Introduction: Cobra Fountain

This instructable details how to create a coiled cobra fountain. It is used for decorative purposes.


1. Submersible pump and tubing to fit pump

This pump will have to be submerged in the water and be plugged into an outlet to run. The pump is a 50 gph pump. The exact pump: PULACO 50GPH 3W Mini Submersible Water Pump from Amazon, which came with tubing. Dimensions: 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.1 in (38.1 x 38.1 x 27.94 mm) and .4 in (10.16 mm) diameter tubing.

2- files from Thingiverse (3)

2a- (used as the bottom- was 0.375 in or 9.525 mm)

2b- (the bottom ring, hollowed out)

2c- (crop accordingly)

3. technology for print (3)

3a- 3D printer

3b- TinkerCad

Useful to edit and form designs for final print. This was important for editing files from Thingiverse and hollowing out the snake form for the tubing. TinkerCad will make design an STL or OBJ file, depending on how you save it.

3c- Ultimaker Cura

This is used to adjust the file from TinkerCad to a file the 3D printer can read (a gcode file). Here, you can edit according to the 3D printer's filament size, infill, and supports. For a design like this, building supports should be everywhere. This is to ensure the hollow section does not cave in.

4. To remove supports, the following supplies helped:

pliers, scissors, scalpel, other tools you have that could work. I also used a drill on the top to remove the supports I could not reach from the base of the neck.

5. to combine pieces

Hot temperature and low temperature hot glue guns were used. White 100% silicone was used to fill in gaps between the prints and white paint was also added to cover the clear glue.

6. water and electricity

Step 1: The Base

This is includes a 7.5 in (190.5 mm) flat piece that serves as the building block and three rings which decrease in width the higher they go. The base has to be tall enough to keep the pump submerged. In TinkerCad, overlap the pieces a tiny bit instead of just stacking them. If the pieces are just stacked, leakage can occur.

Step 2: The Snake Head and Neck

Using the hollow cylinder on a cut in half snake, I hollowed out a path for the tubing to follow. This went from the base of the neck to the back of the mouth. After hollowing, I used the mirror function and grouped the two shapes using the Shift key and selecting both shapes.

Step 3: Attachments to Snake Neck

For this step, I placed the snake head into the fountain base. Next, I shaped 2 cylinders to act as connectors from the snake head to the fountain base. The cylinders were grouped with the snake head. Because of the size of this project, I could not group the snake head, cylinders, and fountain base. If I had shrunk it, I would have had to worry about the ability of the tubing to get through the snake head.

Step 4: Send to 3D Printer(s)

Send the base to a 3D printer. Send the snake head to a 3D printer. This can be done using Ultimaker Cura. The base took around 17-20 hours, while the snake head (which had 3 different print sessions due to mishaps) took at least 20 hours in total.

(Below info depends on if your print ends up coming in parts, instead of one piece).

The fact that the top of the head was not evenly on the rest of the head was actually beneficially. We had to use a wood cutting tool to cut it off. From there, we sanded it. This came in handy because in Step 6, when I hollowed out the snake head and neck, I needed to drill from the top to make a path for the tubing.

Step 5: Remove Supports

When the pieces are finished printing, there was a lot of support to remove. I removed the supports with scissors and different types of pliers. There was not supports to move from the fountain base. When I hollowed out the mouth, the fangs got knocked out. I had to keep track of the fangs among the clutter of removed supports. Then, I had to hot glue the snake fangs back in.

Step 6: Hollow Out the Snake Head

To hollow the snake head and neck, I used pliers, scissors, a flat head screwdriver and a drill. I had to be careful with the drill because of the curved path the snake head has.

Step 7: Put the Tubing Through, Combine Pieces, and Adjust Gaps

Because I had a 3-piece snake head and neck, I was able to push the tubing through and use pliers to hep me pull the tubing up before pushing the tubing out the mouth. From here, I was able to use high temperature hot glue and pressure to combine the 3 pieces.

I used a 100% silicone to fill in open gaps between the pieces that hot glue could not fix. I next used some white paint over this part. The silicone gives it a rougher finish, which can not be sanded down as it is rubbery. White paint was added to cover the clear hot glue. Even with additional clean-up, it is not as neat as I would like it to be.

Step 8: Connect Snake Head to Base

Use a high temperature hot glue gun to connect the cylinders to the bottom coil of the fountain.

Step 9: Finishing Touches (3)

1- Add enough water so the submersible pump is submerged.

2- Plug in the pump.

3- Adjust the tubing so it is far enough forward in the snake's mouth and to get out or shrink the size of the kinks. The kinks will result in a smaller flow, which can also impact the sound (from a slight to trickling sound).