This week’s selection is the incredible FilamentMeter by ARDUINONMORE.
This is indeed a device for measuring filament use on a FFF 3D printer, and it’s entirely analog! When the 3D printer is operating you can see the meters of filament click off, as shown here:
ARDUINONMORE is a frequent contributor of 3D designs to Cults, having submitted over 40 models. Many of them are household utility items, such as a table fountain, belt hanger and soda bottle watering cap. But other are quite odd, such as a terrain robot, iron man reactor and the fascinating “Brachistochrone”. Finally, there’s quite a few unusual 3D printer accessories, such as the Filament Cover, something I’d never considered, cooling ducts and the amazing FilamentMeter.
ARDUINONMORE apparently spent two years designing and perfecting this design, and I don’t doubt that.
The FilamentMeter’s lower digit spins as filament moves by, and the two digits are geared to shift when the tenth position is encountered below.
The three digits allow for up to 999m of filament tracking, which should be more than sufficient: a typical 1kg spool takes up about 330m of filament. In theory, this device could handle a 3kg spool. Of course, for more denser materials that weight calculation is going to be quite different.
As the FilamentMeter is an analog device, it does depend on the machine it’s being installed upon. ARDUINONMORE explained that it is designed for any printer using the NEMA17 stepper motor for extrusion, with an 11mm diameter extruder wheel.
Those are commonly found on Creality Ender-3 machines such as the Ender-3 Pro and Ender-3 V2.
One of the best features of the FilamentMeter is that there is an optional “countdown” set of digits. Basically these are alternate parts for the digits that are in reverse order. When using them, the FilamentMeter counts meters down instead of up. You could, for example, set the initial value as the number of meters in your spool and then be able to see in real time approximately how many remain. That could be incredibly useful.
In fact, I’m now wondering why 3D printer manufacturers don’t include something like this on machines, as it would be relatively simple to incorporate into the design, much like a filament-out sensor.
Aside from the 3D printed parts, there are a couple of bolts and nuts required to assemble the FilamentMeter, and it should be an easy build.
ARDUINONMORE has made this design available on Cults, and it’s not exactly a free download. For the “huge” cost of US$2.75 you can download your own copy of the FilamentMeter and get down measuring your filament use.