RogerBW's Blog

Large spool mount 22 February 2017

I've been printing a fair bit for 3dhubs lately: the user uploads a model and chooses a material and colour, I print and post it, I get paid. Since most people opt for black, silver-grey or white, I've started buying larger spools of those, since they're about 20% cheaper per length.

However, these larger spools (300mm diameter, 100mm deep) are too big to fit the mount on the back of the printer. I've been working on a longer spindle, and on a couple of free-standing designs, but I needed to get something up and running quickly for an order. This is a heavy spool which needs to rotate freely…

Now, before I got a big storage server, I burned a lot of DVD-Rs; several hundred, in fact. (Most of them were still readable when I came to put them onto the server, though a few weren't.) I don't need to read them now, especially since I have a backup big storage server, and it occurred to me that, actually, they spin quite easily…

So about thirty of them, on a 100-disc spindle weighed down by a couple of old hard drives, form the support and bearing for the big spool of plastic.

And thus it works. It's actually quite pleasing to be able to see the spool turning a little every few seconds. Unfortunately I normally store the boxes of plastic next to the printer where this spool is living now, so its not a long-term solution, but it's getting the job done very nicely.

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