Build your own DIY filament box – the ANYBOX

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For perfect prints it is important to keep your filament dry and dust free. Best to store it in an air sealed box. Even better if it is possible to print your filament direct out of the box. In this post I show you how to build your own filament box which could hold up to 6 filament spools.

fertige diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Built your DIY filament box 

I decided to go with an already air-tight box to reduce the mess with the silicone sealant. All needed components, links to them, and a cost approximation are in the following bill of materials. Of course all the screws, nuts and threaded rods you can also grab at the hardware store.  

Bill of materials for the filament box

For the 3D print files (*.stl) click here to subscribe to the newsletter list to get a follow up email with the download link.

Without the printed parts and the hygrometer the costs are around 55 EUR. The box is capable to hold up to 6 filament spools, depending on their dimensions.

Instead of buying the assembled guide rollers you could also print the guide rollers yourself (included in the zip) and buy standard 608U ball bearings* (approx. 10 Eur / 16 pcs).

To seal the fitting mounts in the box it’s possible to use the printed flexible sealings or use silicon sealant.

All links marked with an asterix (*) are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Printing settings

All parts were printed on my Prusa i3 MK3 with Prusament PETG Prusa Orange using a standard 0.4 mm nozzle. The rod mounts were printed with 0.2 mm layer height and 50% rectangular infill. The fitting mounts, nut, and washer were printed with 0.15 mm layer height and 50% rectangular infill. With the standard settings you going to need about 13h printing time. All parts together needs approx 130 g filament, which is about 4 EUR material costs.

If you going to use the printed flexible sealings instead of the silicone sealant, made mine with Fiberlogy Fiberflex 30D with a layer height of 0.2 mm. They are really tiny and only need a couple of minutes. 

gedruckte bauteile diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

For the printed roller guides I used Prusament PETG Prusa Orange too with a layer height of 0.2 mm and 50% rectangular infill. Afterwards just press the ball bearing in the printed part, quite easy if you use a secound bearing to push it in.

selbst gedruckte führungsrollen inklusive lager diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Assembly instructions for the diy filament box

So you got all the parts, then start with cutting the threaded rod in two pieces, each 470 mm long. If you got another plastic box, then measure the inner length on the bottom of the box and subtract about 15 mm to get the needed rod length.

übersicht materialien diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

If you use the silicon sealant on the fitting mounts, apply about 2 mm sealant on the inner edge of the flange. Screw in the pneumatic fittings with the M6 thread in the printed fitting mounts.

silikonkleber abdichten diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

With the printed flex sealing it’s far more easier, just put them over the fitting mounts. You find the 3D model of the flex sealing in the zip file, see the bill of materials section.

Gedruckte flex dichtungen diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitungPlace the threaded rods in one printed rod mount and secure them with two M8 nuts each. Slide 12 roller guides on each rod and fix the other printed rod mount with two M8 nuts each. The distance between the roller guides could be later adapted to fit the stored filament spools.

zusammenbau rollenhalter diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

zusammenbau rollenhalter 2 diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Now it’s time to drill the air-tight box, put be careful don’t push to hard – I was impatient and destroyed a box. First mark the locations, see following sketch for the positions I used for the box.

skizze löcher in der box diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

For the filament passage you going to need 16 mm holes. First I used a standard 4 mm drill and then a step drill to open them up to the 16 mm.

bohrungen in der box sichtbar diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Expert tip: Mask the larger diameters on the step drill to avoid too large holes.

stufenbohrer diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Fit in the prepared fitting mounts, keep an eye of the slant flange, this is meant to equalize the draft angle of the box. The thickest part of the flange should be oriented on top. 

einsatz filamentdurchführung diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Then the washer is fitted on the printed fitting mount. Be cautious, the washer is also slant – the thinnest part should be on the top and the slant surface orientated to the box.

beilagscheibe filamentdurchführung diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Secure the fitting and the washer with the nut, pay attention that the fitting mount and the washer did’t turn when you fasten the nut.

mutter filamenbtdurchführung diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

The same on all six fittings, to get the box ready for final assembly.

alle filamentdurchführungen fertig zusammengebaut diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

To close the pneumatic fittings with filament you don’t use you cut short PTFE tube pieces  (approx. 10 cm) and screw in a M3 screw in one side.

PTFE schlauch stoppeln in den Druchführungen diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Now put the spool holder, silica gel bag and hygrometer ind the box. Adjust the roller guides to hold your filament spools and place them. Insert the filament in the short closed PTFE tubes. Then close the cover to seal the box. If you need a specific filament for a print just pull out the closed PTFE tube and get the filament without opening the cover. Put on a longer open PTFE tube – I use a 20 cm tube – on the filament you want to use. This guides your filament and the small gap between tube and filament prevent moisture to get in the box. So you can leave the filament in your printer if you don’t use it.

fertige box inklusive rollen offen von oben diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

Boom an there it is! Ready to take on the eternal war against moisture! Here some pictures of my setting with the Prusa i3 MK3.

22. Jan 2020 revision: Like Barry Mason in the comments mentioned – don’t place the hygrometer on top of the desiccant like I did on the picture, this will give false low reading. Put the hygrometer as far away from the desiccant to get an accurate reading of the environment.

fertige box und prusa i3 mk3 diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

fertige filamentbox und prusa i3 mk3 diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

To build the fancy filament guiding on the Prusa, just get a roller guide, a M8x20 screw, a M8 nut and the prusa filament guiding model in the zip file, see the bill of materials section. Happy Printing!

filamentumlenkung am prusa i3 mk3 diy filament box selber bauen 3ddruck 3dprint 3dprinting bauanleitung

13 Comments
  1. Nice design, the only thing I could say to potential makers of this is DO NOT put your hygrometer on top of your desiccant pack like pictured in these instructions.

    This will give a false low reading, ideally you want the desiccant to be as far away from the hygrometer as possible to get an accurate reading of the environment inside the box.

    1. Hi Barry,

      thanks fot the hint, you’re absolute right – think I’m going to mention it in the article.

      cheers Marian

  2. I love the design. In printing out the parts I’m discovering the Fitting mount for the filament is too small for the filament I use. I use 2.85mm reels of filament and they just won’t fit. I’m quite new to 3D printing and would appreciate any thoughts or tips you have. Should I just drill out the fittings I’ve printed? Should I alter them in tinkercad and reprint them?

    1. Hi Terry,

      thank you very much. I’m sry I forgot to mention that it is for 1.75 mm filament, so also the pneumatic fittings won’t go with 2.85 and the PFTE tube is also for 1.75 mm only, so simply drilling out the fittings won’t do the job. I’m already thinking about a V2 where I want to get rid of the pneumatic fittings and some other parts for easier filament change so why not a Version for 2.85 mm filament. But this is going to need some time.

      1. Thanks for the reply! I’m finally looking to complete this project. I adapted the fittings design to allow for my 2.85mm filament and reprinted (I can share with you if you like). I also found that I needed to reduce the overall size of the Fitting mount to 94% of it’s original size as I found the printed nuts did not fit. I was able to find some PFTE tubing with ID 3mm and OD 4mm making your original recommended fittings work.

        1. That’s great! Jeah the fit of the nut is really tight, nice rescaling trick to modify it. Thanks for your offer to share, but a complete rework of the design is still on my todo list, then I’m going to add a 3 mm filament design. Best wishes!

  3. Love the design, but how do you rewind the spool after usage?
    Becouse if you want to rewind the spool in this design you’ll have to open up the box and moisturized air will saturate the Sillicagel bag.
    This will resultate in a spaghetti of 6 colors fillament.

    Greatings from the Netherlands.

    1. Hi Joris! Thanks, yes that’s a good question ;), sometimes I cut the filament near the box but it hurts everytime to waste these about 70 cm, more often I open the box and rewind it – the silica gel could handle a lot of box openings, but is of course saturated earlier. I’m right now working on a new version improving a lot of things and also going to test a new filament handling with 3 mm (inner diameter) PFTE tubes to come very close to the printer (up to the deflection roller) with only little friction and then go down to 2 mm inner diameter for sealing. So you only have to cut about 20 cm filament when you change it. Hope it is going to work fine and I’m able to upload and make the tutorial soon.

      Best greetings from Vienna!

    1. Hi Travis, I think you got the same thing as another user which was using a special Adblocker (Adblock Plus) in Chrome which prevents to show any content of the side. Try to open it in another browser or turn of the adblocker. Hope this works, let me know.

      best wishes Marian

  4. One idea for not wasting filament is to add extruder wheels with an extruder knob on each fitting, might be expensive but then you can just wind and unwind the spools as you wish without opening the lid.

    1. Hi Christoffer,

      thanks for the idea – you mean to simply push the filament back into the box? Problem is that it could get a little bit messy if the rest filament is long. Best would be if we could turn the filament spool from outside, but is quite difficult in this setting with that much spools beside each other. Or did I get your idea wrong?

      Thanks! best regards Marian

      1. Aha right I forgot about that part, yeah then I guess the spools would need to be taught, i.e. spring loaded so they “spool back up” unless as you say, have a handle on the outside, which in turn would need to be able to just turn one spool at a time. That would also be doable gearbox style, a shaft with notches that engages each spool individually depending on how far in/out the shaft is.

        But yeah, these ideas are not trivial to implement reliably 🙂

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