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Filament Spool hacking

Filament Spool Hacking

Filament Spool Without Tangles 

We all feel that frustration when a filament spool gets knotted and eventually ruins our printed project. When the 3D filament becomes tangled it cannot be transported to the feeder and there is no extrusion. This is one of the many issues that we notice while printing.

White 3D PLA

Your project ends up halfway done while your printer keeps going. In this article, you will understand the source of the problem and the solution. We will dive into a prevention tool that will provide assistance to avoid this tangling.

Manufacturers Are Not The Problem

3D Filament Manufacturing Factory

For starters, it is not possible that manufacturers are the ones to blame here because spools are wound by machines. During the manufacturing process, the filament is always attached to both ends; one end being the spool and the other the extruder. With this process of manufacturing, spools should be delivered correctly, without knots. 

Source of the Issue

Whenever you open a new 3D filament box, that new spool will most likely be pulled through a hole or fixed to the spool wall. While opening and releasing the filament from the box/vacuum bag, the spool will inevitably unwind. That is the moment when the loose end can push itself under another winding and knot itself.

holding 3d printing

Oftentimes, we don’t recognize that knot when loading or unloading the filament. The stiff filament may also jump off the spool and create a knot while printing. Sometimes it’s not only a knot but it’s the same problem: the spool is unable to rotate. 

Filament Spool Tangling Solution

For instance, if you detect a knot in your PLA+, please don’t start pulling. That will definitely make things worst. Unwinding the filament worsens the problem as the knot becomes more tightened. This method to get the knot out of the spool is to take out a few turns, including the knot.

Until you notice a single path of windings, keep lifting turns. After you notice that a single path leaves the spool, rewind the filament under tension and undo the knot when you reach it. 

Spool Knot Prevention

The best way to prevent knots in your spool is to always keep the loose end tightened. You need to hold it until you are feeding your 3D printer. You can do it by simply holding the loose end with a filament clip to the spool.

3D printing Filament clip

There are many solutions to prevent this from happening, but we highly recommend the clip. You can print it yourself by downloading it here.

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