We run a commercial 3D printing farm. We have literally thrown away hundreds of spools and we hate it. The weight of the spools increases our freight cost, and they are just a waste of plastic in general, not to mention the environment issues. So we created this reusable filament spool as a resource to filament manufacturers that wish to eliminate the cost of spools to their customers and in their production.
We recently ran across the MasterSpool, by RichRep and while he had a good concept for individual 3D printers, the MasterSpool doesn't work at the larger scale. It uses too much material and has more Guff associated with it than what we want. So we continued on and designed a spool that we wanted to use in our printer farm.
The SlantSpool is just one piece, printed twice. We created a special latching system, so there is no right and left. You can put any two of the SlantSpool halves together. This is great when you have a lot of them because you don't have to worry about printing a right and left, which saves some mental effort, and if you ever break one, all you have to do is grab a half that isn't being used. There is only one spare part.
We are working with filament suppliers to manufacture these rolls at scale now. In order to make that production affordable at scale we had to reduce the material used.
So we went ahead and reduced the material needed by half. We made the outer walls thinner and used ribs along the inside of the walls to give it the necessary rigidity. Then we changed the securing mechanism of the Spool to a design that decreased the surface area of the spool so that it prints more quickly and uses less material to create the walls.
The connecting system is actually the true innovation in the SlantSpool. We have made a quarter-turn system that is fast and easy to put together. You just press the two halves together, twist and it is latched. This is much faster than spinning the halves several times to get them to stick together.
The SlantSpool was designed for the either the frugal Maker or the commercial user. Anyone that would like to have many of these manufactured for their filament refills may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have partnered with Keene Village Plastics who will be releasing refills, called the Koil, for the SlantSpool on April 9th. Refills will also be available from other online sources such as MatterHackers.