It appears a easy sufficient idea: as a 3D printer consumes filament, the spool turns into lighter. If you happen to weighed an empty spool, and subtracted that from the load of the in-use spool, you’d know the way a lot filament you had left. Regardless of being a straightforward technique to get a “gas gauge” on a desktop 3D printer, it isn’t one thing we frequently see on DIY machines, a lot much less shopper . But with this slick hack from [Victor Noordhoek] as inspiration, it would turn into a bit extra frequent.
He’s designed a easy filament holder which mounts on prime of an HX711 load cell, which is in flip related to the Raspberry Pi working OctoPrint over SPI. If you happen to’re working OctoPrint on one thing like an outdated PC, you’ll want to make use of an intermediate machine akin to an Arduino to get it related; although truthfully it’s best to in all probability simply be utilizing a Pi.
On the software program aspect, [Victor] has written an OctoPrint plugin that provides a readout of present filament weight to the principle show. He’s put a good quantity of polish into the plugin, going by the hassle so as to add in a calibration routine and a subject the place you may enter within the weight of your empty spool so it may be mechanically deducted from the HX711’s studying.
Hopefully a future model of the plugin will enable the person to enter within the density of their explicit filament so it may well calculate an estimate of the remaining size. The subsequent logical step can be including a examine that may present the person a warning in the event that they attempt to begin a print that requires extra filament than the sensor detects is at the moment loaded.
That is yet one more wonderful instance of the incredible flexibility and customization offered by OctoPrint. If you happen to’re on the lookout for extra causes to make the swap, try our information on using OctoPrint to create impressive time lapse videos of your prints, or how one can control the printer from your mobile device.