67: End of Spool Prints


I’ve had my 3D printer (Prusa Mini) for about 7 months now and have developed a sort of rhythm with the thing.  As I’ve worked with the 3D printer I’ve printed ‘one off’ items…things that I’ll never print again.  And I’ve printed things that I’ll use again and again.  So earlier this week I realized that I was near the end of my 4th spool of filament.  I know that I don’t want to run out of filament while a job is in progress, and I also know that I want to use up as much of the filament as I can.  No sense in being wasteful.

It’s interesting…I have found myself manufacturing parts that I need.  This week I started keeping track of the 3D printed inventory.  And because I am at the end of a spool of filament I am printing small inventory items to use up the filament.  I quit with 3-1/2 feet remaining on the spool…and I’ve got a nice little stash of parts.

Thus far I’ve printed with just Matter Hackers Tough PLA.  It’s a nice strong filament that prints easily.  I’ve learned,  however, that its ‘service temperature’ is not high enough for some things.  For example, I cannot print clamping hubs for the motor shafts…the shafts get too hot.  One of these days I’ll try using a filament with a higher service temperature.  One of these days.

An internal ring gear is being 3D printed for Five Slat Message Board. February 20, 2021