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
- 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
- PVC pipe cutter (I used a Ridgid PC-1250 Plastic Pipe & Tubing Cutter, available at Home Depot)
- Pen or pencil to mark cuts
Step 2: Cut the Parts
- Cut one 5 1/2" length of PVC pipe as shown in the first photo. This part will be used to hold the spool.
- 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.
- Cut four 3" lengths of PVC pipe as shown in the third photo. These parts are used in the feet of the stand.
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.