RepRap Cheap Spool Solution
Faberdashery supplies very nice 1.75mm PLA however it doesn’t come on a spool. This is annoying. Having to sit at my 3D printer and constantly untangle filament is not my idea of fun so I desperately needed a spool solution. The default response from RepRappers seems to be “print one” so I worked on a design. The total cost of the plastic was a staggering £11.30. That is a crazy price, especially considering I wanted several spools. Also printing out a spool would take hours of having to sit and untangle filament.
After a couple of hours with a scrollsaw (fretsaw) and some 3mm MDF I had a spool that cost about £1.
The next problem was to create a spool holder. These can be found on Thingiverse in different types and styles however the cleverest (and ones with the least amount of plastic) involved sitting the spool on four bearings. This is a great idea because the spool holder can be easily resized for different spool sizes and trivially scaled to hold multiple spools at the same time.
Spool (files on Thingiverse)
Cut out two of the plates and two of the ends. If your wood is thicker than 3mm then increase the width of the holes in the ends and the length of the tabs on the plates to match.
Drill two 2.5mm holes near the center of one of the ends to hold the start of the filament. Drill some 2.5mm holes near the outside edge to hold the end of the filament when storing it.
Glue the parts together to make the spool. The diameter is 160mm and the width is 90mm. It easily holds 100m of 1.75mm PLA and should hold 300m.
Holder (files on Thingiverse)
Print out four of the foot parts. Cut some M8 threaded rod into four 150mm lengths.
Assemble the two crossbeams as follows (all parts are M8):
nut, lock washer, plastic part, lock washer, mudguard washer, washer, 608ZZ bearing, washer, mudguard washer, lock washer, nut, nut, lock washer, mudguard washer, washer, 608ZZ bearing, washer, mudguard washer, lock washer, plastic part, lock washer, nut
Assemble the two front-back beams as follows:
nut, lock washer, plastic part, lock washer, nut, nut, lock washer, plastic part, lock washer, nut
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