Introduction: MakerBot 5th Gen Generic Filament Spool Adapter

About: Hello, my name is Eddie. I'm one of those people that can't leave well enough alone so I'll inevitably take things apart and modify them to suit my needs. As evidenced from my Instructables, I've been into …

If you own a 5th Gen Makerbot 3D printer you know that it uses a proprietary filament spool. That means that you have to either:

1) Buy overpriced filament from MakerBot


2) Wind filament from another spool onto the MakerBot spool.

Either way, it blows. I don't mind spending a bit more for "premium" filament since I know from experience that there are indeed varying degrees of filament quality but up to 30% more? That is too much.

So, if you're lucky enough to have a working MakerBot and want to use any old filament you want, here is an adapter!

Step 1: Model the Adapter

The part was designed in SolidWorks but any 3D modeling program should suffice. At the end I put on a metal washer just to prevent the spool to slipping off.

Step 2: Print Your Adapter

Of course you could use the MakerBot to print an adapter for itself but at the time the MakerBot machine was broken due to a bad extruder. Go figure.

So, I used our tank-like Airwolf machine! I love that thing.

Step 3: Mount the Adapter and Test

Make your adapter small enough to accommodate the smallest diameter spools and the big ones should fit just fine.

Oh, and if you ask "won't the machine mind if you have the lid open all the time?" Apparently not, it seems to be working fine. OK, besides all the problems with the Smart Extruder but that is a different issue.

Of course, I'm sure MakerBot will tell you that if you use any filament other than theirs your warranty will be void and your machine will blow up so you've been warned.