Filament getting caught on spool

Hey all!

I recently ordered 4 rolls of 1.75mm Hello 3D PLA filament and have been having trouble with the first spool.

The filament keeps getting trapped on the spool to the point where my machine (Ender 5-Plus) cannot unravel it. It’s like the spool was looped in such a way that strands are caught under other strands. I’ve printed with the spool for about 20 hours now, and have had to manually go over and unroll the spool 8 or 9 times now when I hear my machine struggling.

Has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone have a solution? I can’t monitor all of my prints 24/7, and am afraid that my prints will fail and my machine will take unnecessary wear while I’m absent.


When your current print is done, wrap some packing tape tightly around the portion of the spool that looks like it’s wound properly to prevent it from becoming any more unwound. Then you’ll have to manually unwind the tangled portion until you get to the properly wound portion. Now it gets a bit tricky. With one hand CONSTANTLY holding the filament where it comes off the roll and keeping the filament tight on the spool, remove the packing tape holding the properly wound filament in place. Then, while keeping tension on the spool and that filament still passing through your hand, wind the spool back up. Try to keep the filament neat and tight as you wind it back up. If a tangle starts to form on the other side of the hand that’s holding the filament, DO NOT LET GO, but keep the tension on the spool and use your free hand to clear up the tangle and continue winding. It’s tedious.

The most common cause is that you let go of the filament end when preparing to mount it and the filament uncoiled a bit and tied itself up. These spools are wound by machine and generally can never get tangled unless handled. That having been said, there is one way that it can get knotted even if the end of the filament is held firmly, but it involves at least two loops of filament slipping off the spool but going back on in reverse order.

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I had a similiar problem with a spool holder I printed. It had bearings in it and the spool rolled way to much during printing. I helped develope a bearing that is plastic on plastic that spins well but not excessively. fixed problem.

Awesome, thank you both for your responses!

LEGOManiac - I’ll give that a try. I switched out the spool for a different one from another manufacturer that I had been using before. I’m unsure how the original spool got tangled - it went straight from the package onto the machine, and the “kinks” in the spool were happening all throughout. I’ll take the time to rewind it though so I can try a print tonight.

HobbyMaker3D - I’m using the spool holder that came with the Ender 5, but I’ve put a clamp at the midway point as I found it was sliding around. The hole for the Hello 3D filament is large, so it was slipping about and almost came off once. The clamp doesn’t interfere with the spool’s spin, but it helps it not fly off when I’m not looking. :slight_smile:

Thanks again for your insights!