As my wife offered me a 3D printer for valentine's day, I needed a spool holder.
I have seen several models, laser cutted plexiglass with plastic pipe for example, but I thought it was possible to make something simple and inexpensive from trash. Cardboard can be strong, a pencil can replace a plastic pipe, and it is available nearly immediatly.
The printer comes with this file as a first print and spool holder :
It is a good spool holder, but I've seen that some spools at my local makerspace had a bigger center hole and don't work with it. So I wanted a spool holder which holds the spool verticaly and could adapt to the spool size.
Step 1: Tools and Material
For this instructable, you'll need :
- Cardboard (I used double flute cardboard)
- Hot glue gun
- Pens (at least 3)
- Hobby knife
- A compass
- a cutting mat, if you have one
Step 2: First Prototype
I did a first attempt in making a spool holder with cardboard, a pen and hot glue.
It was effective, but maybe weak for heavier spools and not very nice-looking.
So I've decided to make something sturdier and nicer.
Step 3: Make a Template
I wanted to make a spool holder in a triangular shape, with cardboard, and to use pens, pencils or ballpoint pens as a structure and spool holder.
So I draw a equilateral triangle of 20cm side. (Hint : if your compass is too small, draw a smaller triangle, then extend sides.)
I cut 2cm segment from the top (looks neat for me), and make a hole in the middle of the segment 4cm from the top.
I've chosen 20cm because it is the side of the spool box I've got. Veritying with the template beside next to a spool seems okay.
Feel free to adapt to your spool size and test another geometry (like a trapezoid for example).
My mistake here was to use cardboard to make the template. Cardboard is thick and it was not precise for subsequent cuts with this template. I'll use another material next time, like card stock, for the template.
Step 4: Make More Triangles
Use the template to make more triangles.
I made 8 triangles, 4 for each side.
Step 5: Prepare Holes
Use the template to make holes with the tip of the compass.
Mark every triangle.
Step 6: Make Holes
Then use a pencil to enlarge holes to the right side.
To make nice-looking holes, use the pen from both sides to hide cardboard tears.
Step 7: Glue Sides
With the hot glue gun, glue sides.
I have used 4 layers for each side (maybe it is a bit overkill, adapt to your needs).
Pay attention to the orientation of the grooves : alternate orientations to get the maximum resistance in all directions.
Step 8: Add Pens
Use 3 pens (here, ballpoint pens) to make the structure of the spool holder, and voila !
Use the top pen to hold the spool.
One can use pencils (longer than ballpoint pens) or even chopsticks to make a larger spool holder.
You can use the spool holder as it, or customise it a little, like in the upcoming step.
Step 9: Customise
In the package of my printer I had a picture of the dagoma team. I know some of them because the factory is in the nearby town and we have met on some maker events.
So I thought "why not using this picture to make a nicer spool holder ? " It is 3D printing related or at least an exemple of what can be made to have a nice looking spool holder, instead of raw cardboard.
I have taken two layers of cardboard and manage a pocket for the USB SD card reader and another room for the spatula, two thing you need to have at hand for 3D printing. Assemble with hot glue. that's it.
Now I have nice looking cardboard spool holder, with a supportive message thanking me for having a 3D printer :)
Lets go printing !