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Parametric universal spool holder

by rowokii Apr 11, 2015
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This looks great. Would someone mind posting a video or description of how exactly this is supposed to work? I’ve got this all printed and assembled. When I use it, the metal rod spins on my holder that the rod rests on. Is that supposed to happen? The spool doesn’t spin on the rod any longer since it isn’t touching it. Or is the spool supposed to spin on this spool holder (here) with everything else stationary? The rod is somewhat tight against the bearing and holder (scraps a bit going in), so not sure how loose this is supposed to be. Before I start sanding or drilling any bigger holes, in need to understand which parts of this are supposed to be stationary and which parts should move. Thanks!

do you have to print two of the cones?

Hey, your design is great, but I needed something a little larger so I designed this adapter. Let me know what you think! https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3744192

Large Spool Adapter
by pdub77

Have this spool holder some months. If you have weighty spool 1+ kg, it is good. But for standard 1kg spool it is not good choice. Very freely rotating causing excessive unwinding of filament and once it caused entanglement of spool.

2.3 kilo spool turns likee it's not there

whats the point of the ball bearing if the hole through the entire thing won't fit an m8 spindel? just wondering... the dimensions seem off despite calibrated printer. bearing won't fit, spindel m8 won't fit and if it did the whole thing would jam. A m6 spindel might fit but then the bearings would be a bit overkill and rest rather than catch... maybe i am missing the point of this design. though i would consider myself technically versed, which is why it is puzzling... also seems to use a lot of material considering its pretty much a strictly functional thing..

I haven't printed this yet but I was just wondering... if you were going to use the clips instead of nuts wouldn't it make sense to use a regular rod instead of a threaded one. So that there's no chance of screwing along the rod? One person mentioned it was screwing along the rod. Did no one else have this problem?

THE Best Mod ive done so far thanks very much

I didn't bother with the clips but the spool holders are the best mod I've printed so far. Really makes the spool smooth & improves the print quality. Thanks.


The weight form the spool pulls apart de clips and the cones end up away from the spool, i tried using nuts, it takes longer but it does it anyway. Any ideas on how to fix this?

If you're having trouble putting the bearing in then heat your print bed to ~80C and place the spool holder on it for a few minutes. Bearing should go in easily with only a small amount of effort.

Insert threaded rod immediately so if it's not sitting flush it will still be easy to correct.

Love the clips. They fit like a glove at 101% onto 5/16 allthread. Printing a few extra for other uses!

I don't get where am i supposed to get the bearing.
I'm running a stock anet 8

The 608 bearings are plentiful and cheap on Amazon.

Worked like a charm on my 60mm spool.
In my case, the hole for bearing was too snug though. Printet #2 in 101% and the (low quality) bearing popped right in.

If you need a cheap way to get bearings, the fidget spinner craze has left a lot of cheap bearings in the stores, ready to be freed.

Can anyone please tell me where to put the washer ? Sorry if it seems silly.

I have just printed this and inserted the bearing but can someone PLEASE explain to me how this actually allows the spool to spin? Everytime I spin this on the rod, it screws in and moves along the rod. I'm lost...

Could you use just a rod... instead of a threaded rod?

I designed a holder similar to this but with a bearing on each side
Works perfectly and fixed the same issues I was having as you.

Universal Spool Holder with dual bearings - For Up to 80mm Spools
by mamejay

I have the same problem....

I designed a holder similar to this but with a bearing on each side
Works perfectly and fixed the same issues I was having as you.

Universal Spool Holder with dual bearings - For Up to 80mm Spools
by mamejay

Did you guys ever solve it? Same problem

I designed a holder similar to this but with a bearing on each side
Works perfectly and fixed the same issues I was having as you.

Universal Spool Holder with dual bearings - For Up to 80mm Spools
by mamejay

I fixed the issue with an 8mm drill, the printer might have been slightly inaccurate causing the thread to roll on the holder

Made a 25-90mm version for anyone with larger spools!

75 & 90mm Parametric universal spool holder Variant

Dang, my spool just arrived, and it turned out to be 75mm. Back to the drawing board.

Awesome! This is THE ONE! I've been trying a few different things to keep the spools under control, but kept having them roll ahead under their own weight... especially when full. This would result in loops of filament falling off the side and wrapping around the printer frame. Only a matter of time before it would snag and make the extruder start grinding the filament.
Now I know for sure that it was because the spool was not balanced on the threaded rod. This works.

I made only a few changes:
-- Open up the through hole a bit to make sure it wouldn't drag on the threaded rod.
-- Make the bearing height parameter slightly larger, so the the bearing can sit further down in the pocket.
-- Made another small part I'm calling a "tapered bearing washer", with the small end the diameter of the inner bearing race, and a larger end just bigger the the diameter across the points of the nut. This way I'm sure that contact is made only with the inner race, so snugging up the nuts won't add any drag to the outer race and spool.

The bearing pocket diameter seemed okay for my bearings. After printing, I chamfered the corner a bit with a deburring tool, and went around the outer edge of the bearing pocket with 60 grit sandpaper around a piece of dowel, just to make sure any high spots were cleaned up. Then used a C-clamp to press the bearing in, kind of like a press fit of a wheel bearing.


My printer is calibrated perfectly, but the hold is way too small for the bearing. I've had other designs where it fit snugly. Here's a neat little trick to make a bearing fit into a hole that is too small: heat up the bearing by placing a hot glue gun through its hole. When it's hot to the touch, simply slide the bearing into the PLA part using the glue gun (while keeping the glue gun in the bearing). The bearing will slowly and effortlessly slide through the hole by warming up the PLA around it. You can use this trick if you want to slide any metal object into PLA with tight tolerances. I've used it to slide magnets into tight holes as well and it works beautifully!
The other issue with this design is the default size of the hole for the rod is way too tight! It provides way too much friction onto the rod and does not spin. There's no reason for it to be tight. It's supposed to be bigger than the hole in the bearing so that it can spin freely around the rod. I realize you can change it in Customizer, but the default should definitely be more than 8.1 because my first print was no good since I used the default values.

I did the same with a soldering iron. Simply placed the bearing over the hole and lined it up, applied the heat and a bit of pressure and it dropped right in. Saves hours of reprinting and fiddling with the code/size. Thanks mza1979m for this idea. Thanks OP for the design!

I am curious to know if anybody can answer my question? Why would you need this opposed to just putting the spool on the threaded rod itself? What benefit does this have opposed to that?

In other words, it almost completely eliminates the friction between the spool and the rod, making it far easier for the extruder to pull the filament through because the spool spins so much easier. The closer the rod is to the center of the spool, the more balanced the spool is as it spins, since it now spins around the rod evenly without swaying back and forth.

Spool rotates more smoothly without swings providing more even flow of filament.

This one of those designs that are not only simple but works excellently and has a nice look to it. it is also one that was actually printed by the maker ans knows that it works.

I could not get the bearings to fit but because this very very thoughtful designer/maker mentioned that he used OpenSCAD it was really easy to adjust the hole to the correct size.

I very much like that he mentioned the software used. I`m planning on adding my "design" files to the stl files for download when I post my "makes"

Just printed this piece. Works perfectly. Had to use a rubber mallet to tappa tappa tappa the bearings in. Printed the clips for ease, great addition. The clips are somewhat weak, I snapped two in a row trying to get them onto the threaded rod. I printed all these parts in PLA since they won't be going near heat, to solve the weak clips though I would use PETG or ABS. Cannot say much for improvements on my print quality as I already have my ANET A8 dialed in fairly well. I'm sure if I had any under-extrusion issues this might solve it.

Hi I also printed this. Just "screw" the clip from the end of the rod. Mine did not snap but I use so many setting that it may have had more fill than normal. BTW I also printed in PLA. Just use a little more less fill for flexibility.

O just printed the holder and fits perfectly into 608 bearings, no issues anymore with filament jam, thank you!
Regarding the clip, it looks to have dimensions M6 instead M8, can't attach to the rod...

Just give it a little "push" it fits :-)

yes.i just sanded a bit and push the bearing into the hole a bit, then push on the floor.snug fit!!

Building a filament holder with this item, used 608 bearings, made a dramatic difference in quality of print on my setup. My spools had big holes as well and these work perfect. Thanks!

what bearrings are you using? i just broke one trying to fit a 608

I also broke one fitting the 608. The tolerances are not very good around the world.

However if you open the design in OpenSCad just change the parameters in the left column to look like this:

// bearing dimensions
bearing_d = 22; //just change this to 22.2
bearing_h = 7;

Hey there, I made a design incorporating this set. Will attribute, thanks!

Overhead, 45 deg. spool holder for 3030 extrusion

Version for spools with a 100mm hole?

If you don`t have it download Open SCAD and install it.

Open the STL file then change the parameters. Remember to "Render" afterwards and save the file in STL format on your computer.

Try playing with the following code and see what happens. Notice that my comments for possible changes are in {{ }}

// bearing dimentions
bearing_d = 22;
bearing_h = 7;

// max and min size of the spool holder diameter
max_d = 70; {{Change this to 110 and see what happens.}}
min_d = 25;

// height of the holder
cone_h = 30; {{You could change this as well but it is not really necessary}}

// rod diameter
rod_d = 8.1;

// circle control
$fa = 1;
$fs = 1;

Thanks for the great design, it's actually improved the quality of my prints, as the filament doesn't have to be pulled so hard by the stepper.

Comments deleted.

Great design. The bearings i used have a 8mm ID and a 23mm OD. In order to get the bearing to fit I had to increase both the x & y axis dimension to 65.5 in Cura. They work great! Thanks.

I want to say Thank You for this design and posting your work for others to use.

You have a typo in your code. Replace plus sign:

// the center rod

with minus, like this, in other case the hole for rod gets blocked by a layer of plastic:

// the center rod

Thanks for this. I was wondering what I was doing wrong in OpenSCAD...

Do you use 8mm threaded rod or slightly less than that?

Would it work with the spool horizontal?

Thanks for this design, I love it.

I'm no good with scad but it would be awesome to see this combined with emmett's parametric gear bearing so no 608's need to be added.

Gear Bearing
by emmett

I was going to say exactly the same thing! A remix with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:53451 would remove the need for added bearings and could even be printed in one shot, no assembly needed. Not into drawing and remixing yet but someone should do it for sure!

Gear Bearing
by emmett

I was going to say exactly the same thing! A remix with http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:53451 would remove the need for added bearings and could even be printed in one shot, no assembly needed. Not into drawing and remixing yet but someone should do it for sure!

Gear Bearing
by emmett

Hey guys, I'f you're still interested, I totally just did lol
This is my 25-90mm variant though

Geared & Bearing, 75mm & 90mm Parametric universal spool holder Variant

Good work!

Still, a couple proposals:

  1. In spool_holder.scad, line 29, should be "cylinder(r=rod_d/2, h=cone_h+.1);", no "translate" required
    Otherwise, the rod hole might get blocked with plastic e.g. with these params:
    2.Additionally, imo, would be better to make the bearing cylinder a bit larger, e.g. 8.1-8.2 by default

Thanks for the corrected statement. I was getting a blockage exactly as you predicted might happen. With the correction, I now have a clean hole.

Printed it and love it.

I have an M8x150mm coach bolt as the axle, mounted through an 8mm hole in a piece of timber. The bearing fit was very tight. I softened the print up with a heat gun, then used my vise to squeeze the bearing in. A suggestion for the next version: print the "washers" in place rather than as separate pieces.

I just printed the original of this design, only to realize like you my spool was larger than 56mm (57 actually haha) so I printed this one along with the genius clips that have saved my raggedy filament holder I cobbled together in my rage! Thanks for the share!

I had drilled out one nozzle to .5mm and u can go to 75% of nozzle diam. for the print height, which is .375mm and makes a lot of difference in accuracy of the print, esp if there are holes and circles... pla rules for just laying down on the glass and not having to have funky sticking procedures to minimize warping, but pla dries so hard that it doenst 'snap' together with other stuff well so , since i am out of PLA, adn had the abs , i went with that thinking the bearing would snap in better , i'm not too advanced on the 3d design yet , as u can see i only have posted one simple design, i did learn solid works but that was 10 yrs ago and havent used since. i did increase the printing speed to 100mm for infills about a week ago. the color of dye in your material also affects the temp you need to extrude so maybe my gold pla dries harder than your red color. i did use slic3r but have not fooled with the xy comp much , ill look into that, thx. You must have printed 2 spool holders at a time to only have spent less than 2 hrs for both, or maybe the rectilinear fill is much quicker than the honeycomb. ha ha, the fine line between the perfectionist and the cheapskate ! i have yet to do a circular / spiral bed calibration to make sure thickness stays the same!! on the list of to-do's though !!!

each one of the spool holders takes no less than 2hr 20 min, about 40% infill , honeycomb and .3mm layer height -
perhaps if i used more accuracy (.2mm lh) the hole for the bearing would have been better ? my product requires alot of scraping around the edges , sort of chamfering or hogging, reaming it out in order for my bearing to fit in the socket nicely as shown in your picture. Material was ABS, had the bed at 99deg C, had glass with kapton tape on it , had dropped some polyurethane on it for stick as i had no hair spray or superglue. The black ABS 1.75mm used was extruded at about 225-230C. Each spool holder weighs ~ 20g, a far amount off from the prediction cura gave of only 5g.

The fitting of the bearing to the hole really depends on your printer. Sorry you had so much trouble. On my machine, the 22mm hole come out ~22 to 22.05mm, which makes it a very snug fit. I just set the bearing on the table and pressed the holder down using my weight. I think how well you have tuned the extruder flow rate and speed you print have more to do than the layer height. If you ever want to print it again, you can enlarge the 22mm to something a bit larger as compensation. If you use slic3r, the new version has xy compensation setting as well. I've only printed PLA, so I don't have any experience with ABS. 210C with 65C bed, printed with 25% infill, rectilinear and .35mm layer height (I have .5mm hotend)... took around 1:45 for the pair I think? I didn't note how much plastic was used.

If you want to get more accurate fitting parts, try:
"Part Fitting Calibration by MEH4d" (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:342198) or
"Nickle Calibration by jvanroekel" (http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:84795)...

Perfectionist in me kicked in and I spent a lot of time trying to tune the machine until the cheapskate in me told me to stop wasting plastic and time! :)

Part Fitting Calibration
by MEH4d
Nickle Calibration

Do not understand how is the washer use. And spool holder with bearing only for 1 side? Thank you for sharing .

You need two of everything, one for each side of the spool. Put the washer in the hole then the bearing gets pushed in. The washer has larger hole so the hub of the bearing (inner race?) is not hitting the holder. Now that I think about it, I guess if you want to make the hole for the threaded rod larger than the hub of the bearing, the spacer is not required.

My spool is placed on a threaded rod, so two hex nut on each side is tightened to push/clamp the two holder against the spool that is in the middle.

Thanks for the complement and the inspiration!