Weight of empty filament spools?

I weigh my empty filament spools so I can figure out how much filament that I have on a partially used spool.

When I know the weight of an empty spool, I weigh the partially used spool, subtract the weight of the empty spool, and get how much filament I have left (minus the amount that needs to remain in the bowden tube). This allows me to start a print knowing that I won’t have to watch it and try to replace the roll before it runs out.

So far I’ve mostly used CCTREE filament, so I only have empty spools for that brand of filament.

A CCTREE filament spool weighs 111 grams.

Does anyone have the following empty spools that they could weigh?

  • the small spool that comes with a CR-10
  • AMZ3D spool
  • MG Chemicals spool
BTW, I really like CCTREE PLA filament. When I print onto a heated glass bed, the bottom finish is great, the parts stick to the glass, and once the glass cools down to room temperature the parts just pop off. I bought the other rolls because they were on sale on Amazon. In retrospect it wasn't worth the money that I saved. The MG Chemicals filament does not want to stick to the glass (in the question/answer section there are other people that have asked how to get it to stick to glass, so I'm not the only person that has noticed this issue with MG Chemicals filaments).

Why, why would you do that?

Just buy a simple filament sensor, it costs maybe 2 bucks. It will detect if you’re running out of filament, pause the print and you can even tell the printer to move the print head to park in a safe spot.

Seems way easier to me than having to weight all the different kind of spools of the galaxy.

> Just buy a simple filament sensor, it costs maybe 2 bucks.

A filament sensor doesn’t cost just $2 in Canada. Plus you need the infrastructure around the sensor (either a Raspberry Pi running Octoprint, or a new motherboard that supports a filament sensor). If I went the Raspberry Pi+Octoprint route, it would cost me around $100 for everything that I need.

> Seems way easier to me than having to weight all the different kind of spools of the galaxy.

For now it is simplest for me to just get the weights of the spools from the 3 manufacturers for which I don’t know the weights (3, not “all the different kind of spools of the galaxy”).

I’d just like to add that the spools may not weigh exactly the same, even with the same brand. I have two rolls from 3d solutech, both weighed brand new before use, and their mass was different. I think it was around 100 g, at most. If you’re using two empty filament rolls, then sure, you have evidence. My rolls aren’t empty, so I just wanted to make sure that was a consideration. It could be that I got more/less filament then I should have. I will see once the rolls are empty.

I have used this simple method to weigh empty spools before & seems a lot simpler than taking the time to add a filament sensor. I prefer not to change filament in the middle of a print anyway since it is just one more thing that could go wrong.

Ok, apparently it is 8 bucks in canada.

Or less than one buck if you just print your own:


From what I know, you can just plug the thing to your Arduino/rambo/whatever board you currently have. You just have to enable this option in Marlin firmware. So, the cost is zero.

> From what I know, you can just plug the thing to your Arduino/rambo/whatever board you currently have.

What you think you know is wrong.

The 3D printer that I am currently using (a CR-10) does not have any place that a filament sensor could be plugged in. I’d have to replace the main board, or set up a Raspberry Pi running Octoprint. Which is money that I don’t want to spend at this point in time.

Holy crap! Creality used 8 different boards for their printers! Supposedly some of the CR-10’s shipped with the 10s boards, but you’d have to open the case to check. Have you seen Prusia’s new multi-filament doohickey? One of the use cases is to load up a bunch of your partials and it will auto switch to the next one.

I didn’t know they used so many different boards, or even used the 10S board in the 10. My Ender 3 has the V1.1.3 board, I think a newer version of the standard board used in the 10. I don’t remember if it had an empty slot when I was upgrading the firmware.

That comes off a little harsh, it is an option that I think is valid.

You should have a few open ports on your board I am seeing some extra fan and therm ports on most of them. This will let you remap a pin to the switch. You would be surprised how far you can tweak most board now that they have released the firmware.

At my previous job we weighed the empties, it can get you close but if you cut it too close it will not work as the Estimate in the slicer is not always correct. A switch is more reliable but the print can not be paused for too long or the filament will cook. I have a small print farm and I desperately would like a solution and almost bought a pallet 2 for this exact reason. You have options but they all have a compromise.

There are a ton of spool lists out there but the spools do change. I just weighed my Inland spools 215-218g, 5 spools checked.

This thread made me think to order a filament sensor; just ordered (I’m also in Canada; $5.59 shipped from Amazon ;)), thanks!

My Sunlu PLA+ spools from Amazon are 200g.

I was starting to look at the value of doing this on my 3d printer & the 1st comment after this article https://hackaday.com/2017/03/04/stop-printing-air-with-a-filament-sensor/ mentions that a lot of spool filament are hooked on the end, so it would jam at the end instead of running off the spool. The esun PLA+ filament I use does that, so it still does not look like a good option for me.