Current "Gold Standard" Filament Sensor Setup

  • Are these worth adding to a printer build or are people running into issues having them run reliably?

    I couldn't find the Duet filament sensors being sold and it seems people are using different solutions, so these aren't quite ready for mainstream printing?

  • Sensing filament presence is dead easy, and almost anything with a housing through which the filament passes and a microswitch will work. Tons of choices and/or home-brew, so people don't talk about it much.

    Firmware just pauses when the switch opens, etc, etc. This takes care of "run out".

    Obviously, it does not take care of a clog/jam, nor of a roll tangle.

    Jams... well... they do happen sometimes, but mostly can be avoided, and when they do occur, in most cases that have happened to me, the print is not going to be restartable. The clog/jam happened because something is wrong (temp, wrong filament size, something), not just random. Restartable jams are extremely rare, at least in my experience. So I don't worry too much about sensing them.

    Tangles? I'm in the camp that believes an actual tangle in the reel from the manufacturer is EXTREMELY, INCREDIBLY rare. Always keep track of that free end, and tangles just don't happen.

    Given all above, a simple switch covers a lot of ground.


    Sensing filament MOVEMENT is much more challenging. Lots of things have been tried. I'm not up to speed on the latest/greatest... but... as an "end user", I don't see a "gold standard" in this area, either. Anybody correct that, if you know of such.

    It also requires more from the firmware, to not get false positives, andDuet/RepRap appears to have had this for a long time.

    So... what is the gold standard for filament "movement" sensors?

  • administrators

    @danal @saffi I am testing prototypes of the new magnetic filament monitor which we believe will be this gold standard. More details once a number of different things come together in a few weeks time.

  • Never got a lot of uptake, but the Tunell Filament Monitor ( works really, really well and sends a hi/lo pause command most firmwares/controllers can accept.

  • @rcarlyle It looks like it would work really well, but I just couldn't justify dropping $65usd on a filament sensor.

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