Starting off a new topic today- Thingiverse Reviews! Thingiverse is a fantastic site for sharing 3D files, and some of them look good enough that I wanted to try them out and share how they worked for me. Without further ado, let's take a look at #282242, Filament Clip by intofocus.
Filament clips are used, simply enough, to clip 3D printer filament so that it won't unravel from the spool. There are lots of different kinds on Thingiverse, from a great array of designers. Some of them clip to the spool, but the lack of spool standardization (see RichRap, March 2014) makes it hard for a clip to work on all spools.
This clip attaches to the filament itself, so there is no problem with spool shape. Pretty smart idea, if you ask me!
The clip comes in 1.75mm and 3mm versions, for both kinds of filament. (The clip can be scaled anyway to get the size you want.) As intofocus mentions, the clip can go on filament in two different ways: by threading the filament through all of the way through the upper hole, or by threading it through only part of the way as a "cap".
Unfortunately, getting the clip to work in the more secure "threaded-through" position was very hard for me to do. The hole in the clip is almost exactly 3mm in diameter, so getting the filament to fit through was nearly impossible. This was compounded by the fact that my extruder leaves a slightly thicker portion than 3mm at the bottom of the withdrawn filament from the hotend.
Some of the users on Thingiverse solved the problem by upsizing the clip by 5% when printing it. I haven't had the chance to do that yet, but it seems like a smart fix to the problem.
Bottom line: this design is an effective and thoughtful solution to the problem of universal spool-based clips, even if it is a little hard to work with using 3mm filament. Either way, it is definitely the best option of all of the filament clips out there.