Mar 12, 2018 | By Benedict

Germany-based maker John Dowell has used a laser cutter to build an incredible 3D printing filament rack. Dowell made the rack using Autodesk Fusion 360, and has published the files on Thingiverse.

Depending on the humidity of your home/office/lab, having an open rack for your 3D printing material spools might be a terrible, terrible idea. Moisture, even just a small amount, can be filament’s worst enemy.

The process of hydrolysis is able to easily break down the polymer chains of FDM 3D printing materials. This causes air bubbles in filament, which results in poor layer adhesion and a less-than-perfect surface finish. In short, you need to keep your filament dry to make sure it prints as it should.

For those confident in the suitability of their environment, however, this awesome piece of laser-cut magic from maker John Dowell might be just the thing for tidying up your work area. It’s not enclosed, but it’s damn cool.

The large spool holder was designed by Dowell using Autodesk Fusion 360, and is built to hold eight spools with a diameter of 20 cm each. Those looking to build their own rack with a laser cutter should use plywood with a thickness of around 6 mm, and use 5 mm pins to hold in the “flipper” sections.

(Images: John Dowell [ZRex] / Thingiverse)

Dowell used his own G.Weike LC1390N laser cutting machine for his filament rack, but the project is not specific to this machine. With a few modifications, it could also be made 3D printable. Curious where all Dowell’s 3D printing filaments are going? The maker says he uses a Prusa i3 MK2.

Being a laser cutting project, this awesome make wouldn’t have qualified for our recent list of 10 useful 3D printed accessories for any maker, but its usefulness (and sheer style) is up there with the best of them.

For those who wouldn’t dare keep their filaments exposed to the evils of humid air, there are several airtight filament containers like the Polymaker PolyBox that promise to keep your 3D printing material safe and unspoilt. (A regular old airtight bag with dessicant might just do the trick too.) A modified, enclosed version of Dowell’s rack might be the perfect compromise.

Get the files for the filament rack here.



Posted in 3D Printer Accessories



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