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What To Do With Empty Filament Reels?

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  • What To Do With Empty Filament Reels?

    Is there anything better we can do with an empty filament reel besides tossing it in the recycle bin?
    Ed Bianchi
    Ed Bianchi
    York Pennsylvania USA

  • #2
    Send it to Mr Filament to grind up/melt down/extrude/recoil for more printing
    Kevan - Isle of Man
    Life is like a box of Slot cars...πŸš“πŸš—πŸššπŸšœ

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    • #3
      Don't I wish. I have a hundred spools that will probably just end up in the landfill.

      The answer is: garbage.

      But seriously, you might want to make a few parts organizers with them, there are some clever designs out there. You will inevitably run out of uses for them. They cannot be recycled because most of them have no markings to determine what material they are made from and will end up in the garbage anyway. As usual with recycling anything, it costs more to recycle or repurpose than just tossing them and buying whatever you need new. To hell with the environment. Maybe buy filament from makers that sell it on cardboard spools... at twice the cost. Am I bitter? Nah. I'm past that stage of grief over the death of humanity. I'm on to acceptance, now.

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      • HO RacePro
        HO RacePro commented
        Editing a comment
        I have to believe the filament manufacturers have recognized there's a problem here. Cardboard spools are an obvious solution. Maybe I'll ask MatterHackers what they might be thinking.
        Ed Bianchi

      • Rastas
        Rastas commented
        Editing a comment
        Remember the fish🌈

    • #4
      Doing what I should have done at the beginning -- Googling "recycle filament spool" -- I have discovered that some filament manufacturers are selling their filaments bundled -- without spools. Just held together with cable ties. I assume that you are supposed to assemble this on your own 3-piece spool. But I'd be concerned that the filament could tangle --something that has been known to happen with filament supplied on regular spools.

      The MatterHackers site shows a spool-less brand called MasterSpool Filament Koils, but most products are "currently unavailable". I'm thinking that indicates spool-less filament has been a failure in the market. Probably for good reason.

      Some more searching shows that a number of manufacturers are in fact selling their filament on cardboard spools. Cardboard could be damaged in shipping, but proper packaging should prevent that. I think cardboard would be the way forward. It is one of the few materials that is a slam-dunk when it comes to recycling.

      This article is interesting:

      https://www.filamentive.com/the-greener-filament-spool-masterspool-vs-cardboard/

      Ed Bianchi
      Last edited by HO RacePro; October 15, 2021, 08:40 AM.
      Ed Bianchi
      York Pennsylvania USA

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      • #5
        As I mentioned... at what cost?
        I agree completely that filament should be supplied in a coil for master spool use, or on a cardboard spool. I've had good "refills" for a master spool, but the filament quality was less than I prefer. No tangles or anything, just low quality material. The one place I found that sold on cardboard spools was $30 per spool for the same kind of material I generally get at $20 or less. Why? Maybe the material is really great? I have yet to try it.

        If you're willing/able to pay 150% the normal cost of filament in a futile attempt to help slow the death of our natural environment, go right ahead. Even if every filament maker switched to cardboard spools or master spools, it wouldn't matter. We're still cooking thermoplastics that will end up in the landfills of the world.

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