Cardboard Spool Holder

Introduction: Cardboard Spool Holder

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)
  • Rule
  • 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 !

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    5 years ago

    Great project. Would you please share with us your impressions about the Dagoma Printer? It really looks great, it's a very good and neat design. What about the quality of the printed parts?

    Kaptain Poiscaille
    Kaptain Poiscaille

    Reply 5 years ago

    Hello JPi,

    I'm very pleased to have a dagoma printer, it was not difficult to build the kit thanks to the step-to-step guide. To be honest the printed parts could be nicer but it is only the fonctionnality that count. And they do the job even if they are printed with 0.2mm resolution. You can always print your parts afterwards, in another color or in an enhanced version provided by the community.

    Speaking of the prints, I'm very impressed by the quality the printer can give. I had some doubts at start, but the quality is here. I can compare against prints on other printers in fablab around, there is not a huge gap (if any) even if those printers are more expensive.

    In our local makerspace, we have more expensive printers, but they are more complex to master and to fix when needed. We weren't able to have reliable prints and quality, or even a working 3D printer if "the one who knows" is not around. Even building kits was difficult.
    Now we have a dagoma printer, and it is at least reliable. It is simpler and easyer to use, fix, repair, tune, build, etc... and everybody can use them with no difficulty.

    Hope it answers your question ;)


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thank you very much for your reply, I already tried to contact them just to know if they can send them overseas (Mexico), but I haven't had any luck yet. I already printed some of the parts, just to be more aware of the design, and I'm convinced that it is very good.

    As far as I can see the bed is not heated, do you think this could be a limitation? Have you had any problems with some pieces do not adhere properly to the bed?

    Regards and I will wait for the answer from the Dagoma folks.

    Kaptain Poiscaille
    Kaptain Poiscaille

    Reply 5 years ago

    Maybe you are not aware that they are in the process to open a factory in the US, it will be closer to you. The advantage of this printer is the team behind it and the after sale service that comes with it.

    The bed is not heated but pieces adhere. I use a buildtak on the bed as you can see on photos, it replaces the blue tape and improves adherence. The printer is designed to print PLA, so the hot-bed is not mandatory.

    By the way it happens that pieces peel off during the print, especially for smaller pieces. But that's not a major problem. Clean the bed with alcohol, improve adherence with cura, and it is ok.
    Some prints I've done a few days after playing with my printer. I can improve quality playing with settings and upgrading some parts, but for the moment it is fair enough for an affordable printer.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Thanks for your comments, I'm really considering to buy one !!! Unfortunately the shipping cost is more than 30% the cost of the printer itself.