Filament Spindle

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Filament Spindle

Release status: Experimental

Complete side.jpg
Filament Spindle
CAD Models
External Link


A printable built-in filament management solution. Hopefully bringing an end to tangled messes and bizarre hanging contraptions!


Building on the work of these other designs.

Makerbot filament spindle mk1.jpg

Filament Spindle MK1 by makerbot

Printable horizontal filament spool.jpg Printable horizontal filament spool render.jpg

Printable Horizontal Filament Spool by Spacexula

Mendel feed spool.jpg

Mendel Feed Spool by nicholasclewis

Perhaps adapt the partly printable spool from the Mendel Feed Spool or the spool used in Zaggo's filament box.


The end result will look similar to the base of this Mini-Mendel rendering by M.BrittCrane

Planned Features

  • can either be attached to the bottom of the Mendel frame, sit under it, or sit beside it separately
  • stackable for multiple spools and/or multiple extruder configurations
  • can either feed directly into a normal extruder or provide a mounting spot for a bowden fed extruder motor
  • all cad files created using OpenSCAD therefore parametric for easy modification


Printed Parts

So far the following parts have been optimized and converted to OpenSCAD...

Requires and mendel.conf from the Parameterized Mendel project.

Printed Image CAD Image OpenSCAD STL Description
File:Spindle.scad Common modules included by other scripts
File:Spindle-tube-fitting.scad Defines shape of the tube fitting used by tube holder
Spindle-hub 1off print.jpg Spindle-hub 1off.png File:Spindle-hub 1off.scad File:Spindle-hub 1off.stl Central hub with bearing that spool turns on
Spindle-tube-holder 1off print.jpg Spindle-tube-holder 1off.png File:Spindle-tube-holder 1off.scad File:Spindle-tube-holder 1off.stl Uses an embedded tube fitting (same as MakerBot's) along with HDPE tube to feed filament through
Spindle-bearing-bracket 2off.png File:Spindle-bearing-bracket 2off.scad File:Spindle-bearing-bracket 2off.stl Holds up half of the bearing rollers that the spool spins on (TODO: figure out why raftless skeinforge plugin seems to print entire first layer slowly instead of just the perimeter?)
Spindle-support-bearing-bracket 4off.png File:Spindle-support-bearing-bracket 4off.scad File:Spindle-support-bearing-bracket 4off.stl Holds up half of the bearing rollers that the spool spins on as well as 2 cross bearing rods top and bottom
Spindle-corner-bracket 8off.png File:Spindle-corner-bracket 8off.scad File:Spindle-corner-bracket 8off.stl corners, double holes so that the same model can be used on all 4 or 8 corners
Spindle-spool parts.jpg Spindle-spool-spoke 4off.png File:Spindle-spool-spoke 4off.scad File:Spindle-spool-spoke 4off.stl attaches to the bottom wooden circle for a partially printed spool
Spindle-spool assembled.jpg Spindle-spool-hub 1off.png File:Spindle-spool-hub 1off.scad File:Spindle-spool-hub 1off.stl attaches to the top wooden circle for a partially printed spool for spokes to snap into for easy removal


McMaster # Price Each Quantity Total Price Description
98861A080 $2.27 5 $11.35 Metric Class 4.6 Plain Steel Threaded Rod M8 Size, 1 Meter Length, 1.25 mm Pitch (not sure if this is the right number of rods yet)
2 280mm x 280mm, 4mm thick plywood to be cut into circles for spool (using Zaggo's spool design)
4 M4x15 cap screws
4 M4 nuts
8 M4 washers
2 M3x15 cap screws
2 M3 nuts
4 M3 washers
50375K41 $0.14 25 $3.50 about 900mm HDPE Tubing - 1/4" OD, 1/8" ID (25' is smallest size for sale, maybe PTFE tube would be better? Here's the cheapest source of PTFE tube)
5225K712 $2.85 1 $2.85 Brass Push-to-Connect Tube Fitting Adapter for 1/4" Tube OD X 1/8" NPTF Male Pipe
91862A101 $1.86 1 $1.86 1/8"-27 NPT Nut (for mounting tube fitting)
90592A022 $4.29 2 $8.58 M8 nuts (probably need like 128)
93475A270 $7.00 2 $14.00 M8 washers (probably need like 128) is cheaper $0.59 5 $2.95 608ZZ Bearing 8x22x7 Shielded
$45.09 TOTAL (doesn't include spool construction)


Coming Soon...

Filament spindle base layout.jpg

Filament spindle base assembled.jpg

Complete without spool.jpg

Complete diagonal.jpg

Complete side.jpg

Complete back.jpg

Complete makerbot.jpg




  • order vitamins vitamins arrived and seem to be correct
  • make some modifications to Printable Horizontal Filament Spool models (might need diagonal reinforcement?)
  • figure out proper dimensions and most efficient way to cut 1m rods
  • figure out a logical way to attach to bottom of Mendel frame