An extruder to turn a spool



  • @phaedrux
    Could you send me a pic of what holding the spool up? i see some of the metal piece there but not the whole thing.
    Thanks



  • Sure I'll try and get a new pic shortly.

    Right now it's pretty low tech. It's just a 18 inch long piece of smooth rod wedged into some printed uprights that are actually a spool holder stand that I didn't like using the right way because it kept the spool in the way of the extruder when at the back of the printer. Now it's hanging off the side of the frame.



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    Hopefully that makes it a bit more clear.

    The hub uses this Thing https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2334107

    Those red uprights are supposed to be spread apart and the rod is supposed to sit on top of them in a groove, but like I said, then it gets in the way of extruder carriage sometimes. This was my ghetto solution to get me up and running and it's worked so well I haven't bothered to mount it differently.



  • @phaedrux
    So the rod is only connected at one side right? Is it all counterbalanced because with a heavier spool like with our 3 kg spool i don't know if it would be able to hold just with that.



  • Yeah in your case with such a heavy spool you'll probably want to use a threaded rod that can be properly mounted to something solid. It doesn't necessarily need to be supported on both sides, but that might be easiest.

    Something like this might work well. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1000323

    That was going to be my replacement if the current setup didn't work out.



  • @phaedrux
    We aren't using the t Slot beams all we have is 1 inch aluminum tube. So that one would be hard to get to work. Do you have any other files you saw that might work?



  • Not off hand that would work with tube. But you could probably rig something up if you get creative.



  • I use one of these on my printer (but only with 1 kg spools- it could easily be scaled up). The spool sits on two rollers with F608 ball bearings and a third roller comes down on top of the spool to prevent the filament from springing off the spool over the flanges and tying itself into a knot. The conical shape of the rollers keeps the spool centered in the holder, and the adjustability of the top roller allows it to accommodate different sized spools (but probably not 3 kg spools).

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    The spool rotates easily, but not so easily that its inertia keeps it going, and filament won't get tangled.

    Video here: https://vimeo.com/219591384

    I originally made it without the rubber bands with the intent of simply finger tightening the bolt through the top spool, which worked fine for me, but I took it to the makerspace and found that even after demonstrating how it worked, people couldn't use it properly and started unscrewing the bolt and hanging the spool with the top roller running through the spool hub. Doh! One day I went to the space and found it in pieces, with a washer and one of the bearings from the top roller missing. That's when I added the rubber bands and put a nylock nut on the bolt through the top roller. If you ever want to test to see if something is idiot-proof, just leave it in the hands of some cosplay people at a makerspace for a couple weeks....

    I printed the base as a single piece, but for 3 kg spools you'd probably have to modify the design a bit and make it in multiple pieces, unless you have a very large printer (like maybe one that uses 3 kg spools).

    This is another one I made in which the weight of the spool keeps the rollers pressed against the flanges. It's a bit more complicated and uses many more bearings (this time I used bearings from HDDs), but the base is a little flexible and springy, so maybe not suited to 3 kg spools without a redesign of the base.
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    Links to the design files for both designs are on the blog page.


  • administrators

    @puppet172 First thing i would try is mounting the spool horizontally. I have found with the larger 2Kg spools this is enough to sort the problem (in fact once they get going on a bearing they over rotate so to keep the filament taught I ended up using a plastic on plastic mount for some resistance). You see variations of these on the top of delta printers, like this one:
    https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:454808

    Now to answer the actual question, you can define a tool in the firmware with more than one extruder drive, that is useful if you have a mixing hotend and you want to use more than one extruder drive to push filament into the nozzle. but there is no reason you cannot have a tool that has the two extruders in series - so that one is pulling filament off the reel, and another one is just pushing down the nozzle. you can have some slack between the two of them so that they are not too tightly coupled.



  • @3dmntbighker

    lol. it's all I could think of...but it should be really easy to fabricate a test model..



  • If it's any help, I took inspiration from @mrehorstdmd and built a 5 spool version using a lot threaded rod and less plastic. The rollers still use bearings and the reels spin really easily. It's modular so a single spool version could easily be made. Each one would take up to 300mm diameter spool with the upper "anti-tangle" roller in place and pretty much any diameter without it. Write up with pictures can be found on my blog here https://somei3deas.wordpress.com/2018/06/11/5-reel-anti-tangle-filament-holder-upgrade/. Happy to share stl files if it helps.


  • administrators

    @deckingman nice write up. With 5 extruders you are always coming up against stuff that most other people don't have to worry about (like changing the middle spool of 3!)



  • @t3p3tony said in An extruder to turn a spool:

    @deckingman nice write up. With 5 extrucers you are always coming up against stuff that most other people don't have to worry about (like changing the middle spool of 3!)

    Thanks Tony. And exactly so. For most people changing a reel of filament is relatively quick and painless job. Changing the middle spool of 3 is one thing but when I swap from say a Diamond 3 colour to a Diamond 5 colour, I have to unload 3 spools, then load up 5 spools so it's a bit of major operation. Less painful than it used to be now though.....


 

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