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Prusa i3 Adjustable Spool Holder

by Aero3D Jun 3, 2017
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This is a very nice model, thanks for creating and sharing it!
Some feedback:

  • I printed the thread and the thumbwheel 103% enlarged, still a bit loose. I think you can suppose that people will print this model on their Prusa printer which is a very precise device, so feel free to adjust the original model to the best result.
  • I ordered my bearings from Aliexpress, so they may not be the best. In my case they are tight, but doable fit into the rollers, but very loose fit to the side brackets. I had to apply some electrical tape onto the shafts on the side brackets to make the bearings fit.
  • The thumbwheel and the threaded rod were also a very loose fit in my case, I had to add some tape between them to make it a tight fit.
  • Assembling the side brackets to the base without a ball head allen wrench is pretty difficult.

Improvement ideas:

  • Add a screw to fix the thumbwheel to the threaded rod.
  • Add screws to fix the rollers to the side brackets. Currently they are just snapped together which may or may not be a very reliable solution. If there is any problem with the bearing, it is difficult to replace.
  • Add some holes to the brackets or to the rollers so the bearings can be maintained. When the bearings need some lubrication in the current design they are difficult to take apart.
  • The most important: the current design does not work with MK3S XYZ calibration wizard that moves the carriage to the top of the frame. This is actually a showstopper :( I used TechnoSapienDesign's side brackets, but the best solution would be to use the same construction as the MMU2S has. You can download that model and copy the exact shape of the mounting brackets, and that is 100% sure compatible with the calibration wizard.

Thanks again!

Prusa Mk3 Spool Holder Brackets

I printed the holder, but made a small change to the rollers, so the bearing fits tightly into the roller. Works perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

This thing is awesome

Thank you :)

Really cool, thank you, but unfortunately the brackets are too fat and Zmax must be set lower. The same problem is with filament guide part. The brackets and filament guide which are OK for Z are:

Prusa Mk3 Spool Holder Brackets
PRUSA Mk3 Filament Guide

I'd check your extrusion rates/calibration as I printed many of these, as have dozens of others, with no issues.

It is not about extrusion, it is about design. Compare pieces in links with your design.

Maybe look at the dates this design was created and then compare to the release date of the Mk3.

Comments deleted.

Really like this design. My only suggestion is to make the width of the spool holder about 1/2" (13mm) bigger. As it barely fits the PRUSA 2Kg spool

Not intended for 2kg spools and I would be wary about hanging 2kg off the Z frame.

Awesome holder but I hate the wheels setup. Thinking of remixing in hex bolts instead. Otherwise it's great and easy to adjust (I scaled up slightly as your instructions suggested). Mounts solidly, easy to print, looks good (I didn't use top or bottoms for the brackets as I used hexagon infill). Great design!

Just wanted to say thank you for the post. I have printed all parts but there is no proper file for the regular filament guide (meant for the prusa frame and not 3030). :( could you upload the file for it please.

I believe I provide a link in the description for the filament guide.

Prusa_Adjustable_Spool_Holder-rollers_v2. What is the design intent for the center posts on the inside of the roller? If I push the bearings in all the way, the post impedes the bearing from going all the way to the mating shoulder on the Prusa_Adjustable_Spool_Holder-slider_v2? Again, thanks for sharing your design.

The centre posts are specifically intended to prevent the bearing from touching the "mating shoulder", as you write it. If the bearing touched it would not turn freely.

Really cool design. I've got a great start on this and can't wait to finish it. Just wanted to say thanks!

Thank you. Appreciate you taking the time to comment and thanks for choosing to print it :)

Can't find the file for the v3 base with the wider slot. Did it get uploaded?

It is now. No idea what happened to it. Apologies.

Any tips to keep the bearings/wheels on the frame? It's a pretty loose connection so might glue the bearings onto the shafts somehow?

Unfortunately all bearings are ever so slightly different. 3 of mine are push fit and one is slightly loose. Also different print materials will have ever so slightly different shrinkage etc. A careful dab of superglue should work.

Hello mate very nice work, just wondering I have another printer do you think i can have the raw files possibly fusion 360 or Step file, to modify this spool holder to fit it?

I got a 2.6 filament spool that is too big for this holder .... of course I didn't measure it before and only found out after ;)

Could someone be so nice and enlenghten the parts that need to be longer to work? I uploaded an image of the roll on the too-small-of-a holder.

Prusa i3 Adjustable Spool Holder
by ForAiur

Why not just print a second one (you’d have to print a new one anyway), join them together usin the joining pieces then you can use spools up to 200mm wide

Did you design the filament guide too on this one?

No, the filament guide shown in the pics is this one https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2341182

Filament Guide
by wrodz

it will be nice if you can combine the thumbwheel with the screw as 1 part.

If they were one part you would not be able to assemble it

I've been using the holder for a couple of months now. It worked great for the most part, but there's one design flaw and from what I can gather, it affects every bearings-based spool holder.

When the extruder is pulling on the filament and then stops, the momentum of the entire spool roll spins it a bit further than needed, because the bearings aren't providing any resistance/friction. Within an hour of this, all of my spools get unwind/loose. I then have to manually wind the filament back on to the holder. I don't know why, but this seems to affect some spools more than others.

The solution seems to be to introduce some kind of friction/spin resistance, so that when the extruder stops pulling, the spool holder stops as well, instead of turning for another mm or two.

Put some grease in the bearings so they dont spin so freely. Easy fix.

Yeah, I'll do that and it will hopefully solve the issue. I wanted to mention it here as well though, I'm probably not the only one who's encountered this.

Thanks. I've printed hundreds of hours on 2 Mk2s with these holders and never had an issue so think it depends very much on the bearings used and how free running they are. Also, I guess the different tolerances on filaments will also play a part as to how free or stiff the bearings are when inserted. Too stiff and it will affect print quality. Make sure also you are using a filament guide as this will also add some additional friction on the filament path and also prevent the filament from jumping off the spool.

I have the Mk2S as well. I've never used bearings before, but mine appear to be super smooth. I just ordered the cheapest ones I could find on eBay.

This does occur with a particular brand a lot more often, so it's probably a combination of how they spin the filament and having bearings with zero resistance.

Worked great, threaded rod tested my first layer calibration, had to make sure it was perfect or it toppled over 3/4 through the print.

One thing I noticed is the bearings can really rattle and make noise. They will be hard to pull off but soon I think I'll do so and really cram in a thick layer of grease. This should stop rattling and they should still roll plenty easily, they almost roll too easily now.

Great to hear. Re the bearings, depends where you purchase as they can have different tolerances and with the different filament shrinkage rates etc. Bearings on mine (fairly cheapo 608zz from Amazon) they are smooth as silk. I usually wash all the grease out with a bath of WD40 :)

Do you print the base flat with supports or rotate 90 degrees with the base pointing up?
I tried printing without supports and it wasn't real pretty

Print with the banana shaped side piece on the print bed. You may want to add a few small supports in the holes to make them cleaner on the vertical printed part (which is the base)

Comments deleted.

What's the widest spool this can hold? My Prusa PLA spool is much wider than "normal", about 9cm

Just aboiut 92mm when measured between the centre of the spool walls (hence sitting on the centre of the rollers). Will easily accommodate a Prusa spool with thread to spare. A Prusa spool is about 85mm centre to centre. It will accept the widest spools I have from Prusa, PrimaValue, Rigid.ink etc.

Hey nice design. however the adjustable arm the free sliding one. where the bearings connects to, is 11.89 mm, needs a wee tweak . As well the knob is seriously messed up as well, Mine jumped up a cm with 3.6 mm left to print. Drop me a message when it's ready, if You'd be so kind?

Nothing wrong with the design. I'd check your slicer.

Can I swap the 608ZZ bears for 608-2RS? They're the same size but the ZZ has the metal seal whereas the 2RS has the rubber seal (I think).

I got the metal ones they fit fine spins ok, but I have an issue with the adjustable arm needing a tweak and how well did the knob print for U?

Printed good with out support


Did you need to print the thread rood with supports?

I printed it no supports, Prussa group on FB

No support required

Question: if I don't install the two parts that attach the spool holder to the Prusa, can I set this down on the table behind the Prusa? I ask because my Multi-Material Upgrade shipped and I would rather use three more of these than the spool holder Prusa ships.Is there some way I can connect four together to make a quad?

I'm getting a piece of lexan cut to fit my top of my enclosure, getting it pre drilled to hold 1 for now.

Yes, you can simply use on any flat surface if you do not attach the vertical connecting arms.

I have also just uploaded some connecting pieces (mid connector and end connector) which will allow you to join multiple spool holders together.

Enjoy :)

Good stuff! Now I need to order a dozen bearings.

Great design! How are the rollers held on to the arms? And why 14mm? M3 screws are a bit of a chore to find in the USA and oddball lengths doesn't make it any easier.

Wow! That place is a total Maker-gasm!

I am very spoiled having will call 20 minutes away, order and then able to pick it all up in about two hours. I refer to it as CrackMaster-Carr.

Push a 608zz bearing inside each roller and then the bearing with roller is poushed on to the arm spigots. There is a flange that prevents them touching the side arms ensuring they spin freely. You should be able to get away with bolts between 12mm and 15mm. Metric because I'm based in UK. Affraid I cant help it if parts are not easy to obtain in your region.

I have 10mm and 16mm M3 bolts in the set I purchased a few weeks ago.

10mm will be too short and 16mm too long.

Amazon to the rescue. Downloading files now.

When I loaded the Thumbwheel to Slic3r PE, it was reported to have over 1300 errors.

No such issues in S3D or Cura, so must be a Slic3r thing. However, I have just run it through Meshmixer and rey-loaded so should be good in Slic3r now also

Super good looking!

Thank you. I hope it proves useful for you.