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How to recycle or reuse empty filament spools for 3D printing?

At first there are only one or two, so we don't care too much, but over time your empty spools of filament for 3D printing start to accumulate and you don't know what to do with them! Don't worry, this article is for you. We will propose here a list of tips and ideas to smartly reuse your empty spools.
All owners of a 3D printer have already experienced the frustration of not knowing what to do with an empty reel. There are, however, many ways to recycle them by printing extra parts, transforming them into a clock, storage system or even an electric extension cord!

Create a storage system

This 3D printable creation starts from a simple observation: we never have enough storage space and always too many empty filament spools. All you have to do is print two drawers, screw them onto your reel and you can store small accessories. This 3D file created by ItalyMaker is very simple to print in 3D and will allow you to give a second life to your empty reels.


Download STL file

Create a turntable

An empty spool cut in half and cleverly embellished with a 3D printed part and a few balls can become an excellent turntable. This rotating object can, for example, allow you to paint your 3D prints without having to rotate around the model. This turntable will also allow you to make a superb 360° video of an object. A very nice idea signed Wildrose Builds of which you can discover the result in video here.


Download STL file

Make your own spools

All the environmental advocates will tell you, the best waste is the one we don't create. So a good solution is to buy filament without associated spool! You will generally receive these filaments under vacuum and will have to make your own way to wind them efficiently and durably. To do this, here is a list of some 3D printable spools! Now all you have to do is print reels and find a good way to wrap your filament.

bobine 1

Download STL file


Download 3D file

Make a clock

What time is it? Time to recycle your empty spools! A Reddit user had the excellent idea of using the round shape of the coils as a clock. Just integrate a classic clock mechanism in the center of the coil, mark the hours and you're done!


Roll up cables

Many users of the 3D Printing Facebook group had the brilliant idea of using their empty reels to store and store all kinds of cables. It goes from the electric wire to the rope of mountaineering through Christmas lights. What could be more logical than wrapping things around your filament reel!


Create toys

It's well known children are able to have fun with anything, so why not give them your empty spools! Here are two excellent ideas discovered on Facebook, the first one uses the round shape to create wheels of a machine built in DUPLO. The second one becomes a round table where the most influential dolls and plush animals of the 3D printing realm can sit!


Raise things up

You will finally be able to retrieve the dictionaries and big books you used to raise your computer, your printer or to build small pieces of furniture. These empty reels can become real utility decorations like in the examples below gleaned from Facebook and Reddit.


We hope that this article will have been useful and has given you ideas, if you think of uses that we would not have listed above, please do not hesitate to send us a message directly by clicking here.

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