Pull out filament storage rack.

I like to store all my filament in re-sealable plastic bags which I put inside cardboard boxes along with some re-useable silica gel. I buy just about all of my filament from 3DFilaPrint who helpfully supply the resealable bags along with sturdy boxes. But I’m not terribly disciplined and although I like to keep PET-G dry, I sometimes leave PLA filament laying around in bare reels for weeks or months at a time and it can get dusty. Also, I have filament scattered around in various locations, under beds, on top of cupboards and wardrobes and other places, which isn’t entirely conducive to domestic harmony.

Now that I have a reasonably dust proof “booth” for my printer, I decided that it was about time I get a bit more organised with my filament storage. At the time of writing, I still haven’t yet got around to moving my beast of a printer into it’s new home so it was a good time to build some sort of filament storage solution. The base of the printer is 600mm wide up to height of about 1 metre, after which it gets wider. But the “booth” is 1.2 metres wide. I built a small trolley to hold a laptop which will stand to the right of the printer so that leaves me space of about 300mm wide x 1 metre tall on the left of the printer. Obviously, with the printer installed, getting at filament would be difficult so I elected to make a pull out rack.

I quite like the square section aluminium tubing that I used to make the door frames, so I decided to buy some more and make a rack from that. Here is what it looks like.

I used the tubing with a flange for the back members and the top sides so that there is a lip to stop the boxes from falling off. The spacing of the rails is such that I can either place boxes or bare reels on them. I screwed a piece of MDF onto the bottom to make a base.

Here is the roller track that I made although with the benefit of hind site, I could have use half as many rollers and it would still have worked fine.

I used aluminium “U” section and drilled 8mm holes roughly 100mm apart. I did this on my milling machine so that the holes are all at exactly the same height. Then I printed the rollers which are basically just hollow cylinders into which two 608zz bearings are pressed. These are fixed in place with 8mm bolts, washers and “nylok” nuts. Then I made a couple of plates to fix the tracks together. These plates were then screwed to the floor with plastic shims to get them level. Here is a closer look.

I fitted one more roller to the underside of the rack so that when it is pulled fully out, it doesn’t drop down at the front.

I printed a plastic part to act as a guide………

………..which fits around the tubing like this.

So when it’s extended, it looks like this…….

Here it is with some filament loaded

Finally, this is how it looks from outside the “booth”.

Overall I’m please with how it turned out. It’s nice and stable yet slides out effortlessly. I can get about 8 reels on each shelf so potentially 32 reels of filament. Now the tops of the wardrobes and cupboards are clear so domestic harmony is once again restored :).

Ian

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