Filament spool printer

(Nathaniel Stenzel) #1

Some of you asked what you could make with empty filament spools. I just came up with a wacky idea. Make a delta printer out of it! One filament spool on the bottom and one on the top. The area that filament normally resides in could hold a stepper motor and pulleys for one spool and the electronics could be in the other. A set of printed inserts could hold the motor and let you mount some rods and perhaps a few pieces of curved plastic or sheet metal for extra sturdiness. Another set of printed inserts could hold whatever circuitry, pulley mounts, one filament pusher (extruder cold end), a control panel and perhaps batteries or a power brick. I think you could manage a 5 inch printing diameter and use the 5 inch mirrors that are available at a number of craft stores for cheap. A handle could come out of the middle of the top and up through the filament spool that actually has filament on it. That handle should at least accomodate 2 fingers while also keeping the filament steadily on top of the printer.
So, what do you guys and gals think? Crazy or awesome idea?

1 Like
(Nathaniel Stenzel) #2

Alternatively, you could make a polar printer. I do not see many of those, but it would be quite doable, I am sure.

(Nicholas Seward) #3

I am not following your exact proposed layout but I have also had this thought that the spools could be used for a printer. I was thinking that the spool could be used as a motion element. That means it would have to be some kind of noncartesian printer.

Ideally, you could use the spool with the filament on it but you need it to be free rotating relative to the printer.