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Modular Printable Spool

by 4ndy, published

Modular Printable Spool by 4ndy Jun 4, 2011

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Summary

Here's a filament spool that can be easily dismantled and assembled in a variety of sizes, without the use of glue or any plastic welding.

There are holes provided to secure the assembly with M4 or M3 bolts for the ends, and any small wedge/pin to keep the spars clamped into each end, but you should be able to keep this whole thing together with just a bit of string if you really want.

This spool is mainly designed to ride on my Mendel-top spool holder:
http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:8290
However, it should work fine in any other setup with a horizontal axle. You should probably only use it on its side if you have glued/welded the segments together on the bottom.

Instructions

  • Pick a radius for the spool you're making.

    • 120mm should be big enough for reels of plastic up to about 2kg or 4lb, while 150mm should handle heavier reels.
  • Choose a spar for the width of your plastic reel.

    • You can try finding this with a caliper around the sides of the reel or by holding a ruler up to it while holding the filament together. A little compression from the sides can be good to stop the reel getting tangled up.
  • Print and assemble the ends of the spool.

    • Use 608 bearings if you want the spool to have a ridiculously smooth turn, otherwise use a simple bushing.
    • Some light cleaning up of parts might be necessary if you're using 3mm filament like me, though I have done my best to adjust the part tolerances so that it should fit together straight off the printer.
  • Place your reel of filament over one assembled end, and slot the spanning members through holes inside it so that there is light pressure pushing the reel apart.

  • Thread the inside end of the reel through something to secure it, you have all kinds of holes to pick from, so go with a nearby one, or even clamp it to part of the structure with a bulldog clip.

  • Place the other end over the spars and secure the spool from either side with some kind of wedge.
    • A bit of scrap card cut into sharp triangles and slotted through each end hole should do it.

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How do I print this out on a Prusa Mendel.... I have a 180mmX180mm at Max Build space. ABS to work with and Painters Tape no heated bed your Parts are too big and I cannot get them to work on Pronterface....;-(

Do you mean that's where your printer can actually reach, or is that just set in firmware?
If it's a physical constraint, you won't ever be able to print things bigger than that area without modifying your printer, but you can always try rotating long parts in Blender to see if they fit diagonally; if it's a firmware constraint, have a look through your printer's firmware in the Arduino software for any lines that define limits on those axes' movements.

If you try to print ABS on Painter's Tape with no heated bed, you're gonna have a bad time.
See: http://reprap.org/wiki/PLAhttp://reprap.org/wiki/PLA and http://reprap.org/wiki/ABShttp://reprap.org/wiki/ABS

If you desperately need a spool to fit some loose plastic filament on, try: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1550http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Cardboard Spool

 Yeah I know I need a Heated Bed and PTFE Kapton tape the Plastic Actually gets chalky on the outside I suspect I have Over heated it. it still seems Ok no Idea if it will stand up at all.
Yes that is a Physical constraint It is Actually 180X185X85 but I like Round numbers I only Built the Unit so I could make one that is 400X400X400mm using extruded Aluminum Channel.
Also My Mac seems to be able to get and use them on Pronterface but not on the PC... the Versions are both 2012... Did you make this on your Mac?

No, I don't have any Apple hardware, and it shouldn't make any difference to exported 3D models anyway. If it's working on one of two computers then there's probably something wrong with the pronterface install on the other one.

i made the wheel thing of if, but i cant get the 90mm and 110mm spar to load in repsnapper .. the 70mm works fine...

and btw .. nice idea... cant wait till im all done :)

Yeah, I seem to find skeinforge says that about a lot of STL models, especially if they are big complicated ones exported from CAD programs like solidworks, which I tend to use. Sometimes I see strings of those errors going past and yet gcode is always produced fine. I suppose at least it's good to know that the people who programmed SF have good standards.

When I convert your .stl files to gcode, skeinforge gives me the following error a bunch of times:

This should never happen, there is a hole in the triangle mesh, each edge should have two faces.
1310 [750] [354, 455]
Something will still be printed, but there is no guarantee that it will be the correct shape.

Is it possible there are holes in the stl's?

So far, it hasn't kept me from printin
g the stuff, and it looks good, but I bet there are small blemishes somewhere because of the hole.

Just thought you'd want to know, in case you need to tweak something in your software/design process.

Thanks so much for the useful designs! :)

~Andy

Yeah, I seem to find skeinforge says that about a lot of STL models, especially if they are big complicated ones exported from CAD programs like solidworks, which I tend to use. Sometimes I see strings of those errors going past and yet gcode is always produced fine. I suppose at least it's good to know that the people who programmed SF have good standards.

Edit: I re-uploaded the 608-replacement bushing with a slight increase in weight saving, and an extra 10mm inner-diameter version; I'm not sure what the code-number for an equivalent bearing would be.

Having built one now, I've found that if the print turns out accurately, then the end disk parts will snugly snap-fit together, otherwise you'll just have to clean them up a little bit with a pen knife.

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