Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Lazy Susans and filament

Three millimeter filament generally comes packed in two formats, first as ...

coils as seen with the four 5 lb lots of PLA at the seen on top of a standard shipping spool of ABS seen carrying 20 lbs and capable of carrying 40 lbs which is the second format.

While several solutions have been confected to deal with coiled filament, I wanted to use ABS directly off the spool. Having lived and worked in Guangdong in China for several years I became happily acquainted with the lazy susan tables which enabled hungry Cantonese dinner parties to load their rice bowls at dim sum restaurants with a minimum of fuss.

The ball bearing race mechanisms for such tables are readily available in larger US hardware stores for about $10.

I also bought a pair of precut plywood rounds at the same store. Once I locked the race down, I lubricated with a light oil spray.

What you wind up with is a mounting table for quite a heavy spool of ABS which uncoils with about an ounce of force.

I suspect that one could knock together a much smaller spool for coiled filament and use the lazy susan arrangement for those as well. Given that most extruders exert kilograms of force to push filament into the extruder barrel this arrangement shouldn't cause feed problems. I'll keep you posted on how it works out.

Does this arrangement work well with filament that is twisting around as it's being as being pulled off(a side effect of the gen 1&2 extruders). I find that's the main issue I have.
I'm pretty sure that this arrangement is going to resist twisting. I'm hoping it will, anyway.
In my experience if there is any distance between the reel and the extruder then the filament will twist up, kink and snap. PLA snaps violantly and could have your eye out. I had a very close miss!

Possibly a bend near the extruder would stop it spinning but you can't bend PLA too sharp so even with a curve it will spin like a Bowden cable.
Obviously that is with a screw drive similar to the first extruder. The RapMan may be completely different.
we use a lazy susan too :) but not with something as huge as a 40lbs coil. good work forest! :)
I use one too! I have a lazy susan mounted on the bottom braces of my machine. Using a small spool, the height of the Z axis makes sure that the deposition bed never will hit the spool, and I'm actually doing something with that space. :)
Where did you get the PLA?
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