Sometimes the standard options for filament coil holders can not meet the needs of the user. The reasons may be different – non-standard coil connector, relatively high weight, inability to fit the existing holder into the space near the 3D printer, etc. In all these cases, it is possible to get out of the situation by creating your own plastic spool holder for 3D printer in accordance with the parameters that are important in a particular case.
Spool holder for 3D printer
This is the device that holds the filament spool during printing and keeps the material flowing smoothly into the printer’s extruder.
The holder must meet the following requirements:
- It must be stable and securely attached to the work surface. Stable mounting is necessary to prevent the bracket from moving during operation.
- The assembly must be of high quality and the materials used must be durable.
- The design features of the bracket should not interfere with the feed of the filament to the printer’s working tools. The material should glide smoothly when unwinding. Jerks and interference during printing can cause the filament to wrap around the reel and jam.
- The spool of plastic should not come off the spool holder during printing.
- The spool holder can be made from a variety of materials, but the most commonly used materials in practice are metal, plastic, and wood.
The choice of material depends on the conditions in which the product will be used in the future.
What models of filament coils are there?
The most commonly used reel holders are of three types:
Horizontal reel holders for plastic reels are used when the weight of the reels is much greater than standard, and the design features of the 3D printer in use do not allow to place the reel inside the device chamber. Horizontal spool holders provide a high level of fixation of the spool and can provide a smooth flow of material into the extruder. Often, because the material is outside the printer’s chamber, horizontal holders are used in conjunction with filters to ensure that the plastic filament fed to the extruder is free of particulate matter and dust, which can significantly reduce print quality if it enters the printhead.
Vertical plastic spool holders take up less space and can be placed in small free areas, including in the 3D printers chamber. The design features make it possible to use such holders for reels of standard weight. For reels with a winding of 2,5 kg and more vertical holders would not be suitable due to the reduced efficiency of the material feed during printing.
Adaptive filament holders are the most popular models today. They are designed so that any reel of plastic, properly secured, will be fixed so that the unwinding will be smooth and the angle will change depending on the amount of material used.
3D model of a plastic reel
When developing a 3D model to print a filament holder yourself, consider the following data:
- The maximum weight of the plastic spools that will be used during printing.
- Diameter of the inlet hole of the coils.
- Estimated tensile strength of the print material depending on the quality of the print.
- The location where the spool holder will be placed.
Based on the input data, the following parameters should be calculated:
- The thickness of the part wall.
- The thickness of its floor and ceiling.
- Choose a filling pattern (most often a grid is used).
- The density of the product filling when printing (on average – 30%).
- The necessity of support printing (if there are protruding parts).
- Printing speed of the outer perimeter of the product.
- The distance of support along the Z axis.
- Print speed of outer filling (from 95 mm/m).
Also, when developing the model, it is necessary to take into account the diameter of the nozzle used, the desired layer height and the print temperature.
IMPORTANT: In the finished 3D model, all files should be renamed based on the number of copies of the part to be printed.
Self-made and purchased holders: pros and cons
Both self-made holders for plastic, and their ready-made analogues offered by manufacturers, have their advantages and disadvantages.
For example, purchase reel holders for 3D printers are made according to the specified characteristics for the materials of a particular manufacturer. Universal spools produced in factories may not be suitable if filaments of different manufacture are used for printing. The diameter of the holder may be too small or too large, preventing the spool from fitting securely to the holder and causing printing problems.
Homemade holders can be designed so that each model will fit the needs of a particular user.
The advantages of homemade holders include:
- The ability to choose the parameters of the device to place it in a particular place.
- It is possible to design the holder in such a way that coils with plastic from different manufacturers can be fixed on it.
- It is possible to precisely adjust the coaxiality of the material feeding.
The disadvantages include:
- The need for time to develop a 3D model.
- The need for accurate calculations to design the device.
Thus, if there are problems with the existing holder for the filament coils, each owner of a 3D printer can make its own replacement, taking into account all the necessary parameters and peculiarities of the tasks facing the user. All that is required is to design the corresponding 3D model and wait for the printing to finish.