Introduction: 3D Printed Egg Basket

Picture of 3D Printed Egg Basket

I decided to make this because we keep chickens and often find ourselves running out of places to put all of the eggs.

Truth is we probably have too many.

After making this I actually ended up giving it away as a Christmas present so this instructable has been put together using the photos and files I had, bearing in mind I never intended on documenting it. Sorry for any gaps.

Step 1: Measure a Large Egg

Picture of Measure a Large Egg

Pick the largest egg your hens usually lay and measure it's diameter at the largest point and it's length.

Step 2: Model the Egg

Picture of Model the Egg

Using a CAD package of your choice (I used Autodesk Inventor Professional 2016) model the egg from the measurements you took. Please note: the CAD package must support free-form modelling.

I modelled it as a revolution, as shown in the sketch.

Play around with the radii until it looks like an egg, even if you happen to have a radius gauge set to hand, it's unnecessary, by eye is adequate.

Revolve it into a solid object then thicken it.

Thickening can be done in the sketch stage, but I found it easier to thicken the egg by 2mm all around its surface after I had modelled it.
The reason for this is because we don't want the eggs to be a tight fit in the pockets, we need to give each egg a bit of clearance.

Step 3: Create Axis to Align the Eggs

Picture of Create Axis to Align the Eggs

As a new part file, create two planes a distance apart (I made this 120mm between them).

On the top plane, create two circular point patterns.

I chose to have 3 points around the inner circle and 9 on the outer, at 60mm and 140mm diameters respectively.

Project these points onto the lower plane and generate work axis between the corresponding points.

Step 4: Align the Eggs on the Axis

Picture of Align the Eggs on the Axis

Constrain the eggs to the work axis.

Trial and error is needed here, I was aiming for two spirals of eggs leading up to the inner nest at the top.

I ended up with 5 eggs on one spiral and 6 on the other, plus the three in the nest at the top making 14 eggs total.

As I said, it was trial and error and I fiddled around, moving the eggs up and down the each axis until it looked how I wanted it to.

Step 5: Create a Freeform Cylinder

Picture of Create a Freeform Cylinder

In the egg assembly, create a large freeform cylinder on a new workplane (75mm below the top plane)

I chose to split it up into as many faces as my PC could handle which was 8 high and 12 around. If my PC could have handled it, I would have done more to give as organic shape as possible.

I simply dragged the diameter and height until the model engulfed the eggs in diameter and came up about 1/3 to 1/2 the way up the 3 eggs in the top nest. The bottom of the cylinder comes down to an adequate thickness below the bottom eggs.

Step 6: Manipulate the Freeform Model

Picture of Manipulate the Freeform Model

Now the fun really begins.

This part took me most of an evening.

The idea is basically to push, pull and rotate the faces, edges and corners, uncovering the eggs one at a time.

I aimed to have at least 60% of the eggs uncovered (the top 60% of the egg obviously).

Take care to leave enough wall thickness in areas where space is tight between eggs on different layers.

Step 7: Only Finish When You're Happy With It!

Picture of Only Finish When You're Happy With It!

As I said, this took an entire evening.

This is the shape I was happy with, but that's just personal preference, this was my first time modelling anything like this; a completely freeform organic shape.

I made it yellow in colour as I knew this was the colour I would print it. I thought yellow would best complement the colour of eggs.

Step 8: Sculpt the Eggs From the Nest

Picture of Sculpt the Eggs From the Nest

Using the Sculpt feature, remove the egg shapes from the nest.

This basically just cuts out material anywhere where the egg and nest material is conflicting, you have to choose which one you take from the other (I.e if you do it the wrong way around you'll end up cutting the bottoms off all of the eggs and the whole nest itself disappears).

Step 9: The Model Is Complete

All that is left to do is export the model as an STL file for use with a 3D printer.

Step 10: 3D Print!

Picture of 3D Print!

This step took 3 days, it used up around 350g ABS filament.

I used my Ultimaker 2 3D printer using the following settings:

15% fill

35mm/s print speed

230° nozzle

100° bed

no support

no raft

As with all my prints I print on blue decorators paint which I rub down with coarse emery paper after application to the print bed.

Step 11: Fill It With Eggs!

Picture of Fill It With Eggs!

I was pleased to find that all of the eggs fit perfectly.

If you don't want to or don't have the facilities to design your own, just download the attached STL for 3D printing.


gregmuch made it! (author)2016-04-09

I did it in PLA with no support and it looks very good :-D (printing time ~ 16h )

The only one problem is that now, families en friends want one too :o)

OliverN11 (author)gregmuch2016-04-09

Awesome! Looks great, much faster than i managed too!

gregmuch made it! (author)OliverN112016-04-09

Maybe because I have only 5% density and an higher speed (I'm impatient when I'm printing something new) :-D

I'm joining my default speed setting (and during this print I asked 20% more)

OliverN11 (author)gregmuch2016-04-09

You've inspired me. I'm going to try and print one at 75mm/s with no infill (i've made a version with pillars underneath each cup) using a 0.6mm nozzle, print time is 12 hours 42 minutes. I have to make the nozzle first though so won't be able to do it until Monday evening.

gregmuch (author)OliverN112016-04-10

Very interesting ! I'm making an aluminium foundry and it could be fun to do your egg basket in aluminium but the actual design needs too many metal. The new version with no infill and pillars can be the solution :-D

OliverN11 (author)gregmuch2016-04-10

I make the slicer do no infill and i trick it into making pillars by making it print impossibly tiny holes through, so it builds wall there instead. not impossible to make it as a 3D model though.

How does this foundry work?

gregmuch (author)OliverN112016-04-10

Ok thanks, i'm going to play with slic3r :-)

I'm starting to make a metal foundry similar to this one (but bigger) : but i may have a 1200°C oven in coming days or weeks so for the moment the project is in stand-by.

After that, I plan to use lost wax method but the PLA printed piece is used instead of wax piece.

flyingpuppy (author)2016-04-06

Great gift idea for my chicken-caregiving sister. And I love the puff of feather at the top. The whole thing looks very Dr. Seussian. :)

OliverN11 (author)flyingpuppy2016-04-06

Glad you like it, thanks!

brv967 (author)2016-04-04

How large is this? would it work wuth PLA filiament?

OliverN11 (author)brv9672016-04-04

It measures around 200x200 x 170 tall. I don't see any reason why PLA wouldn't work.

brv967 (author)OliverN112016-04-04

Cheers, Id have to build it in 2 parts my build platform is only 130*130*130, would it be easy enough to slice in 2?

OliverN11 (author)brv9672016-04-04

I'm sure it's possible. I can do it easily with the ipt but i've never done it with an stl. I can do it for you in a bit if you like, although you might actually need it in 1/3rds with those dimensions.

brv967 (author)OliverN112016-04-04

Hmm thats a good point.

OliverN11 (author)brv9672016-04-04

I'll see what i can do, watch this space. As soon as i get a minute i'll have a play with the design.

brv967 (author)OliverN112016-04-04

Awesome, cheers.

OliverN11 (author)brv9672016-04-04

I have split it into 5 pieces. That's the best I could come up with at this time. It was really difficult to work out where and how to split it.

I tried initially to split it in a spiral following the spiral on the design but it ends up with too large pieces again. Then I tried cutting it between the egg pockets but the wall thickness between them is too thin. That is why I opted for cutting straight through them, I think they'll print better that way. The top nest had to be separate too because otherwise it's too tall.

My only concerns about printing it in parts like that are good bed adhesion as the parts are quite tall with relatively little contact with print bed. Another concern would be deformation, though this will probably be fine with PLA. Obviously you'll need to do some finishing and glueing to make sure you get good joins.

Anyway, I hope this works for you.

brv967 (author)OliverN112016-04-04

cheers i shall give it a try, gotta order a new roll of filiament first.

Revanchist (author)2016-04-04

That patch of hair looks really awkward... lol but I'm gonna print this! I think it'd be a great addition :)

OliverN11 (author)Revanchist2016-04-04

That's a feather! From one of the hens that layed those eggs. :-)

DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2016-04-02

Cool design

Thanks :-D

d_banduk (author)2016-04-02

Really nice. I'm new to inventor so appreciate the free-form demo. Would it be possible to shell out the block at the end to use less plastic on infill?

OliverN11 (author)d_banduk2016-04-02

Possibly, that would require manually creating supports underneath each egg pocket though. Inventor sometimes gets in a muddle trying to shell out freeform models too. Your slicer should have the option to just print the shell but that's not helpful in this case as i mentioned because the egg pockets need something to print onto.

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