Introduction: 3D Printed Voronoi Moss Pole
Some plants need a little extra support, and a moss pole can be a great way to provide that. Moss poles can be expensive, but 3D printing and making your own can significantly reduce the cost and allow you to customize it to your decor and your plant's height. This moss pole features a voronoi pattern to make it look more natural and imitate forms found in nature.
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For this project you will need:
Filament- I used Hatchbox wood PLA
Adhesive- I used Gorilla superglue
Spagnum moss, coconut coir, or spanish moss- I used one found at my local Ace hardware but you can find similar items at your local pet store or online
Twine, plant tape, or wire- I used both cotton twine and 20 gauge wire
A plant (the one shown here is purely for illustration, it doesn't need support at the moment)
Sand paper (optional)
Wood Sealer, wax, or conditioner (optional)- I used Howard feed and wax
Access to a 3D printer. if you don’t have your own you may be able to find one at your local fablab or makerspace
Computer with slicing software for 3D printing. I am using Prusaslicer.
Pliers or wireclippers, to remove support material from print
Dowel or chopstick, to aide with adding moss
Step 1: Download Files
To get started, download the STL files for this project. They are provided here and can also be found on Printables.
Step 2: 3D Print
This model is broken into individual components to allow you to customize the height of your moss pole and expand it as needed while fitting within the bed size limitations of most popular printers.
Import the STL files into your slicer. Plate your files and choose your print settings. For this print I chose to print at .2mm layer height on fast settings. Since this model does not contain a lot of fine details, you can print at a higher layer height without sacrificing quality. I chose to print each component separately. Print one base and as many component pole tubes as needed to support your plant.
Depending on your print settings and filament you may need to enable supports. In prusasilcer, I enabled supports “everywhere” with “snug” supports. I chose the default support settings for the filament material profile.
With supports at .2mm layer height, each pole tube took about 8 hours to print, and the stake base took 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Step 3: Surface Finish Your 3D Print
Remove any support material with your pliers or wire clippers.
To make the my final product look more polished I chose to sand each of the pole tubes before assembly, moving from 80 grit sandpaper to 220. I then applied wood wax to polish the surface. This step is optional. Use necessary PPE and ventilation when sanding or using wood polishes.
Step 4: Assemble
Each component will fit snugly together. To provide the moss pole with more long-term durability, apply glue to each joint. Follow the directions provided with your adhesive. I used Gorilla superglue. After applying the glue to each joint I held them in place for 20 seconds following package directions.
Super glue and epoxy-based glues work well to assemble 3D prints. Use necessary ventilation when using adhesives.
Once all components are glued together insert moss into the interior of the tube. Using a chopstick or a dowel will help you evenly distribute the material.
If assembling more than 2 component poles you may want to switch the order of these steps and insert the moss into the tubes before connecting them together.
Step 5: Attach Plant
Place your moss pole into your plant's pot.
Using wire or cord, attach your plant's vine or stem to the pole. Make sure root nodes are near the mossy areas to encourage root attachment. Mist these areas with a sprayer to further encourage rooting.
Step 6: Admire Your Handiwork
The finally step of any project is to admire your work. Place your newly supported plant in an (appropriately) sunny spot and enjoy!