As part of designing 3D Printers we wanted a universal reel holder to hold the various types of filament reels of materials that were being used for printing. Different filament reels come in different sizes, some wider, some narrower and many in a variety of diameters.
So for this project our main goals were to …
- Hold any type of 3D Printing filament reel
- Make use of bearing mounts for smooth movement
- Eliminate unravelling of filament during printing (a common problem we found with full reels)
- Be easily adjustable for filament reel changes
- Provide a solution that could be used standalone or incorporated into our 3D printer designs with little or no modification
- Nice to have feature to include be the ability to hold more than one reel of filament
Hence we researched different sized filament reels and the many types of filament used for 3D printing. As part of our research we came across a really helpful article by RichRap which shows a table of all the various types of filament and reels and highlights some of the problems those in the 3D Printing business face due to lack of standardisation on reel sizes.
Thus we incorporated our findings from our research into our filament reel holder design and into our 3D printer designs.
- Height: 65 mm
- Width: 200 mm (approx)
- Length: 128.2 mm for the single reel holder, 512.9 mmm for the mega (multiple) reel holder
Has been released as a product for sale as of 19th August 2014.
The final versions resulted in a single universal filament reel holder and a larger (i.e. mega) version which can hold up to 6 reels of filament all of varying sizes.
The main advantages of this reel holder as opposed to others is that it enables snag free 3D printing using any type of filament.
All hardware is complete.
No Software needed
Documentation is currently a work in progress .. but coming soon!
All hardware & software development work is carried out under the GNU General Public License. Any products developed from these projects are covered by Creative Commons Licensing – Attribution – Non-Commercial. All drawings of product designs are covered by UK Copyright Law unless stated otherwise.
Shortlist of components used for this project include:
- 4mm & 6mm MDF Laser cut pieces
- 2+ x Fixit blocks (number may vary during design)
- 6 x 20 mm x 4mm screws & half nuts
- 4+ x 25 mm x 6 or 8mm Bolts & nuts (number may vary during design)
- 4+ 6 or 8 mm washers
- 4+ skate bearings
How it works
The momentum of the filament feeding to the 3D printer extruder causes the reel to rotate freely on the bearings. A spring tension feed guide (an idea adopted from fishing reels) ensures the filament is drawn from the reel between the reel sides to prevent unravelling of filament over the sides on full reels.
The design of the mounts ensure the reel remains upright without toppling over.
Coming soon to this section …
- MDF drawings for laser cut pieces.
- Parts list
- Build instructions