Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Update on 3D Printing Filament Spool Standard

Hello Everyone,

Here is an update and release of the universal 3D Printing Filament Spool Standard.

The Idea was first discussed and proposed here in March 2014, the draft standard has now been produced for comment and further discussion. It's available for download from the 3D Printing Association and Youmagine.

If you wish to discuss, comment or ask questions about the standard, a Youmagine page also contains the standard and can accommodate any drawings, model files or tooling information as required.

To get you up-to-speed quickly take a look at the original blog post here, and also view my update video on Youtube or below.

The discussion thread on the RepRap Forum is also still alive and active if you prefer to keep that discussion going.

The document standard is - Document Number - 88-22963-1 (Issue 1) 25th November 2014

The 3D Printing Association is supporting this project and also looking for feedback and implementation from filament manufacturers and everyone in the 3D Printing community, please get involved if you can.

 Expanded Biofoam (PLA based) half-spool - can be rotated together to form a Filament spool.

Dimensions are outlined in the spool standard along with suggested deviations.

Space reduction was an important factor for the spools, both is shipping weight and the volume of space the take up while in storage before being used to hold 3D Printing filament.

The idea of a standard filament spool size and compatible mechanical mounting dimensions will only be a reality of filament manufacturers decide to work with the standard and help make it a success.

At the moment still more spool types, sizes and mounting methods just keep on being introduced without any common standard or general compatibility with existing or future 3D Printers.

Thanks for reading, and a special thank you to all of you who got involved in this and spared time to talk to me, I really appreciate it.

The 3D Printing community thanks you all.



  1. Some holes in the edge of each half would be great to put the filament when storing the spools. Hope the industry starts to use it!! Great job Rich!!

  2. Hi Richrap, I think a common universal standard is a good thing. I really appreciate the time and thought you have put into this.

    From an injection molding standard, I have a couple of suggestions.
    1. The wall stock needs to be uniform, as all spools will be injection molded. Thin to thick walls or vice versa doesn't work well with injection molding, as it will lead to excessive processing times, wasted material, and voids in the thick sections. The corners should be filleted / radiused on both sides of any curves to allow for uniform wall stock.
    2. A thinner wall stock would be recommended also. The current spools that are the most popular are because they are primarily Welding Wire Spools. For plastic filament, the current spools really are quite overkill and cost a bit more to ship and a bit more to make. As a general rule, twice the wall thickness makes the cooling portion of the molding cycle time 4 times as long. Longer cycle times mean more costly parts. 3.0mm is quite thick for such a low stress 1 time use part. If they were to be resuable, 2.0mm would be quite nice. If they were to be totally disposable / recycleable, 0.5 - 1.0mm would be better.
    3. The tapered "core middle" wouldn't have to be at such a large angle if the wall stock is thinner. An excessive taper would be frowned upon by any large filament maker because automatic spooling machines for the filament would hiccup a bit . It's not a huge problem, but it extruders wouldn't like it if it is too large. Plastic filament shouldn't be wound as tights as copper wire spools, but they should be efficiently wound to allow for more filament to be spooled.
    4. I really like the idea of the integral fastener, but a knob / recessed slot will add a lot of cost to the injection mold because it will require "action" in the tool with at least two slides to make the undercuts for the knobs. This will double the cost of the mold, increase the parts molding cycle time, lead to a shorter lifetime of the injection mold, and probably need be run on a larger injection molding machine. A better design would be like cheapest smoke detectors use. If you see they also use the same style of twist and lock feature, but they are relieved by the "b" side of the mold and don't require extra action in the mold. They look more like feet sticking out rather than a knob.

    Just some thoughts based on experience.

    Take Care,

  3. Also, a couple of slots in both the base side wall and the top of the side wall would be needed to allow for termination of the filament ends. Also, don't consider PLA in any form for a spool, it has far too low of a glass transition temperature causing it to warp at too low of a temperature and takes a set that will cause problems.


  4. I have visited your site all the sites are really good but if you want the best then follow our real-estate site.

    If you are interested to be a part of Santa Clarita new home communities and do not know how, then visit our website and follow the procedures. To buy a new home California has been very easy these days with the help of us. We will help you in the whole process and you will be eligible for California home builder discounts from us. You can get 1.5% of home builder rebates from the developer.

  5. Clinic cleaning and / or commercial cleaning is furthermore one our major projects. Individuals and / or businesses can write to us for maids to find different premises cleaned. Our maids will manage things set at a workplace. Deal with your industry - we are going to do the vacuuming works. Sweeping/vaccuming not to mention mopping, dusting your furniture & portable computers, rest location cleaning not to mention disinfecting, a waste of money removal system. sofa cleaning dubai