Introduction: Low Cost 3D Printer Filament Spool Stand

I recently bought some colored 3D Printer filament for my projects.  The filament spool did not fit on the MakerBot Replicator that I have access to, so I built a spool stand using PVC pipe.  This design holds the spool at a height that allows the filament to come off the spool easily and go up into the Makerbot's tubing that guides the filament into the extruder. 

Construction is easy: it just requires cutting some PVC pipe into specific lengths and assembling the pieces as shown in the third and fourth photos.  Best of all, the cost is minimal: all of the parts required cost $6.

I made this at TechShop.

Step 1: Tools and Parts

To construct the 3D Printer Filament Spool Stand, the following parts and tools are required:

Parts:
  • 25" of 3/4" PVC Pipe (not pictured)
  • Two 3/4" PVC "T" connectors
  • Two 3/4" PVC 90 degree elbows
  • Four 3/4" PVC End caps
Tools:
  • PVC pipe cutter (I used a Ridgid PC-1250 Plastic Pipe & Tubing Cutter, available at Home Depot)
  • Ruler
  • Pen or pencil to mark cuts

Step 2: Cut the Parts

The first step in constructing the filament spool stand is to cut the PVC pipe as follows:
  1. Cut one 5 1/2" length of PVC pipe as shown in the first photo.  This part will be used to hold the spool.
  2. Cut two 3 7/8" lengths of PVC pipe as shown in the second photo.  These parts are the arms that will support the spool.
  3. Cut four 3" lengths of PVC pipe as shown in the third photo.  These parts are used in the feet of the stand.
All of the cut parts are shown in the final photo.

This design is for 3.5" wide, 6.5" diameter spools with at least 1.25" diameter holes.  This stand can be easily modified for different size spools.  To support larger diameter spools, make the arms longer.  For wider spools, make the spool holder pipe longer.  If the hole is smaller than 1.25", you will need to use smaller diameter PVC pipe.

Step 3: Assemble the Feet and Legs

Assemble the feet as follows:  There are two feet.  Each foot consists of the T connector, two 3" pieces of pipe, and two pipe caps as shown in the first photo.  Push the pieces together as shown in the second photo.  Next, push a 3 7/8" length of pipe into the top of the T as shown in the third photo.  This will act as an arm for holding up the spool.

Step 4: Assemble the Spool Holder

Assemble the spool holder by pushing the 90 degree elbow connectors onto each end of the 5 1/4" length of PVC pipe as shown in the first and second photos.  Next push the elbows into the arms as shown in the third and fourth photos.

Step 5: Put Spool in Holder

To put the filament spool onto the stand, pull off one of the elbow connectors, slide the filament spool onto the pipe, and push the elbow connector back on as shown in the two photos.

Note: the filament should come off the stand from the bottom of the spool in order to easily move up into the tube used by the 3D printer to guide the filament into the extruder as shown in the third photo.

Voila!  You are now ready to use your 3D Printer Filament Spool Stand!

Step 6: Using the Stand

To use the 3D Printer Filament Spool Stand, place the stand with spool at the back of the 3D printer as shown in these photos.  The filament should feed from the bottom of the spool and up into the tubing used by the printer to guide the filament into the extruder.  The stand should be aligned so that the filament moves straight up into the tubing as shown in the photos.

Comments

author
tyousaf made it!(author)2017-07-14

This is really useful and easy to make. Thanks for sharing the instructable.

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author
MrsDobroth made it!(author)2017-01-06

This is great! I made it per the directions and made a second witha a slight modification so that you can easily take off the spool. Both designs work great!

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author
CharlesG66 made it!(author)2016-07-25

I to raised it to feed from top thanks

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CharlesG66 made it!(author)2016-07-25

i just finished my holder raised it a bit to feed filament from top thanks

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CharlesG66 made it!(author)2016-07-25

i just finished my holder raised it a bit to feed filament from top thanks

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JeffreyD53 made it!(author)2016-06-19

Increased the vertical height slightly.

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halr66 made it!(author)2016-02-02

Works perfectly!

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PeterH106 made it!(author)2015-12-29

what an awesome idea! thanks.

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CameronM32 made it!(author)2015-12-27

love it

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lenwortht made it!(author)2015-09-02

Great design! I decided to spray paint it to make it look cooler

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talk2bruce made it!(author)2015-09-20

That looks really nice, thanks for the sharing the photo!

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jimmy.bilodeau made it!(author)2015-02-21

Super easy assembly. Works great! Thanks!

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ckjackson95 made it!(author)2015-01-19

Love it. Using one for my printrbot. No need for glue or bearings.

author
Kevin+White made it!(author)2014-08-13

Cost $8 in parts. Thanks for sharing.

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willbracken79 made it!(author)2014-05-04

Took 15 minutes to make and cost $10 less than retail, great instructable!

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willbracken79 made it!(author)2014-05-04

Took 15 minutes to make and cost $10 less than retail, great instructable!

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twopussez made it!(author)2014-01-28

Excellent! Sorry Other Person but plumbing beats bucket :)

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querry43 made it!(author)2014-01-06

Great design. It is quite a bit simpler than what I was going to build. Do you have to glue any of the pieces or does friction hold it all together well?

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talk2bruce made it!(author)2014-01-12

Friction works fine. No need to glue.

author
zennmaster made it!(author)2013-07-24

No, Weed Whacker filament isn't a uniform extrusion, and tends to have splinters and bubbles and all kinds of other stuff that will ruin a print. There is some Nylon filament available, but alas, not at home centers... :)

author
talk2bruce made it!(author)2013-06-16

I don't have any experience with trying that. I did find some information on it on the RepRap forum here: http://forums.reprap.org/read.php?1,141946,142639

author
controlledwrinkles made it!(author)2012-12-23

This looks quite sturdy for how simple it is to make, well done.

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