Removable Filiament Arm Mod

As we were designing an enclosure for the Mini, it became clear that we’d have to rearrange the hinged arm for the filament spool. I never really liked this part of the printer anyways. It was alway flipping down and spilling the spool, anytime I moved the printer. And, it doesn’t really get it out of harms way for transport, as it is still sticking out from the frame, and swings around freely. Mostly I didn’t care for the way it impinged on the otherwise clean profile of opening on the right side of the machine.

So, on with the redesign. First we didn’t want to modify the frame of the machine. Second, we wanted a simple removable arm, for travel. Third it needed to be strong, secure, and not prone to shifting around.

Here is we we came up with:

First we modified the original arm by cutting off the hinged section at the bottom and tapering it smoothly. This was as simple as a quick trip to the band saw and a file. This saved the trouble of reprinting the spool arm, but we executed the same mod on the stl file for this part, using a short OpenSCAD program (attached).

Next we designed a simple U bracket to mount to the side of the machine using the existing mounting holes, and the original hinge plate (reversed). Only other thing required was four 25mm M3 machine screws to install on the frame.

Result is a simple, secure, spool arm, which is easy to install or remove, and which leaves the right side frame opening clear and unobstructed, so that we could add an Acrylic panel to enclose it.

Blue skies,
Jim Rasmussen
TabSynth Design Works
ArmBracket.stl (740 KB)
RemoveableArm.stl (413 KB)

Love it… but the enclosure seems pretty intricate…

You said that you didn’t want to mess with the frame, but IMO, that is the very first thing to be addressed with this Mini…

I found this quickly, by trying to mount a camera to it…

Plain and simple, while this machine prints good… The vertical screw/bars have way too much movement…

Agreed. The frame of the Mini was a much bigger challenge to enclose than say a Replicator or Flashforge. Having the Y axis protrude complicates things quite a bit, but this machine was a generous donation to our hacker space (Sector 67), so we wanted to enclose it with minimal modifications, just in case the enclosure caused temperature problems for the hardware.

In all it was a fun challenge to get the enclosed volume small, minimize the changes, and preserve access and allow for easy maintenance. Ultimately, it could have just been a cardboard box over the printer, but I think this looks better.

Blue skies,
Jim Rasmussen

Agreed for sure!!!

I was thinking about the movement of the top of the printer shaking the vertical posts/screws… It’s GOT to effect prints, and I’d have no problems drilling some holes to try to rid of it.

It IS very hard to figure out with the large build dimensions within such a small frame, and having the Y Axis protruding out the back and front.

My idea was to build legs off of the frame, and keep a somewhat flat design… a little easier to cut and hinge…
As far as the top lid, I was considering a design that would let you install a couple of the (included) wiper pads, to act as filament scrubbers(filament wipers)??? Or perhaps, as you replace them from the wiper/cleaner???

Again… it’s hard to do as even that axis borderline protrudes from the frame of the machine… :wink:

Hi Jim the enclosure looks great. If you don’t mind me asking how thick is the plexiglas. What type of clips were used to secure the plastic to the clips to fasten to the frame. I like to try to add at least the sides to the frame to start. The front and back covers on your printer are awesome. Would you be willing to share the info on how they are made?
Thanks Jim


The “H” clips are laser cut, but could just as easily be 3D printed. I laser cut them using this profile:

The dxf file to laser cut and the stl to print them are attached below. I also put these and the dxf files for the side panels up on thingiverse (search on DrazzticAction or Lulzbot).

All the panels are 3mm acrylic, laser cut. To attach them, the two smaller clips go on the top, and the two longer clips in slots on the bottom of each panel. The lower clips slid up to install and down to engage and lock the panel to the frame. They hold very well.

The front and back covers are somewhat more complicated, as they need to accommodate the Y axis travel. For these I designed snap together panels with bays for the build platform, and a door for access. The cut files are more critical for these pieces, and dependent on the material thickness. I’ve put the hinge and latch files up on thingiverse, and attached them below

If anyone is interested in a set of precut panels let me know, and we can talk about a price. If anyone wants a complete set of panels, clips, hinges, and the latch, but doesn’t have the means to cut them, I’ve put it up on Ebay (

and on Amazon (

Blue skies,
Jim Rasmussen
TabSynth Design Works LLC
LutzLatch.stl (803 KB)
Lulzbot Hinge.stl (536 KB)
ArmBracket.stl (740 KB)
Lulzbot Panel Latches.dxf (76.9 KB)
Lulzbot Panel Latches.stl (724 KB)

Hi all,

I’ve added a simple backing plate for the removable spool arm bracket.

This plate holds the four mounting nuts and makes the installation of the backet easier.

I’ve also rotate the modified spool arm, and verified that it is printable (fits) on the build platform of the Mini.

This means you can print your own replacement filament arm

I’ve attached the files below.

Some folks have asked about a kit of all the components to enclose the sides of their Mini, so I’ve put one together. Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested.

Blue skies,
Jim Rasmussen
TabSynth Design Works
RemoveableArm.stl (420 KB)
ArmBracket.stl (740 KB)
ArmBracketBackingPlate.stl (464 KB)

You have violated Aleph Objects, Inc.'s license here:

You have re-licensed our spool_mount_v1.2_Mini.STL file under a non-free license. This violates the terms of the license which grants you access to the file.

Please remove our files.


$ md5sum spool_mount_v1.2_Mini.STL
28681615ad95704443d654451e57587e spool_mount_v1.2_Mini.STL