Wednesday, February 4, 2015

3D Printer ABS Plastic Respooler Project

As most of my readers already know I am a big fan of 3D printing which is very obvious with all of the projects that I have done over the past few years and have posted about here on the blog.  One project that I put together early on in my 3D printing was the project that is on my mind today.  I found that the ABS plastic that I needed for my 3D printer was rather expensive and so I looked for a cheaper yet still quality supplier.  I succeeded in find such a supplier but the spools the plastic came on did not fit my Makerbot printer.  So this problem became another project.

This strange looking contraption is what I call a respooler.  It is designed to remove 3D printer ABS plastic filament off of one spool and install it onto a Makerbot spool. This simple project has been a great tool for my 3D printing and has saved me a bunch of cash in the process.  You mount the full spool on the left of the assembly, feed the ABS filament into the Makerbot spool, crank the removable carriage bolt handle and in 10 or 15 minutes you have the filament on a spool that will now fit the Makerbot printer.
   I put together a short video of how it all goes together but first here is a list of the parts you will need to make one for yourself.

(1) 2 X 4 X 15.75"
(1) 2 X 4 X 9"
(2) 1 X 4 X 9"
(4) 2" long wood screws
(2) 3" long wood screws
(1) 3/4" x 12.5" Aluminum Tubing
(4) 1/4" x 1" bolts
(4) 1/4" nuts
(1) 1/4" x 2.5" carriage bolt
(1) 1/4" threaded rod connector
(1) Empty Makerbot spool
(1) Full spool of new filament
(2) 3D printed spool adapters (see drawing below)

This is the materials list that you will need for this project.

The drawing above is for the two adapters that will need to be 3D printed to work with the Makerbot 3D printer spools. This part could also be made out of wood if you have a lather and can turn it to the size shown.
  Here is the video showing you how the respooler goes together and how to move the filament from one spool to the other.  It's a simple project and is well worth the time to build as it has saved me from having to buy expensive filament only because the spools did not fit my 3D printer.

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