Filament Guide for Printrbot Simple Metal

posted 4 Dec 2014, 09:46 by Colin Bell   [ updated 4 Dec 2014, 10:22 ]

I printed the fantastic Universal stand-alone filament spool holder from Creative tools and have been so happy with it - it's brilliantly designed, looks great and has does everything you can ask from the filament management system all in one! 

My only issue was that the Printrbot Simple Metal likes the filament to come from above & behind the print head, and the spot I've chosen for the spool holder to live is too low, and off to one side.

I wanted to stick with the great design, and make it perfect for my Printrbot, so I mashed up this design. The idea is that the spool holder can live pretty much anywhere now, and I feed the filament at the rear of the machine, up through a hoop on the rear Z-axis rod and into the new design part mounted on the front Z-axis rod which guides, cleans and lubricates the filament before putting it into just the right spot for the print head.

Inside the guide, I've stuffed in an off-cut from an ordinary kitchen sponge, which does two things - firstly the filament passes through the sponge, which wipes off any dust that might have been picked up, and also allows me to add a few drops of oil to further help with the filament passing smoothly into the machine. As I have an all metal hot end on order, I've heard that with some materials this is a must.

I also added a 2mm PTFE tube into the 1.75mm guide hole (bottom supports 1.75mm, top hole is for 3mm) on the front of my guide, as per Creative Tools' instructions, which means that the filament glides through and doesn't grab or grind on the front of the guide, which it can be prone to when the filament is pulled through at a sharp angle.

I printed this model shown in a natural PLA @ 215c. The black lines are simply because I'd been printing with black ABS just before setting this one up and going for dinner...not so pretty, but the part is highly functional, so I'm not going to bin it because of aesthetics!

Thanks again for the great tool overall Creative Tools - I hope my mash-up here will encourage others to try the management system.

My version of the full spool management kit is here, and my modified guide is on Thingiverse here.

YouTube Video