Introduction: 3D Printed Bike Planter

One day I was chillin' in the 3D print shop at Pier 9 when I got to conversing with my pal, Rachel. She casually mentioned a bike commuter Instructable she was working on. I thought nothing of it until I was seated at my desk, staring at a tupperware of air plants left over from a previous project I had worked on, drinking a cup of coffee.

Well — as what normally happens with excessive staring and a caffeinated brain — I hatched an idea: a 3D printed bike planter to add a touch of green to every biker's commute.

You will need:

  • access to the interwebs (for 123D Design)
  • access to a 3D printer
  • 1 air plant
  • 1 zip tie

// Read my original blogpost on 123D here.

Step 1: Measure Your Bike Stem.

The head tube on Rachel's bike has a diameter of 30mm.

I didn't actually measure it, but I took her word for it.

Step 2: Open 123D Design and Create Your Basic Shape.

The shape of the planter is essentially a hollowed trapezoid with a half circle cut out for the bike stem and a 1cm enclosed opening to insert the zip-tie.

I started off with a cube from the primitives menu, setting the dimensions to 40mm x 40 mm. (My air plant measured 70mm and I wanted a tight fit.) I then went back to the primitives menu and selected circular sketches, drawing three concentric circles with radii of 15mm, 18mm, and 20mm. The smallest circle (in my case, 15mm) should fit your bike stem. By the end of this instructable, these 3 circles will allow you to create the zip-tie enclosure.

First, move your box away from the circle sketches. Then extrude the largest circle 40mm (or the size of your cube). Then extrude the medium circle 40mm. Next, re-position this cylinder so that the sketches are in the center. Extrude the largest sketch approximately 5mm to create a hole for your ziptie. Then group the segmented cylinders and move them within the cube.

Then we're going to create another cylinder. Extrude the medium circle 40mm. Then extrude the smaller circle 40mm. Then, re-position this new cylinder within the cube.

Next, extrude the smallest circle through the entire shape. Then, create a large rectangular sketch, move it down to the baseline and extrude through the entire shape. leaving you with a cube that will fit around your bike stem.

Step 3: Create a Shell and Customize Your Planter Shape.

I highlighted the face of the cube that will face the top, highlighted only the top edge and selected the tweak option from the pop-up menu. Then I dragged the edge to create the trapezoid shape.

Next, select the entire face and choose shell from the pop-up menu. You can customize the thickness of the inner ridge. I gave mine a thickness of 2mm.

Step 4: Print, Secure to Your Bike and RIDE IN STYLE.

Once your part has been printed, clean the zip-tie hole of any support material that may have entered it. Then, wedge the zip-tie through the opening and secure it to your bike.

Now you're ready to cruise through the streets like a b0$$ with a little air plant to keep you company.

((bonus points if you put it on a motorbike and comment with a picture))