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Heated Dry Box Filament Feed Tube Merger

by Robinder Jun 7, 2019
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Im in the process right now of printing an autorewinder to go inside of my drybox to take up the slack on its own but I dont want to deal with attaching and detaching 4 different feeder tubes and chew the ends up from constantly coming out of the metal teeth. I have to sit down and do some modeling to try figuring out a way to make it air tight when not in use, but close to the box or on the outside of the box, have a spring loaded wheel with a rubber tire on it that can be depressed onto the filament and then roll it forward like a scroll wheel. Short of going full mmu2 and doing it with stepper motors lol.

Sounds awesome man, share the link when you get a prototype rolling! :)

any ideas on a mechanism for feeding the filament forward without having to open the box every time? Ive been brainstorming some things similar to this lately.

I have struggled with this also. I think the major challenge is that there are 4 spools, so any type of 'roller' would be difficult to apply to only 1 spool at a time. The other trick is that with each filament change, I also ensure that the previously loaded filament is completely rolled back up onto the spool so there are no future tangles. So, a load/unload system I think would need to perform both functions.

One stopgap I considered is to add slots in the outer face of each of the 4 inserts in the filament feeder merger, so when making a filament change, you simply pop that one feed tube out, snip the filament, bend it over the end of the tube (so it would slide into the aforementioned slot we added), and then slide the whole thing back in. This way, it would trap the end of that particular filament, so when you wanted to swap again, you would simply pull out the tube on the filament you wanted to load, and grab the end of the filament and re-feed.

Hopefully that description makes sense, I was considering that over the past few nights, however it would mean that whatever filament is downstream (in the feeder tube and the Bowden tube) would be wasted each time... as opposed to opening the top and rolling the spool back. There's some simplicity there, but also some significant waste.