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3D Printing - "It's all about design and quality output. Not how fast the printer can run."

DSC07471Filament Spool Holder

Best invention since sliced bread. Ah... Make that …since sliced .stl’s.

I have been wanting to do this since I purchased and assembled this 3D printer. The “standard” method is to use a spool holder that sets next to the printer. It takes up a lot of room and the filament is constantly being pushed back and forth by the “Y” travel of the print head. It works but I never liked that much flexing of the filament.

The spool also seemed to always be in the way. In my case, the spool was setting on the computer about 24 inches away from the printer.

I played with a lot of spool holder designs in my head. All of them based on some sort of “clip on” to the top of the printer. You see I have a lot of wasted space in that direction. The printer doesn’t have anything located above like a cabinet or shelf. I also considered adding a shelf on the wall for the spool, but that seemed to me to be too precarious and I would tend to add more junk to the shelf.

I have been testing and learning a new 3D CAD program called Fusion 360 from Autodesk. So this was a perfect project to design in that program. The software is FREE so go check it out!

I needed the spool to be located as high as possible as the printer head travels up as the printed object grows in height while being printed. It may look overly high in the picture, but the height is well thought out. The length limit on the bracket was the diagonal dimension of the print bed. This is the longest length this printer can produce.

I thought I might need an added cross brace. After testing, that addition is not required. The bracket is a nice tight fit on the printer frame and there is very little force other than the weight of the spool to support. This design is very KISS. The wide (about 25mm) base is quite secure.

Since the support was printed at 45 degrees on the print bed, I had to change the inside fill to 90 and 180 degrees at 33%. The angle of the outside shell could not be adjusted. Shell thickness all sides is 1.2mm (3 shells, 4 top and bottom.)

The control panel knob can still be used, especially left handed. The bracket is close but I seldom use the knob. It’s a very unimportant inconvenience in the real-world way I operate this printer.

3D Printer part v2I no longer use a spool center hub adapter on my filament spools. The off center “hanging” of the spool provides just enough drag on the filament feed to keep the filament straight. The spool doesn’t “free wheel” excess material. The feeder has more than enough power to pull the filament off the hanging spool.

Spool adapters are a nice little first project for 3D printing. I consider them more of a problem with the spool turning too easily, causing filament curling and loose wraps of filament on the spool. I believe tangled filament is 100% user inflicted because of losing the end of the filament in loose wraps on the spool (during filament changes) and is never a factory produced condition. It’s impossible to (under and through) cross wrap when continuous filling a spool. Think about that…

I may post the .stl file on Thingivese but in reality, the design idea is more important than having the exact print file. Measurements for each printer need to be used to get the proper fit. This is a press fit and no clamping hardware is required. KISS works!

The Author

Ramblin' Dan Kautz

dankautzThere is no doubt one of my hobbies is writing about my hobbies. I read somewhere a long time ago, the best things to write about are the things you know very well. I have been writing and publishing long before the personal computer became the tool of choice.  My first printed and published club newsletter was created in the late 60's.

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Our Mission

The intention of this web site and “Ramblin’ Dan’s 3D Print Design Studio” is to promote creative design thinking and demonstrate how ideas can be changed to tangible creations through the proper application and use of Three-Dimensional Printing systems.

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