Polymaker cardboard spools

I found the same thing they don’t work

The spools you make do not work well at all. I found out the same as you did. The cardboard Spools work well until they get toward the end, but sometimes they do empty correctly. I like the idea someone had of putting; I think they said, electrical tape to help with the traction.
The other thing I have are about 5 or 6 empty Bambu spools I purchased. I made a spool winder. A Milwaukee M18 Power Tool Battery powers it with a variable power supply and a 1000 rpm motor. I never run it close to 1000 though, I have bearings in each spool holder and an 8mm shaft with an adapter to hold the spool. All I do is choose the speed and it works like a charm and especially with the smaller or odd-sized spools that I could not put in my AMS if I wanted to. It’s fast and solves all the problems that the other spool gimmicks cannot do and more.

Towards the end of the spools, it becomes lighter in weight, and it slips in the AMS. Now I do have success sometimes, and the spools do not slip when they are being forwarded and reversed.
Most people on here have the same issue as I do and that’s why there are so many gimmicks out there to correct the issue. I finally made a motorized spool winder. I can move filament from one spool to the other quickly, as well as odd-sized spools I have that would not physically work in the AMS. Just glad I got past this issue


I have found that simple masking tape around the border of the cardboard spools works quite well. No printing rings that may or may not fit and stay on, so slipping, no brain damage. Use the narrowest you can find at the grocery, hardware store. Apply the tape with the edge of the roll in the middle, one wrap, then just fold the edges over.

I’ve had decent luck with the Overture spools on both of my machines and AMSs but I inspect before I pull out of the vacuum bag. If it has even a slight dent, it goes back. I like the bambu filament, just don’t care for price or availability, though. I vacuum regularly so am not too concerned about cardboard buildup.

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Same. Even with Fuzzy Skin they dont work well. A lot of slipping, resulting in Retraction Errors. Maybe pinning them somehow might help.

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Retraction is done in the extruder, not from the spools pulling the filament back. So your retraction errors were not from the spool slipping.

It sounds like you need to make the adapter a little bit bigger. Or try putting some electrical tape on it to tighten things up a bit.

The AMS does retraction in two ways - the insider feeder runs in reverse to pull filament away from the extruder, and the rollers rotate to have the spool take up the slack. It is this latter part that is problematic with cardboard spools and often the rings we put on them. I recently did a long print where one of the spools was carboard with a ring, and about a half dozen times I had to pull the spool out and wind up the filament bunched inside the AMS.

I have seen both electrical tape and masking tape suggested, but I have not tried those yet.

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Well, “Rectraction Error” was what the printer told me. The problem was: the filament got retracted, but the spool was not moving (slipping). Then the retracted filament tzhat was not spooled up was entangled behind another spool and everything was stuck.

Will definitely try the electrical tape approach!

Here’s how I modify cardboard spools using the internal memory spool STL’s and some masking tape
One of the photos shows how loose the Polymaker spool center is so I just build it up with masking tape until it’s a nice tight fit in the center
Works perfectly every time and the spools are 100% reusable

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I used this profile

It works perfectly

you can also modify it for any other diameter with a 3d program

I printed out a few of those rings as well but the traction inside my AMS was inconsistent so I opted to go with the full spool halfs

Feeding worked fine but on a multi material print the adapter rings wouldn’t always retract properly (wouldn’t grip onto the rubber wheels in the AMS)

The biggest issue with the full spool halfs I printed is they take over 2 hours each to print at normal speed and gobble up a lot of material

My AMS works fine but it just doesn’t like the rings for some reason :man_shrugging:

I ended up using cheap electrical tape on the cardboard spools. It is the only solution that has really worked for me other than re-spooling it onto another plastic one.


I read that a lot. Do you have any idea where to find a visual guide, or photos how the wrapped spools should look like? I tried it on mine and did not have great results.

I stretch it tight when I put it on, and it fits very nicely.


Nice! How do you manage to not have any wrinkles on the inside or outside?

You just have to pull it tight, and it practically wraps over the edge perfectly as you can see.

Same here. Works really good

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There are many different electrical tapes out there the more expensive ones like 3M are much more pliant and easier to work with.