Filament spool holder for SumPod 3D printer

Conrad Electronic UK
Europe's leading electronic specialists now in the UK

I received a spool of filament form a new supplier since the printer is now working well. My initial stock of colours is being depleted so I took the plunge and ordered a 1kg pack of 1.75mm PLA clear from MakerBot industries. I decided to measure it and found the specified size was 1.75mm and that matched the micrometer reading exactly.

However this raised both a problem and an opportunity. First, how to feed the filament off the spool and secondly, to make a design that allows it to turn freely, so improving on just laying the filament down on the floor. This casual method caused a problem in the printing of two of the blocks used to make the spool holder. I left it printing two blocks and when I returned it had stopped, albeit just. The problem was the filament had caught itself and stooped feeding. I decided to let it complete the build after freeing the filament so the blocks were not 'perfect' but good enough to use to prove the concept.

Whilst on the issue of failure I printed a very good quality first block (in Red pla) so decided to print 4 at one time. because the red filament would not be sufficient I changed to another, as yet untried colour (Orange). It didn't seem to lay well at the start but I left it to print (such is my confidence now in the printer) and when I returned an hour later it had stopped after a few layers. It had gone to far to try and recover so I changed the filament again to a dark green and it reverted to a good print so colour really does have an impact on printing.

Back to the filament spool holder, which is made using 4 printed blocks connected in a frame by threaded rod. The filament drum sits on small (1mm x 5mm x 4mm) bearings from a radio control car supplier with large washers to act as guide.


I was pleased that the printed dimensions matched closely the design so the threaded rod self taped itself into the block. So assembly was completed quickly and the trial run leads me to believe that is may work. There is some freedom to adjust the pressure on the bearings, thereby acting as a brake if necessary. I won't know for sure until I try a print tomorrow when I will see how good the clear filament prints.

This should eliminate the problem of filament jamming when the printer is left unattended. If you want to print one yourself then you can download the file here.

If you do make one let me know and I will include a photo of yours if you email one to me.

Related posts:

  1. Filament spool holder framework
  2. Lessons include warping, filament sizes and Prototyping 3d Prints.

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