Are you tired of having to rethread colors threw the little tube into your 3D printer every time you want to print in another color?
Or maybe you are tired of changing out the rolls on your printers filament holder?
Well, no more.
Introducing the4 Roll Filament Quick Loader.
How it works:
Just load the 4 Roll Filament Quick Loader with four of your favorite colors. Initially load the 4 tubes with filament and insert the desired tubes into your printers extruder. Quickly change your filament color by swapping quick connect tubing to the extruder feeder ports. No need to thread the filament every time you want to change the tube, just switch tubes!
Plus two (or more) 4 Roll Filament Quick Loaders can be stacked onto each other and you can quickly load 8 (or more) different filament choices!
* Please note that my printer setup is in a climate / humidity controlled room. Filament may print with undesired effects if it gathers moisture.
Step 1: Required Parts:
4 x 6 Inch Carriage bolts.
8 x nuts.
8 x washers.
16' x 1/2 Inch PVC pipe (cut into 4 x 4" sections)
12' x Ice maker water line
2 x Piece of lumber. (Shown is a recycled shelf from work)
** A note for the washers, try to choose a washer that will fit inside of your smallest spools center opening. I wanted this design to be as fast as possible to change out. The washers in my design keep you from having to remove the nut and washer every time you needed to change out the whole spool. Everything is always static, with the exception of the spools.
Step 2: Measure:
Measure out as many spools will fit onto your given board while providing adequate space between spools. I have varying sized spools and choose 12" between where I would drill my holes for the carriage bolts. This measurement left about 2" or space between my spools.
Step 3: Drill
Drill the holes for the carriage bolts according to the measurements you made in the last step.
In addition to these holes, I have holes drilled in the piece of wood that is attached horizontally that is a little larger than the diameter of the water line used for the filament. These holes line up exactly to the carriage bolt holes. (Not pictured)
Step 4: Hammer Time:
The carriage bolts I chose have a square neck on them that can be hammered through the wood from the reverse side. This will keep the bolt from turning freely while you attach the parts to the carriage bolt and tighten the nuts.
Step 5: Bolt Into Place:
It's that simple.
Thread a nut onto each of the carriage bolts and tighten fully.
Step 6: Building the Pegs:
Next add a washer to each of the bolts followed by a length of PVC pipe. The pipe is a good idea since the bolt has threads that would otherwise force the spool to travel as it turns. I cut my PVC pipe to about 4.2", a little wider than the widest spool (4") that I have in my inventory.
Step 7: Adding the Water Line (Filament Guide) and Mounting:
You will have to do some pre-thought for this next step.
Figure out where you want to mount the 4 Roll Quick Filament Loader above your 3D printer. Your water lines will need to be cut to be able to reach the full range of motion of your extruders inside your Printer.
Glue one end of the water line inside of the holes you drilled earlier (Picture 1) while leaving about 1mm sticking out of the side of the wood facing there carriage bolts. This will allow your filament to stay clean and keep it from rubbing the wood.
Mount the 4 Roll Quick Filament Loader on the wall just above your 3D Printer. I would strongly suggest using the spring-type of wall wall anchors.
Leave the other end of the water line dangling behind the printer (or put through a carabiner like I did on the back of my printer) until you are ready to load your 3D printer.