Introduction: Filament Spool Rack
This is one way to keep your 3D Printing filament spools tidy and spinning freely!
We're going to make a wooden filament rack, using some wooden rod and some 3D Printed Parts!
I designed mine to fit in a shelf, but you can make yours longer/taller as you like.
I've entered this into the 3D Printing Contest, if you like it - please vote for it!
Step 1: Tools & Materials
We'll need these items:
- wooden rod, 15mm thick. I used pine because its easy to find and its also cheap. I found mine in a leading UK home DIY store, which came in 1 metre lengths.
- your favorite saw
- a 3d printer (use 3DHubs.com if you dont have one yourself)
- glue (I used gorilla glue)
- 6x 3D printed parts (see next step)
- ruler & measuring tape
Step 2: 3D Printed Parts
We'll need to 3D print the following parts:
4x corner brackets
2x rail holder brackets
The STL files are attached here, and are also available at thingiverse location: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1527965
I recommend printing these strong - they will hold some weight, so print with a high infill (40%-60%) and use thin layers to ensure the bond between the layers is nice and strong, 0.1mm layers (100 Microns) would be ideal, but 0.2mm works too.
We'll use these to make two triangles, comprising: 2 corners, 1 rail holder, 3 pieces of wooden rod
The brackets are designed to angle the rods in a triangle, as the corners are angled at 60° - and 3x 60° = 180°, which all adds up to an equilateral triangle!
Step 3: Cut the Wood
We'll need to cut the wooden rods into 9 shorter peices, in two lengths.
Grab your pencil, ruler, saw, safety goggles etc.
You can pick whichever lengths work best for you. I was limited by a) the size of my shelf and b) the size of the filament spools, here's what I used:
- 37cm x 3 (make shorter/longer as you wish)
- 13.5cm x 6 (can be longer, but no shorter)
Measure and mark the wood with a pencil and get ready to saw! Of course, you should be careful, bring out the safety goggles and hazmat suit and you should also clamp/vice the wooden rod, but I didnt have these things.
No fancy cuts - just a straight cut at a clean right-angle to the length.
- The 6 short peices must all be the same length
- One of the 3 long peices will be resting on 3d printed parts. The longer you make it, and the more filament you add, the heavier load there will be on these parts. I've not tested the load bearing capability of the parts - I *think* you could go a little longer than I did, maybe squeeze another filament spool or two onto it, but bear in mind you'll be lifting all the weight each time you need to add/remove a filament spool.
- the 6 shorter peices will make two triangles. The height of the triangle must be sufficient to give your filament spools clearance to spin freely from the ground. Mine only just fit into my shelf with minimal room to spare, so you may wish to go a little larger on these. Would suggest 15mm, but measure your spools!
How I chose the lengths:
My biggest filament spool measured 20cm in diameter. However the spool will hang on the rail, so you need to measure from one outter edge to the furtherst edge of the inner circle. I measured this to be 12.5cm.
We dont want the filament to be grounded, it has to spin freely, so I added 15mm for clearance to make 14cm.
Once I knew the height of my triangle to be 14cm, I used a website to calculate the pythagoras and work out the length of the sides of the triangle. I then designed the 3d printed parts, and reduced the length of the wooden rods accordingly!
Step 4: Make a Triangle (x2)
We're going to make two identical triangles, as our rail is fairly short.
If you had a lot of spools, and wanted a longer rack, you could print more triangles to support the additional weight!
To make each triangle, take:
- 3x short wood rods
- 2x corner brackets
- 1x rail holder bracket
This is the trickiest bit!
We'll make the 'base' of the triangle first.
1) Take two corner brackets and one of the short wood rods.
2) Glue one hole in each of the corner brackets (dont worry too much which hole to glue, you can always turn the brackets round if needed).
3) Put one of the short wood rods between the brackets, in the holes you glued. Leave to set - 30mins to 1hr worked for me.
Now let's make the 'top' of the triangle.
4) Grab the rail holder bracket and glue both holes. Add two rods, and leave to set.
Nearly done! Lets join the base to the top.
5) Grab the base of the triangle, and glue the one remaining hole in each corner bracket.
6) Now grab the too of the triangle, and insert the wooden sides into the two glued holes of the corner brackets!
Well done for making it this far! Now just do it all again to make the remaining triangle(s) :)
Step 5: Add the Lengths to Complete the Rack
Take the triangles you made earlier, and two of the longer wooden rods.
Looking at each triangle, you'll see two remaining holes on each face.
Glue these two holes on each triangle.
Take one triangle and lay it down. Put the two long wooden rods into the two holes. They should be standing upright for the next step.
Grab the second triangle (you glued the holes a second ago right?) and put that onto the two upright wooden rods.
Put something on top, like a book or a filament spool, to help clamp these together whilst rhe glue dries.
Once dry, put the last remaining wooden rod onto the rail holders. Do NOT glue this down, as you'll want this to lift this to add/remove filament spools.
Step 6: Don't Forget the Filament!
Just add a few reels of your favorite filaments in your favorite colours!
- The ones in my rack are all PLA 1.75mm
My extruder can pull the filament off the spool nicely, it rolls on the wooden rail nicely. The combined weight of the reels means the extruder doesnt yank the whole rack off my shelf yet.
- you could go one step further, and make spool holders which use bearings etc.
- you could swap the wood for any other 15mm cylindrical tubing - for example, copper pipe, or those 15mm chromed and hardened steel rods you ordered for your 3d printer but then decided to swap for lighter 8mm versions!
- add a hinged door to the shelving, to keep out air and moisture! Clear acrylic sheet and some miniature hinges would do the trick!