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Brulti

How to save end of spools?

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Posted · How to save end of spools?

Hello,

 

I've just finished a print and I find myself with a tiny bit of PVA on the spool, maybe a couple meters at most, which doesn't allow me to do much with it. I would hate to have to throw it away, and I was wondering if there a way to save it? As in, for example, find a way to sort of 'fuse' it with the beginning of a new spool of PVA?

 

The question also works with any material basically, given that, since I have a UM3E, there will always be a bit of filament left due to the length of the bowden tube.

 

I'd like a solution that would be easy to implement at home, I'm not that much of a handyman, though I might be interested in any device that could help.

 

Thanks

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Posted · How to save end of spools?

For PVA, you can fuse it. Or, if sufficiently short, can dissolve in water and add a bit of isopropyl to it for a very nice slurry for print adhesion.

 

Other filaments can be fused as well. You just have to make sure that it is not:

1. Burned and made hard. It does have to bend

and

B) It maintains a proper diameter so it will travel through the bowden tube easily. This also goes for PVA

 

If memory serves me correctly, there are several devices that can be found on the interwebby for doing this, or at least help with the process.

 

I just usually keep some of the filament ends to assist with hot and cold pulls.

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Posted · How to save end of spools?

I once tried melting PLA together with this tool. It worked fairly straight forward: cut both filament ends in a 90° angle, put them in the guides, and keep them in place with two fingers. Heat a knife in a bunsen burner, and insert it in-between both ends. A soldering iron should also work. Slide the ends towards the knife or soldering iron, let them melt, remove knife/iron, and push molten ends together. Keep a while until cool. This goes easier than describing it. But then I had to cut off the inevitable flanges and smoothen these out with a cutter knife or Dremel-like tool. It worked well, but it takes so much time that it isn't worth the effort. But this technique could be usefull if you want a vase or toy with colors that change over and over, on a single nozzle printer.

 

So, now I use these ends for atomic pulls, like kmanstudios and several other people here.

 

If you have kids, you could soften these pieces, and make toys out of it, or wrist bands, etc.

 

filament_houder1.thumb.jpg.f1ec846c5d3d0178a552aaaffa38b670.jpg

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Posted · How to save end of spools?

That's a good point that you raise: is it worth the effort?

 

I guess if I manage my spools well enough the loss of material becomes quite insignificant. I'll need to think about it, thanks.

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Posted · How to save end of spools?
7 hours ago, Brulti said:

Do you know methods to do it properly?

Usually, I roll up some Aluminum foil to cradle the two ends together and heat it with a lighter or candle flame, Usually, I am just splicing rolls of PVA that went soft together and then dry the resulting filament once respooled to one of the older spools.

 

Most PLA and other filaments are run close enough to the end to make them just basic cleaning cleaning filament.

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Posted · How to save end of spools?
14 hours ago, Brulti said:

That's a good point that you raise: is it worth the effort?

 

I would say it's worth it. and i would actually advise you to get a "professional" tool for it. (makes it easy and fast)
By professional, I just mean something in metal with a built in heat source. they are not that expensive.

But again I print a fair amount of big items (90% same fillement and colour) so my leftover on the spools is a significant part.

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Posted · How to save end of spools?
1 hour ago, NBull said:

my leftover on the spools is a significant part.

This is a fair point to consider (along with the professional tool).

 

In my case, usually, there is so little to actually splice, and the winding is so tight, it is really only good for cleaning.

 

PVA is different though because it sometimes needs to come off the printer due to water absorption, and that can lead to a significant amount of filament to be saved and spliced. After that, it needs to be thoroughly dried to be of use.

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Posted · How to save end of spools?
1 hour ago, kmanstudios said:

and the winding is so tight, it is really only good for cleaning.

That's the point, I also thought about splicing, but the tight winding makes it a lot harder and then you probably get problems. So the very little rest of a spool will be used for cleaning (hot/cold pulls).

 

If there is more than, let's say 2-3m, and I have another fresh spool, I use it in the S5 with the filament sensor.

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Posted (edited) · How to save end of spools?

I've become very accustomed to melting pla together, not sure about abs or the others, but if its just ends and stuff and the print has retractions then straightening it is fairly important. If you disable retractions just leave it curved and off the spool or else it snaps due to the pressure of the tight roll. it only takes a few  minutes to stick two together, I do it by eye just holding them together for about a minute and then using needle pliers and 180 grit sandpaper to even it all out. Ill do a vid, but I'm sure everyone has their own funny methods!

Edited by cloakfiend
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Posted · How to save end of spools?
5 hours ago, NBull said:

...

But again I print a fair amount of big items (90% same fillement and colour) so my leftover on the spools is a significant part.

Yes, this is a good point to consider. My prints usually require 1m to 3m of filament. So I rarely have more than 1.5m left over. But if you have half a spool, but just not enough for the next large print, then indeed it makes sense.

 

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Posted (edited) · How to save end of spools?

Id have to admit if there was a proper tool for a reasnoble amount id buy it, splicing is a hassle especially when im doing it on the fly and i forget till the last minute. Transparent filament welds great but regular pla is not as good. Well colourfabb anyways. 

 

Id like the tool to be small enough to do it on the fly ideally.

Edited by cloakfiend

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