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
Out of the Ordinary
Note: Right click and choose “open image in new tab” to see larger versions of the renders.
Stackable 3D Filament Spool Garden by Twiesner
I had many ideas about renders for this model. Pinched for time, this was one I completed. I think this arrangement would work as well in a house garden as it would in public spaces.
Spool Racer by Chuck Hellebuyck
Chuck, of Filament Friday YouTube channel fame, made this racer four years ago. Yes, he did drive it around. He rebuild it three years ago. Video links – Rebuilding the Spool Racer using Empty 3D Printing Filament Spools, Spool Racer Coaster Car, 3D Printed Hubs and Empty Spool Wheels.
I think this model shows that a nice looking tray can be made from any filament spool with a little effort.
Turnable Paint Holder by mariuspeed
Beyond a paint holder, I see the beginning of a waterfall.
Stool Made with an Empty Spool by Imprenta3D
This stool was made for the inventor’s child. It would be nice to have compartments on the side and something on the top as a cushion.
Empty Spool Table by mrigsby
My thoughts for this table are to add compartments for increased function. LED lights taped to the center and covered similar to the lamp below would be exciting.
Filament Roll The One Ring Lamp by Norgaard87
Very good idea for making a lamp. I can see this also with a long stem.
Spool Walls Tower Block Door by Tonybro001
Add this to a fantasy city group. A few of the buildings could look like this with variations. Miniature furniture could be inside.
Empty Spool Magnet Fishing Reel by Hammerdan8617
This looks like such a great idea. I would like to see the inventor fishing with this model.
Spool Extension Cord Winder by luckyx182
I had a difficult time finding words to describe this print. It is a simple cord winder, but the fact that luckyx182 created it on a desktop printer is amazing. I see it as a hallmark moment for desktop printing.
Lots of Compartment Holders
There are many models, yet they are different from each other. Intended contents played a role and how one prefers to pull an object seems to have contributed too.