Finally, An Intelligent Spool Holder: The MonsterFeed

By on January 2nd, 2016 in Hardware

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For those using generic 3D printer filament, the issue of spool management is sometimes troublesome. Now those issues could be solved with the MonsterFeed universal spool holder. 

An annoying problem we’ve frequently seen on many different plastic extrusion 3D printers is the method of holding the filament spool. Quite often you’ll find the spool awkwardly pasted against the printer’s case in an attempt to make it “look good”. 

But looking good matters less when the printer is operating. If the filament path requires twists, turns, there could be trouble during a long duration print. We’ve also seen several designs in which the spool rubs against the printer case or a not-so-smooth hub. These designs introduce friction which can sometimes result in stripped filament or inconsistent printing. Filament must freely move from spool to extruder! 

Now there could be a very interesting solution: the MonsterFeed. It’s a “universal” spool holder. Basically your cylindrical spool sits upon two rollers that should accommodate literally every reasonably-sized spool without adjustment. 

MonsterFeed comes in two models: Lite and Pro. 

The Lite Monsterfeed is a passive device that is simply a very well-built roller system. The powder-coated aluminum frame has non-slip feet and takes up very little floor space. It’s able to handle spools up to 400mm in diameter with maximum weight of 8kg (18 lbs)! 

If you think the Lite MonsterFeed could be useful, wait until you hear about the Pro version: It’s the same mechanical frame as the Lite model, but it is motorized! This machine actually pushes the filament to lighten the load on the extruder. 

This is a critical function for using larger-sized spools, which otherwise would have to be pulled solely by the straining extruder. 

But, you might wonder, how on Earth does the MonsterFeed Pro know how fast to turn the spool? The extruder would start, stop, speed up and slow down constantly during a print job. Well, they’ve got that figured out by including a unique “trigger system” that detects tension on the filament line. 

Another terrific feature is a warning buzzer that detects when the filament flow stops: it will alert you when your print is screwing up! 

The MonsterFeed could be a must-have accessory for any desktop 3D printer using generic filament, and they’re not particularly expensive, either, as you’ll see. 

The Lite model is priced at £40 (USD$60), while the Pro version is priced a bit higher at £70 (USD$100). 

Ok, you may say these prices are higher than you were expecting. But consider this: these machines will permit you to use much larger filament spools that can reduce your per gram cost of plastic. Over time they may actually save you money – and a lot of time switching spools, too. 

Via MonsterFil

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!