Easy Sensor Makes Filament Measurements A Snap

Simple Sensor Makes Filament Measurements A Snap

How tight are the manufacturing tolerances of modern FDM printer filaments? Inquisitive people want to know and when such heads are tied to handy people [Thomas Sanladerer]In the end, you have something like this homemade filament meter to collect the data you are looking for.

The heart of this setup is not, as one might assume, an exotic laser device for optically measuring the filament diameter. These exist, but they are expensive parts of the kit that are best left to the manufacturers who use them on their production lines to make sure the filament meets their specifications. Dear, [Thomas] used a very clever homemade device that relied on a hall effect sensor and a magnet on a lever to do the job. The lever is attached to a roller bearing that runs on the filament as it spools through the sensor. Variations in diameter are amplified by the lever arm moving a magnet over the Hall sensor, resulting in a signal proportional to the filament diameter.

The complete test stand has a motor-driven feed and take-up reel as well as three sensors that measure the filament at three different points in the radius. The measurements are averaged together to account for small irregularities. [Thomas] Several different spools ran through the machine, representing different manufacturers and materials. We’re not going to spoil the results in the video below, but suffice it to say that buying from a reputable supplier is probably little to worry about.

When we see a filament sensor, it is generally more of the “there / not there” variant, in order to prevent a printer from continuing to work blindly after the roll has been used up. We’ve seen some of these before, but this is a nice twist on the concept.

Thanks to [Baldpower] for the tip.

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