 0.4mm layers, 2 perimeters (shells), 3 solid layers, 40% fill. The pieces fit tightly to produce a very sturdy reel without glue. It is also quite flat without any post heating needed. Thanks MakALot for an outstanding design! (The hub alone is such a thing of beauty I might make another just to keep on my desk!)

When you printed it, how tid you stick it together? The parts I printed took some pressure to fit together, but ended up wobbly, then it eventually fell apart. I tried acetone, but it didn't seem to help. Should I try again?

Mine's only a few days old but I used rather large blobs of acetone+abs glue on every snap joint. I was worried about structural integrity too, but I'm pretty certain that the mounds of glue will help. My mixture's not exact either, it's just whatever looks thick and goopy enough to apply with throwaway Q-tips.

Looks cool and I like the idea of replicating a similar design than the real one but mine looks a little fragile to be useful

Great design! Starting to print one right now!

I was wondering what a cooker hob is (ESL) and what temperatures you are talking about (assume it does heat treat the part)?

Let me know how it comes out, mine took 3 + 4x1 + 4x0.5 = 9 hours in total!

Thanks for the explanation. We do not have one (gas cook top) but the idea is good. I have retrofitted a toaster oven with a PID temperature controller (for setting polymer clay) and if I support the top side, I may be able to "settle" the spool after is finished by setting the temperature to something below 200C.

Below is the core 1 hour into the print. I am using the standard profile for ABP 3 mm filament and the fan (the orange around the head) is not turned on.

Looks good. :)

The famous "So Far So Good" syndrome (just like the guy falling from the 10th said to himself around the 4th floor! . Around 2h 23min the nozzle dug in the back side of the piece and the X axis missed a bunch of steps. The interesting thing is that the layer at the very top of the arches (a solid one as decided by SF35) is slightly wider (across the whole cross section) than the ones below it as you can see in the picture.

Any recommendations on both the accident and the varying size?

I think the varying size is due to the pillars being unsupported for so long during the build, they cool and all lean toward the centre slightly (if you look at mine, you can see it as well) I should have used diagonal cross supports instead of the arch.

As far as the X slip, have you set the voltages/currents on your steppers, the more powerfully they are driven, the less likely they are to slip, having said that, it looked like you were out of the danger zone, so I don't see why it happened there. bad luck :(

Not all was lost. I split your .stl file in SketchUp at the height of the accident and just printed the piece that was missing. I will now glue it with MEK and a screw or two for good measure. The steppers have all been calibrated. Thanks for advice. The arches do look really good :)

Is that orange thin some sort of fan, it looks intriguing.

Yes. It is my half-baked former CPU fan thing. The idea is to create a ring of air flow around the nozzle. There is a bunch of small holes drilled on that bottom ring pointing at the tip of the nozzle. I made the wall too thin on it so I used tape to cover the gaps. Its composed of two elements (glued with MEK) and still experimental. You can see the back side on the picture below. I have not finished it so have not posted the .skp and .stl files. The main idea was to get the air to the plastic and not to the body of the nozzle without interfering with the printing process. Clearly a work in progress (lack of progress that is)!

Sorry, English ;) Cooker/Range/Stove - hot plate, on top of the oven for cooking hamburgers, flat metal grill. I don't know the temperature, but it would have melted the ABS eventually, so I guess around 200 degrees? that's why I used foil) A hot air gun would do the job, but not as evenly.

That exploded view is beautiful to behold. :-)

Thanks! That's the beauty of OpenSCAD, it only takes a minute to reposition all the parts.