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While working on the Rostock 3D Printer BI edition we also tested different types of PLA filament spools. Although most of the spools that we worked with were similar in that they held 1 kg of PLA, they often had different inner diameters. We found that when working with different spools a versatile system was necessary. We designed our filament spool holder to allow for quick switches between different spool types. When 3D printing, it is important to use a high-quality spool holder as it will ensure the smooth unspooling of the filament and will minimize strain on the extruder.
In this article, we will discuss the BI spool holder and its features. Our primary goal was to design a simple filament spool holder that would be versatile but we also wanted it to be stable and allow for smooth unwinding.
Breaking it down
After several rounds of testing our final design is a spool holder that is comprised of three main parts:
1) The spool holder base which supports the assembly.
2) The rotating platform which sits on top of a 608 bearing and allows for smooth unspooling.
3) The spool adaptor which can be modified to fit any type of filament spool.
The main parts are 3D printed using 1.75 mm PLA and a typical infill of ~30%. Additional parts required include a 608 bearing, a 20 mm M4 cap screw, and a flat M4 washer. The following exploded view depicts the assembly:
Central to this design is the ability to quickly switch between adaptors to accommodate spools with different mounting diameter.
If you would like to print your own, all SketchUp models, STL files, and additional instructions are available on Thingiverse.