Introduction: 3D Printed Valentine's Day Heart Vase

About: I'm a Mechanical Engineer who has been a part of this community for over 10 years! My interests have evolved over time, and now center around 3D printing.

Flowers are a very common gift for Valentine's Day, but how do you make them a little extra special? I modeled and 3D printed a vase on a Prusa i3 3D printer I assembled. If 3D printing doesn't say love I don't know what does.

Want one yourself? Grab the model on Thingiverse!:

You can then print it on your printer, or find one near you with 3D Hubs! Get 15% off your order with code: MKSHWHBVCV

Step 1: Timelapse

Step 2: Modeling Process

Warning, if you're not familiar with 3D modeling, this will probably sound like nonsense:

The vase was modeled using Autodesk's Fusion 360.

  • A spline shape was drawn then rotated 360° around the Z axis.
  • A heart was drawn on a constructed offset plane, then a rectangular pattern was created in the sketch to create hearts up the length of the vase.
  • The extruded heart-shaped bodies were used to generate a circular pattern around the vase, then the bodies were combined with the first, vase-shaped body.
  • An offset of the original vase spline sketch was created, then rotated 360° around the Z axis as well to cut the excessive length off of the hearts.
  • A shell function was used on the top face of the vase to create a hollow inside, with the width of the vase being 0.8mm wide, or two passes of the 3D printer's nozzle width.

I apologize for not having screenshots of the functions, and I seem to have lost the file so I can't go back and screenshot them :/

Step 3: Printing

The vase was printed in white PLA on my Pruisa i3. It was sliced using Repetier/Slic3r at 100% infill with 0.2mm layers, using the vase setting to create an outside edge that is as seamless as possible. Under these settings, it took roughly 8 hours to print.

Step 4: Conclusions

After printing the vase and filling it with water, it was very obviously not water-tight. The hearts specifically leaked at the parts that were overhangs on the model, and a revision is certainly necessary to slightly increase the thickness of the vase - but again, I seem to have lost the file. Overall, it came out well, and with a little more time I could've patched the small holes with super glue. I ended up placing a large plastic bag in the bottom of the vase to hold the water, which worked very well.

Regardless of the imperfections, she loved the flowers and the vase.

Thank you for reading!

Valentine's Day Challenge 2016

Participated in the
Valentine's Day Challenge 2016