3D Printed MakerBot Filament Guide Tube Upgrade. Source: WhiteClouds
3D Printed MakerBot Filament Guide Tube Upgrade. Source: WhiteClouds

One problem we experienced with our MakerBot 3D printer was the filament would cross over itself, tangle, and bind on the spool. This would cause uneven filament flow and sometimes a failed print.

We discovered a few things that helped prevent this problem:

Keep your spool of filament wound tight. We found that a tightly wound spool of filament is less likely to tangle. If the filament becomes slack on the spool, unwind all of the loose filament and rewind the filament snugly on the spool.

When storing a role of filament, use the holes on the sides of the spool to thread the end of the filament through. This will prevent the filament from becoming loose on the spool during storage.

We also found a part on Thingiverse that was recommended to help with filament tangling and binding. The part holds the filament guide tube away from the back of the MakerBot and centers the tube over the spool. This helped tremendously but we decided we could improve the design to make it fit better and hold the tube more securely. Jess Schenk, a designer here at WhiteClouds, designed the part and it works great.

It’s easy to install. Slip the filament guide tube support over the existing guide tube bracket. The hole that holds the filament guide out farther from the printer should be on the left side. This accommodates a spool on the left side. The wire bundle will hold the support in place.  

Click here to find the filament guide tube support on Thingiverse.com. 

We’d recommend this simple upgrade for anyone having problems with their filament tangling on the MakerBot Replicator 2. It should also work for the 2X though it is untested.