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Manual filament winder with smooth winding guide

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  • Manual filament winder with smooth winding guide

    Does anyone use a filament winder, or have any recommendations on which designs are best? I'm not looking for anything powered or automatic, as I don't anticipate needing to do it THAT often. I'm thinking a manual crank model, that incorporates a mechanism to guide the filament back & forth across the spool would be ideal.

    I've looked on Thingiverse, and a bunch of videos on YT, but I haven't really found anything suitable. In particular, the smooth winding mechanism is missing from almost all of them. People seem to relay on the old finger guide to get a smooth wind. I believe the mechanism to do it automatically makes use of a cylinder that's grooved with a double helix pattern. The guide has a finger that rides in the groove. When it gets to one side, it catches the other helix and starts back the other way. I saw 1 of these on YT, but it was part of what, for me, is a way too complicated machine.

    I'm hoping someone knows of such a machine.

  • #2
    A deep sea fishing reel but that would be over kill. We used to bottom fish at two hundred feet in California. Of course it is not designed for a filament diameter of 1.75. I guess it wouldn't work but their principle would. I suppose it is possible to print a filament winder that follows the same principle. Copy any fishing rod reel mechanism and model it and print it and "voila". Sounds easy doesn't it.

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    • #3

      First question why? This is kind of dangerous for your filament. The extruded diameter of the filament will change when rewinding. Especially when winding from one spool to another. In my case it was a set of test filaments with 20m each.

      In the bag it was clear that the filament was from the end of a spool as the winding diameter inside the bag was far bigger than the inner side of my spool. Not knowing what I was doing, I did clamp it onto an empty spool and did the winding by hand. After about a month the filament was shattered on the very same spindle. 20cm parts all over it.

      So in my case: Lesson learned.

      Rewinding the filament is putting it on stress. You force it into a diameter it wasn´t melted in. Remember: Filament is warn and rather flexible, when it got onto the spool in the factory. That is why it always tries to curl up.

      On the other side: Why is everyone so fixated on the looking winding?

      As long as 1 KG is on the spool I don´t care about the winding at all. It simply does not matter. YES, there is this myth that the winding causes the filament to tangle up, but that is a myth. Nothing more. It is impossible. Just wind up a rope onto a spool and you can crossover it as long as you want. You will never end up with a knot. Impossible! And that's the exact method used to wind up the extruded filament in the factory.

      Every time someone claims a filament was tangled it is a user error. It could have happened in the factory when the finished spool got removed and the end got lost for a moment. Unlikely, but possible. Usually the tangling was caused by the user who babbles about bad filament because of the ugly winding. Especially when starting a new spool, you need to grip the filament end on the spool before cutting the end tied in the little holes on the spool. If you just cut the filament to get it loose without, you are usually doomed.

      Just never never never ever let go the end of a spool. It may look like nothing happened at first, but you cannot be sure. In that case you need to unwind the filament several meters and rewind it. Always use the little holes in the spool and/or filament clamps to secure the end of the filament.

      So, if you ever find a guy claiming a specific filament brand is always tangling, then you know that guy has no clue about how to use a 3D printer
      Last edited by Geit; 08-05-2020, 08:55 AM.

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      • #4
        Geit, I think you have a slight misunderstanding of my intent. I'm not trying to wind filament neatly because I'm worried about it getting tangled. I agree, it will not tangle unless I make a mistake. My purpose is to be able to put more filament on the spool. Winding it neatly makes the most efficient use of the space available. I need to wind from 1 spool onto another in order to combine part spools of filament together.

        As far as the filament shattering goes, I'm not sure what type of filament you were using, but I suspect different types will react differently. So far, I've only wound the remainder of 1 spool of PETG onto another spool of PETG, after welding the filament ends together. So far, so good. The filament is currently printing yet another copy of my umbrella brackets. We'll see how it goes.

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