Universal Filament Spool Holder

By Davide Sher

Even if your 3D printer manufacturer did include a filament spool holder in the kit or assembled 3D printer you just purchased, chances are it is a very basic object that could use quite a bit of improvement and personalization. Swedish 3D printing retailer Creative Tools has just published a video of a fully 3D printable holder that fits pretty much every size spool with shaft holes ranging from 16 mm to 62 mm.


The fully 3D printable open source project (all files are available as a free download from Thingiverse) is entirely made of filament, it is even held together by using pieces of filament instead of fasteners. It can be used for spools and also – through an additional 3D printable attachment – for spool less filament. In either case the spindle which holds the spool’s weight rotates on its own roller wheels, making it turn effortlessly and smoothly.

While users can arguably remix it and further improve it, the Creative Tools version already includes a significant improvement over basic spool holders: an arm for filament guide tubes of both 1.75 and 3 mm sizes. The same arm also features a small opening to insert a small piece of sponge that can act as a filament filter and lubricant, keeping out the dirt and keeping the extrusion running more smoothly.

As said, building the model requires no glue or fasteners and all the single parts are fairly easy to 3D print, and for those who just purchased a new 3D printer and are approaching 3D printing for the first time it is a great project to start with. And possibly one they will get the most use out of.

Why have 3D printers in the classroom?

Children love to explore and try new things, but many are afraid to try, they are scared of failure. 3D printing removes that fear, instead it embodies them with confidence to venture into the unknown. Additive manufacturing has existed for an excess of 25 years, but is still an emerging technology in the classroom. Educators and students a like an exploring the different ways that 3D printers can influence and enhance the learning in the classroom.

3D printing in education is unique compared to other technologies. The mindset of the student becomes one where it is okay to fail and encourages experimentation in their learning.

A report released by the NMC Horizon Project highlighted that 3D printing will have a massive impact on education, particularity in the STEM areas in the next 3-5 years. Combined with an ‘Internet of things’ children of today will have powerful tools to solve the problems of tomorrow. With the removal of failure as a fear holding them back, students will be able to reach new levels of thinking and problem solving.

It’s clear that 3D Printing holds, and will continue to hold, an important place in education. The question is, how does one decide which printer to use to support a given curriculum?

Some things to consider:

  • How easy is the 3D printer to set up and use?
  • How many students can use it at one time?
  • How do I get help if things don’t go as planned?
  • What kind of a warranty guarantee comes along with the printer?
  • Is there telephone support?

The Afinia Desktop 3D Printer is a logical choice:

Make Magazine selected it as “Best Overall Experience,” “Easiest To Set Up,” and “Easiest To Use” in their most recent review of 15 3D printers.

Some printers cost in excess of $30,000 and can only print a few students’ projects at one time. For that investment, you can get 23 Afinia printers and everything you need to get started quickly.

The Afinia Desktop 3D Printer was voted ‘Educator’s Choice‘ at MakerFaire NY.

Teachers appreciate Afinia’s friendly and knowledgeable telephone support.

Afinia has the industry leading 1 year warranty, with an option to purchase an extended warranty.


Octave’s New Knowledge Base for 3D Printing

Octave Systems has created a new 3D Printing knowledge base called ProPrint3D.

This knowledge base provides valuable information on how to deal with various problems associated with 3D printers, 3D printer filament, 3D printer accessories, and 3D printing in general. There is an extensive FAQ section as well as a repository of useful STL files, and a collection of Featured Articles that are in the form of guides and how-to’s.

Most of the information contained in this site is primarily related to products available from the online store at Octave Systems, although the tips and solutions offered in the FAQs, articles and videos, apply to 3D printing in general.

If you have a question or problem related to 3D printing, please feel free to submit it through our Ask a Question page and our team of experts will do their best to provide a solution.

If you have a case study or have written an article related to 3D printing, you can submit it on our Submit an Article page and we would be happy to review it and if found suitable, publish it on this site, giving you full credits.

Octave Adds New UP mini 3D Printer Bundle

UP mini 3D Printer Bundle #2

Save with this bundle offer featuring the UP mini 3D Printer, Octave toolkit A & B, Borosilicate Glass, Kapton Tape, Extruder Nozzle multi Setting Temperature Switch, and 2 Nozzle Pack 0.4mm 6 Corners. $795 value at a sale price of only $695.


UP mini 3D Printer

The UP mini 3D Printer provides a true “Out of the Box 3D Printing Experience” as the 3D Printer comes fully assembled, with easy to install software for both the PC and Mac.

Tool Kit A

3D Printer knife set – 5 versatile cutting Tools.

Tool Kit B

3 versatile cutting and handling tools for 3D Printer

Borosilicate Glass Platform

Advanced users of Afinia and UP printers really appreciate the ability to print models without raft and with a base that has a very smooth mirror-like finish.

Kapton Tape 6″ x 100′

This high temperature polyimide film with silicone adhesive provides a superior build platform solution for most of your parts. Works with many print surfaces – especially our Borosilicate Glass Platform.

Extruder Nozzle multi Setting Temperature Switch

Afinia and UP 3D printers have a high filament melt point temperature on the extruder nozzle. This is approximately 260 degrees C. Third party filament generally has a lower melt point. This enhancement to the Afinia and UP 3D Printers allows you to select from 127 possible preset temperature points ranging from 180° up to 266°.

2 Nozzle Pack 0.4mm 6 Corners

Nozzles can clog up or build a coating of burnt filament which affects printing quality. Keep a couple of spare nozzles on hand for quick replacement.

FlashForge Dreamer 3D Printer

The Flashforge Dreamer 3D Printer has arrived. This highly anticipated 3D Printer incorporates the latest in 3D printing technology. Featuring an ARM Contex-M4 CPU, touchscreen LCD, WiFi USB/2.0 connectivity as well as built in 4Gb storage with up to 32Gb SD card memory. This 3D printer also includes self calibrating technology, dual head/ two colour printing, a heated print bed as well as a fully enclosed build chamber for improved print quality.

Flashforge have developed their own easy to use 3D printer software – Flashprint which can generate gcode files or send directly to the printer via WiFi, USB or SD Card.

The Flashforge Dreamer is a high performance, easy to use 3d printer and offers excellent value. Call your Octave Systems Sales Rep for more details!

Makerbot Replicator 5TH GEN Desktop 3D Printer!!

Unmatched speed, reliability, quality, and connectivity for all your 3D printing needs.

• Fifth generation technology defines the new standard for ease of use, quality, and reliability
• Powered by the new, user-friendly MakerBot Replicator 3D Printing Platform
• App and cloud enabled
• USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi connectivity ensures a seamless production workflow (Wi-Fi coming soon)
• New MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder, motion controllers, and gantry design
• On-board camera and diagnostics, and assisted build-plate leveling

• Build volume of 8 x 10 x 6 inches (456 cubic inches) 11% larger than the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer
• Makes true-to-life objects quickly and easily
• Enables you to manufacture on demand

• Create professional-quality, high-resolution prototypes and complex models
• Get smooth-to-the-touch surfaces that don’t need sanding, finishing, or postproduction
• Create realistic prototypes and models for demonstrations and presentations
• Choose settings that range from fast draft to finer resolution

Review of Polymakr and PLA Filament Offerings from Octave.com

New Polymakr and PLA Filament Offerings

Octave Blog

Desktop 3D Printing Blog


Blog for USB SD CF Duplicator Information

Octave 3D

Desktop 3D Printing Blog


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