Spoolcycling: What to do with your old filament spools


An inevitability of 3D printing is waste. There is loading your filament and then getting the right settings for your printer in order to produce a high quality product. On average, a one kilogram spool can produce up to 3.5 ounces of waste (approximately 10 percent of your spool). This might not seem like a significant weight, but over time it adds up. But once you get the right settings for your printer, most likely you will produce high quality prints and waste very little filament.

However, when you run out of your filament what are you left with? A small bin full of scraps and, of course, an empty spool. As a recycler of PLA and ABS filament, I have had many people ask me what I can do with their old, empty spools. While there is now a home for your PLA and ABS scraps, RePLAy 3D, there is still the issue of what to do with your old spools.

At RePLAy 3D, we have a goal of collecting your old spools and reusing them for our 100% recycled PLA and ABS filament. That goal needs time to be met, however we still want to help you find a responsible solution to your empty spool. One solution we have found and have seen used a number of print labs utilizes your 3D printer.

While this is not an original idea of ours at RePLAy 3D, we would like to take the chance to promote it since it is a great way to reduce plastic introduced to the waste stream.

I’m sure if you’re reading this and are a 3D printing enthusiast, you are familiar with If you’re not familiar with, I highly recommend you check it out for it’s vast array of print design and ready-to-download .stl files. One concept that I would like to promote is the Spool drawer organizer. There are a number of designs to choose from and you can customize your print to fit your particular spool.

The spool drawer organizer is a great example of upcycling 3D printing by-products as well as the ingenuity of the 3D printing community. I hope you this design helpful next time you find yourself with an empty filament spool.



**It should be noted, RePLAy 3D is not affiliated with nor are we affiliated with any of the designers of spool drawer oraganizers. We simply find the idea and designs to be within our values as a recycler for the 3D printing industry.