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The Universal Spool Holder - Main Page

by jjpowelly Sep 6, 2015
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I created a buffer for the Prusa mmu. It only fit’s the 90 mm spool version or you need to remodel the Lid.


Filament Buffer Prusa MMU

Oh no! I love the design and want to use it, but my spools are 300mm in diameter. Colorfabb 2.2kg spools.

what rod did you find that makes filament roll the most smothly? Fatter rods, or skinier?


ARMS are in 3 sizes, measured by spool diameter.
Small (Diameter < 60mm)
Standard (Diameter 160-200mm)
Oversized (Diameter 200-270mm)

Center hole diameter is 30-50mm, use the Small Top.
Center hole diameter is > 50mm, use the Big Top.

RODS are Big or Small.
Use 2 small rods for the base and the Top Rod will be determined by the Center hole diameter (as listed above).
For length, measure the width of the spool, ADD 10mm.

Hatchbox PLA Example:
Spool Diameter = 200m (Standard Size Arms)
Inner Hole diameter = 54mm (Big Top)
Width = 69mm (add 10mm, round up) 80mm big top rod.

Files needed to print:
80mm_BigRod.STL (1 for top)
80mm_SmallRod.STL (2 for base)

Really thoroughly thought out and explained, so congrats on that. I'm a 3D print noob and haven't even bought a machine yet (still in the process of deciding, so any suggestions would be appreciated).
Your captured nut design is awesome, but I can't imagine a printer executing that without problems (again -- I'm a noob), but I just HAVE to ask why you decided to go that way instead of just using threaded holes?

I must say the captured nut works well even with low-quality print. I printed these with a new, not perfectly calibrated printer and the nut worked just fine. I guess 3D prints surprise us all sometimes ;)

Really great design, works perfectly. I recommend people to print the longer rods with a brim to avoid them toppling over.

Hi, first congratulations for you design. I have a problem whith this. I use a BQ PLA. The hole is 43-44mm aprox and the spool 160mm. You think that small size is the best option?? Is possible a design to BQ holes?? (I think that small option for 43-44mm holes is not good idea).


I'd like to be able to just store small, 10mm extensions for the rods instead of needing to have entire extra rods. Can you tell me what threads you chose for the male and female ends of the rods so I can make extensions?

Great design! will print this asap =)

Had to repair the Standard_BigTop_SpinnerArm.stl before slicing it due to error in one of the spinners. I use slic3r prusa edition 1.36.2 btw

We are new to 3D printing and this is one of the first things we are printing. After uploading the stl file and clicking on build, it then asks me for another file that doesn't end in the stl, but the only files I see in the downloads folder are stl files. Am I missing something? thanks for any advice, we appreciate it.

This design is great. I've been using up my old PLA that's been sitting on the shelf to print a handful of these stands.

Very nice. Thanks again!

the small one fail got to 99% befor it was done

Thought on a new iteration of your stand. If you make it a tad more triangular (Not a whole lot), you could have 3 separate sizes of rods to make it usable for up to 3 different styles/brands of filament.

Where my thought is coming from... I use PrintrBot, Inland, and Hatchbox filament. All 3 are roughly the same size (Hatchbox is wider). But each has a unique center hole. I printed out the following:

1x Standard_BigTop_BaseArm.stl
1x Standard_BigToip_SpinnerArm.stl
1x 90mm_BigRod.stl
1x 90mm_SmallRod.stl

The 90mm width allows for the thicker hatchbox, and works with the Inland too. The 90mm_SmallRod works with the PrintrBot. I don't use the 2nd SmallRod because it gets in the way when I rotate the stand on to its side to use with the PrintrBot filament. If it were just a ~5mm wider, the spool wouldn't rub on that third SmallRod.

So, if you widened the base just a touch (See ~5mm or more), and kept the threading the same for the Small and Large Rods one could pick 3 different size rods to assemble to make it work for 3 separate filament types.

Just a thought and figured I'd throw it out there for you. Your spool holders are fantastic and work great!

I use PLA Tianse... what files should i print?

Measure the width of your spool with calipers and figure it out for yourself.

great design! love your setup too!.

do have have a STL file for longer rods for 2KG spools? I measured it to be about 148mm wide so would need one about 160mm for the big top and standard bottoms. thx

hey jjpowelly...

just wondering why slic3r wont work when slicing any of your soinner arm stl files ??

well I should explain more clearly. slic3r will slice it, but it has flaws.
For example, on the standard, the lower right spinner arm prints all arse about.
on the oversized, the lower left spinner prints with a filler inside of the spinner, prevent anything from being threaded inside of it.

please help, I want to use your design but its driving me freakin CRAZY !!!!

P.S big fan of your work

This is pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing and for explaining it, documenting it, photographing it and even videoing it so thoroughly. Donation left.

Great design! Printed perfectly the first time around. Love the captive nuts!

The filament we use is Amaz3d from Amazon.ca and the filament roll is 20.2cm in diameter. Are the tolerances enough that I could get away with the standard arms or should I go oversized?

Thanks for the great design the fit all my spools except my 2kg ones http://www.hafner-spools.com/english/business_areas/master_list/data/spule_sd_300_k.html

can you maybe make a size that fits the sd 300k from hafner-spools.com ?

Gotta say this looked promising but I'm highly disappointed with it. A single thread gets munged up and you have to throw half of it away. Captive nuts are interesting, but if they were loose, you wouldn't have this problem. Bad nut? Print another one. Wasted a lot of time and plastic on this one for a single bad nut.

thank you for alll of your hald work. sincerely.... you're amazing. i have had issues with the prusa edition slic3r. it cuts up one of the bottom 2 feet thingys when slicing the standard size spool holder for 105mm. dunno whats thats about. but i wanted typ share it. AGAIN, Thank You for everything youve done. i have designed my own pieces and i know it takes forever

I had the nuts from the spinner arm part come off the bed and destroy the print half way through. total loss.

Would a raft be ok with this print? Or should i just try a gluestick for those smaller parts?

Can the nuts be printed separately?

These look awesome, and I'm looking to under-mount them if possible. Did you do anything special with the hooks? Do you just have them hooked around one of the base rods?

EDIT: I just hadn't looked long enough to find your hook thingy (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:748702). You're doing some great work!


I had to print the design at 90 percent in order to get it to fit on my 140 mm FlashForge Finder bed. Any bigger than that and the printer head hits the edge of the printer. I thought that would work based on a test fit on a spool that was almost empty. But when I put on a full spool, that added weight changed the performance it was just a few mm too tight to spin. This was for an Inland 1.75 mm, 1 KG spool. Anyone have a workaround for printing it in a different configuration to fit the full size in a 140 mm square printer space? It printed up really nice and went together great. I'm bummed I don't think I'll be able to use it.

ive printed the oversized small top brace and the 110mm smallrod.
i have noticed that the top rod where the spool is going over that the thread is bigger then the bottom rods. but i cant find the top rod with the big thread. can you halp me?

FreeCAD is on option

Had a stab at printing these on a reprap d-bot.
Am new at 3d printing.

ABS, 0.2mm layers, 20% fill.
Small top, standard arms, 90mm rods.

The spinning nuts are pretty neat, worth printing the spinner arm just for the fun of that feature!
Note that the base arm is fixed, so the filament spool rotates on the rods - the rods don't spin once assembled.

The arms and nuts came out really strong.

The rods threaded into the spinner nuts easy, but the rod snapped/delaminated if tightened too tight.
The top half of each rod is definitely weaker than the bottom half,
so am guessing that the higher away from the heat of the heat bed, the weaker the bond between the layers of ABS?
Guess I'd have better luck with a printer enclosure, PLA, or printing the rods faster (one at a time rather than all three in parallel)?

Didn't have any luck threading the female ends of the rods onto the male/base arms though.
Not totally sure why as the male ends of the rods threaded perfectly into the spinners.

Hello, nice idea! Do you know what model of these I should print to hold XYZprinting Jr. PLA filament for my 3d printer? If you need it, my printer is a Da Vinci jr. 1.0 and my spools are all 600g.

Could u design a smallrod with a inner spool diameter of less than 20 mm, cause thats what i got on my Flashforge PLA spool :-)

Do you need to use supports when printing?


Works awesome! Love this sort of print that works "out of the printer" with no further bolt messing :D

Working great when I printed out the first spool holder I had just built my printer , my older version of slicer wouldn't slice the model properly . I deleted the version I had a got the latest version and recalibrated my extruder and printed out a couple of fitment calibration cubes a reprinted this and printed out very nice . So if you are having problems check and make sure that your printer is ready to go

The part I tried to print (Standard Bigtop Base) is apparently just a bit too wide for my printer platform on my Flashforge Creator Pro. It's possible there is a slight centering error, but I don't know how to track that down if so. Will try a different style of spool holder.

Hatchbox reels are big rod size, maybe they used to be small? A big rod 73mm side rod is needed instead of the small.

Great Work, but i cant find the 73mm Hatchbox Big Rod File. The Small Rod works Fine.


So I love this thing, I have printed a couple of them, but sometimes I wonder if there is any way to reduce the amount of friction/resistance that happens when a 1kg spool is rotating on the rods.

Have you thought about or experimented with any method of decreasing that friction? Perhaps covering the top rod in some kind of more slick material or something?

I went ahead and sprayed my main center rod that goes through the spool with a product called "FingerEase", which is a silicone based guitar neck and string lubricant. Seems to have greatly reduced friction.

I just printed a set of oversized, but the distance is too large between the 2 small rods for the spool holder (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1831752). Is there a way to reduce the distance between the two small rods?

Spool Holder Bracket 2020 V1.1

A couple of thoughts on the design. I love the idea (just finished my first one) and it works well.

The first thing I tried was mating the stands together, without the rods, but they appear to be different threads on each end. They are close, but won't work. If you were to make the threads on each side identical, you could possibly make the rods "extendable", that is, add multiple ones together to make longer ones. This would help those that need to print longer rods, but cannot due to print size limitations. Plus, it may make storage of extra arms easier, since they could sandwich together.

Also, is there a reason that the thread for the spindle (big) is different than the base (smaller) rods? I know that for your small top arms, it is the same, it would seem that you could adapt that thread to the top of the standard and then you could possible make this set even more universal.

Forgive me, I am an old engineer and this is where my mind goes on these things. Thanks for making such a great set.

THis is good to know. I did the same... and was hesitant to print the rods thinking something was wrong with my print.
I agree, it'd be ideal to have all threads identical. I will continue printing the rods... perhaps even a test run to see if the ends fit before i finish the prints

It was all arbitrary. Being an engineer myself, I tried, originally to use a standard M6x1.0 thread when I designed, but found that it was too fine and the tolerances were to tight for most people to print and use consistently without breaking. So when I redesigned, I beefed it up and used an arbitrary minor/major and helix for the pitch and size. I didn't spend too much time on the design to really dive into making it multi-functional.

It was all arbitrary. Being an engineer myself, I tried, originally to use a standard M6x1.0 thread when I designed, but found that it was too fine and the tolerances were to tight for most people to print and use consistently without breaking. So when I redesigned, I beefed it up and used an arbitrary minor/major and helix for the pitch and size. I didn't spend too much time on the design to really dive into making it multi-functional.

Do you need to use supports when printing?

could you make increments with lengths of up to 200 mm? I have a 2KG spool that has a width of 150 mm

Standard Big top Spinner arm shows up as non manifold and the right bottom nut does not print. Only about 3mm of the bottom of the nut print the rest is "gone". Any ideas how to fix that?

Using Slic3r

use cura instead

Any luck using the 2.85mm 2k roles from colorfabb?

Thank you! Great Spool Holder! One Question can you make the Holes for the Filament bigger so i can insert a 2.85 Filament?

Thanks for a nearly perfect spool holder.

Only minor improvement would be to make the big nut longer and less rounded, so you can easily grip them with your figners or with a matching tool.

Perfect fit!! thank you!

Thank you for this. I've got a spool which is 125mm width. So I need a small rod of 135mm. Please can you advice on the 3D application to use to update your 110mm rod. I'm a newbie in 3D design and 3D printings ;o). Thank you.

I love theses spool holders and am hugely grateful for all your work, thank you. I am finding when I print them that the threads are not smooth and I have to use a wrench to turn the nuts. I wonder whether it would be possible or beneficial to make the centres of the nuts, which are currently circular, a hex shape and then design a simple printed key with corresponding hex head that could be kept close by and used to screw/unscrew the nuts when they prove a little troublesome.

Thanks again for an awesome design.

You shouldn't have problems with the threading... That is what I was fixing by doing the redesign... What are your print settings? Other people that have had this issue, more often than not, were printing too hot and the overhang on the threads became sloppy... But in terms of CAD and actual design, the threading is perfect.

Thanks jjpowelly. I used the same settings (PLA, 190 degree extruder with 35 degree bed temps using 0.2mm layer res) as all other prints, although not printed any threads before, which work well so strange it should have a problem here. I'll print another and reduce the temp by 10 degrees and see what result I get. If the same I'll adapt the parts I need and add the hex and key.

Thanks for the prompt reply.

can you use this holder to hold the filaments while it's being used for printing?

Of course, that's the whole point... If you go to my page or watch the video, you'll see the enclosure that I use them in .

can you make a giant version for 5lb rolls?

You should be able to find a configuration that works for those spools... Watch the video and do the measurements you need.

Does it matter if I use PLA or ABS?

I use them all, it doesn't matter... Only one that won't really work is NinjaFlex (for obvious reasons).

Is it just me? or is the HATCHBOX stuff really cheap and super good quality? I find it to be strong and reliable ... and like I said... cheap 22$ on amazon for a 2.2lb spool ..

Hatchbox is awesome stuff... It's not the "best" PLA and ABS and the market... But it's very good... The price is even better... So if you looked at it as a ratio (quality/price) it's the best filament on the market - IMO.