Feb 8, 2018

MasterSpool Could Help Reduce Waste When Buying 3D Printing Filament

3D printing expert Richard Horne (a.k.a. RichRap) is proposing a new way to receive filament which involves one MasterSpool and minimally packaged refills. Already manufacturers such as Das Filament are onboard with this idea.

It’s not news to anyone that consumers are becoming more eco-conscious and demanding environmentally friendly products. As a result, companies are being forced to meet these demands. Of course, the 3D printing community is no different.

Slowly, manufacturers are providing more sustainable filament options – for example, recyclable or cardboard spools. However, for Richard Horne, aka RichRap3D, this wasn’t enough.

He explains in a blog post that for many years he wished for a no-spool based filament delivery service. So, instead of waiting and wishing, he came up with his own idea – the MasterSpool.

Essentially, this concept is a material refill system. Horne’s idea is that you would print yourself a MasterSpool and then simply buy the filament refills from manufacturers which can be packaged in the bare minimum plastic.

This avoids the heavy 260 grams of extra plastic used only for the spool. Horne’s idea would also reduce the weight needed to be shipped and hopefully save you a few dollars too.

He’s created a video to give some more insight into his idea:

Save the Planet One Spool at a Time

Of course, there is the option of using un-spooled filament. However, Horne adds: “Most often, users of 3D printers do not want to use un-spooled filament. Winding filament onto a spool is also not a good idea because it can encourage breaking and tangles. It also takes a lot of time for the user.”

So, when searching for alternatives, he came across a 2-piece Filament Spool by Dingoboy71 on Thingiverse. Horne came up with his own design which he explains can be tweaked depending on your 3D printer and needs.

However, he pointed out a few drawbacks for 3D printer manufacturers such as the fact that there are too many different spool sizes and mounting methods currently to choose from for just one MasterSpool. Also, Horne pointed out that securing and shipping the filament without a spool may pose a problem but suggested coil to hold it in place.

Just one day after tweeting about his idea, German 3D printing manufacturer, Das Filament, tested out the idea. They tweeted a photo and reported that when testing out this idea, it came back nicely.

Horne may have just changed the way we receive filament in the future. If you’re inspired, you can 3D print his MasterSpool by downloading the files from YouMagine. Make sure to tweet him @RichRap3D to let him know your thoughts if you do.

Source: Rich Rap Blog

License: The text of "MasterSpool Could Help Reduce Waste When Buying 3D Printing Filament" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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