Sometimes, you end up doing something you didn’t know you had an interest in doing and you become obsessed with it. Such is my now near addiction to empty filament spools. I’m not at the point where I want to buy filament just to print models for empty spools, but I feel myself drawing close. I compiled a collection of empty filament spools ideas in my last post. Later, I made a video of the top ten ideas (my opinion only). As you can see from this post, I have made one of the models from the top ten, Spool Tree House by Loaders. I suppose it is to be expected that the Founder of a home décor and furniture ecommerce business, would select a house model to print first. What’s next from the top ten? I estimate it will take a few months to have enough spools for the next empty spool project. I will post it when it’s completed.
What to do with empty filament spools? That question has been asked for some years now. I have seen it asked more frequently in Facebook printer groups during the past few months. The answer has not changed much over the years. Some filament providers have changed from using plastic to cardboard, but there are plenty who continue using plastic. Filamentive accepts returns of their 2.3 kg spools. Stratasys accepts returns of their spools as well. AzureFilm offers a reward of 1 kg for the return of their spools. Customers get 1kg of PETG for ten empty returned spools. If you live near New Zealand, your empty spools will be gladly accepted by a filament provider with the moniker “wingmaster” in the Reprap Forum. If these solutions do not help you, then read on for things you can make.
Update: 3D Universe Terrafilum announced in an email on August 12, 2021 that it is accepting any brand and kind of empty filament spool. Send empty spools to: 3D Universe Terrafilum Spool Recycling Program: 740 Industrial Drive, Suite D, Cary, IL 60013
Upon seeing an announcement about colorFabb’s LW-PLA, my first thought was cushions. The filament was on back order at the time and I waited a few months for it to arrive. I waited again before I tried printing with the filament as I learned a direct drive extruder was best. Finally, in February I was able to begin printing. I wanted to assess its squish factor after foaming and followed the advice of a couple of people who had experimented with it, namely, RichRap3d and Stefan of CNC Kitchen. I tried a few different methods, but learned that there was not much of a squish factor. I was disappointed. The photo below shows some tests.
There are two reasons I installed a second z-axis; one reason was to balance the weight of a direct drive extruder I planned to install. The other reason was to balance the weight of the x-axis in general. I noticed in December that the axis was lower on the right side of the machine by about 4 mm. Considering that my first 3D printer was about 13 inches wide with dual z-axes, I was always leery about having a printer with a wider width and one z-axis. I suppose this upgrade was inevitable.
I installed a Micro Swiss Direct Drive Extruder a few days ago. Since I watched a video before buying the extruder, I knew the extruder motor would be stationed on the x-axis. I decided then that a second lead screw was needed and installed it the day before installing the extruder. There will be a post on that installation as well.