"hey!! you are out of filament" alarm 1.75mm

by jaykoehler, published

"hey!! you are out of filament" alarm 1.75mm by jaykoehler May 3, 2013
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koehler 1.75mm or 3mm filament alarm

I made this so as the spool winds down to the end I could have a chance to get to my printer to reload without wasting filament on an unfinished part. It happens more than you think. All parts can be sourced from radio shack for less than 10 dollars (or your preferred source).

1 – 1.75mm or 3mm filament alarm body printed in your favorite color

1 – SPDT Switch with roller lever pn 275-017

1 – Piezo buzzer pn 273-017

1 – electrical connector (molex 4 pin or 2 pin 0.10” connector or 9v battery plug as you prefer)

2 – #4 1/2” screws (home depot)

22 ga. Wire in your preferred colors. 4 to 10 ft depending on your power source

Solder (or crimp) wires to the N.C and C connectors of the spdt switch. The middle tab or N.O. will not be used

Solder the piezo buzzer close to the opposite end of the wiring for the switch.

Attach your preferred electrical connector to the buzzer and 2nd wire from the switch. I use a 12v DC outlet from my ATX power supply but a 9v battery will work just as well. Polarity does matter here so take a moment to test. (the buzzer will work with reversed polarity but not loud and clear)

Print 1 koehler 1.75mm filament alarm body and attach the sdpt switch using 2 screws thru the plate and into the switch mount holes. Adjust to open switch.

Feed filament through the alarm then plug in to your preferred power source. When not using it, Insert a short piece of filament as a placeholder. The other way is loud and annoying. You’ll know what I mean when it goes off.

Attach to 8mm rod above the extruder. The higher the better for time to get to your printer. The long slot allows the alarm body to swivel to avoid binding. I also cover the threaded rod with a straw split lengthwise to minimize friction. Great for direct attachment to Prusa Mendel style printers or an 8mm rod attached to a spool holder.
Rest at ease knowing it will tell you “ Hey buddy, I’m out of filament” throughout the house. Tell a friend.

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Nice design, thank you for sharing! I just wanted to share an alternative solution for people with closed source printers that cant be hacked to pause printing. My way uses a stand alone alarm system that can hook up to any printer in seconds. It also has bowden tube and oiler attachments! Check it out here: https://engineerdog.com/low-filament-alarm/

The switch could be wired up to a GPIO port on a Raspberry Pi if you're running OctoPrint / OctoPi on one, to interface with the "Filament Sensor" plugin for that. This will provide automatic print-pausing in the event of a run-out.

I fully intend to do that for my own use, although I might remix the part to fit my particular needs.

PLS TELL ME HOW CAN I CHANGE IN MY FIREWARE pause the print when filament runs out.
I have ramps1.4 / marlin
thanks you

I've just got a 1-5Kg load cell for < £10 that I will work into a spool holder so that I can have Marlin weight the filament real time and get a good idea of how much I have left. A switch like this will be a good fail safe, but I'd like a good hint that I'll be running close to out before I start as some prints will be running over night.

that doesnt help if your filament snaps though...
I too eye-ball my filament to see if i have enough. but a snap would be a great thing to sense.

Anyone changing firmware could also have an option to slow acceleration/speed to minimum, at least for X amount of time (dependent on how much filament is on the extruder side of the switch), before parking the extruder. That would allow time to replace filament but not leave an interupted artefact on the print. Of course it could need a button or G-code to resume normal operation.

what settings do you use in firmware with it? You can try to add custom code to Marlin. When filament ends, pause print and move z to Z+5 (to not melt printed part). Then you can change filament and resume printing

not a bad idea incorporating it into marlin but as of right now it's completely independent. any programmers out there take that idea and run with it. I bet you make a name for yourself quick.

I like the idea, another i had was slapping a rotation sensor on the spool, use an MCU to run down a timer. The length of the timer should be short enough you can pause it before it kills the print. Long enough that moving from corner to corner at your lowest speed does not trip it.

The point being filament jams could then sound an alarm. Ruining a print , that is a bad day, grinding away your hobbed bolt is more like a bad week. I like your posts so i figure I will give you the idea. (im always here when I print so I lack motivation.)

The 3mm body is untested. I simply don't have any to test it with.