[EMS Discuss] Ideas for a 3D printer spool management setup.

Wed May 15 11:52:53 PDT 2013

Hi Austin, and gang,

I was thinking about your spool management system this morning, because 
I found some cheap filament here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251270327538

It's about 2/3 the going price.

The problem is they don't have spools. I was wondering if you slid them 
onto a long piece of PVC pipe of about 4.5 inches (12 cm) in diameter, 
and this pipe was fixed so it wouldn't turn. If filaments would bind up 
or not? as they were used. If they would be lose enough to turn freely 
then you could make some big washers out of plastic sheet to separate 
the colors so they wouldn't get tangled together.

On the other hand if you think they would bind up then you would need a 
spool for each color, and the spools would have to have at least one 
removable side so they could be loaded easily. I did a quick search but 
didn't turn up any just now. Anybody know what the state of the art is here?

If you use spools you could have one pipe / rod for each spool as Austin 
envisioned, or you could have one long one (which is what you need for 
the spooless system above). If you did the that, then you could use a 
second pipe that connected to the first with a pin, which allows the 
spools or wire to be slid between them like a double long pipe / rod for 
removals or inserts. This is similar to how you add / remove pages in a 
three ring binder. Of course that is a little more work than just 
handling one spool at a time.


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