Introduction: DIY ᐈ 3D Printed Indoor Planters in Just 10 Steps! [ Fusion 360 ]

3D Printed Indoor Planters are great when it comes to making interesting shapes, designs and mesmerizing symmetry which pleases our eyes. These indoor planters greatly improve the look of your home and you get to create your designs which are according to your liking.

In this instructable, We will be designing our very own indoor planter in Fusion 360 and also 3D printing it later on for our leafy friends 🌱.

What you will be needing for this tutorial:

  1. Fusion 360
  2. 3D Printer

Fusion 360 Skill Level: Average

I have attached the STL file in the second last step if anybody would like to print it straight away.

Step 1: Let's Start 3D Modeling - Create Sketch

Open up your Fusion 360 software.

  1. Click on 'Create Sketch'
  2. Select the Z-Axis plane ( Edit - I wrote 'Y-Axis' in the image, but it's z-axis)

Over the course of this tutorial, I'll be using these 3 terms very often:

  1. Inner Structure - This would be the actual shape of our planter and we would be calling it an inner structure. It has nothing much to do, but we will use it as a reference to create mesmerising patterns around it.
  2. Outer Structure - This would be the outer layer around our inner structure from which will be creating some patterns. Just like a layer of an onion.
  3. Initial Pattern - Initial Pattern will be derived from our outer structure over the course of this tutorial. It would be the initial lines which we will get from our outer structure and later on we will replicating those lines to form a complete pattern.

Step 2: Create Inner Structure ( Sketch )

In this step, we will be creating our basic inner structure where there would be 3 lines - top, bottom, and a line equal to the height of our planter.

  1. Select the line tool.
  2. Draw a short bottom line.
  3. Draw a line equal to the imaginary height of our planter.
  4. Draw a top line which should be a bit bigger than the bottom line.

Mathematical precision of our model is not the priority in our case as later on, we can scale our planter in a 3D printing/slicer software. ( Cura, S3D etc )

Step 3: Add a Curve to the Inner Structure ( Sketch )

Now, let's start giving a shape to our planter ( inner structure ).

  1. Select Fit Point Spline Tool
  2. Place a point on the edge of top line
  3. Place a point in middle of the height and a bit far from the top edge to give it a spherical shape
  4. Place the last point on the bottom line's edge

Step 4: Create Outer Structure ( Sketch )

Create an outer structure, which would technically be our 'base' for patterns.

  1. Select the spline which we just created and copy it via ( CTRL + C )
  2. Paste the spline via ( CTRL + V )
  3. Grab the X-Axis Movement arrow and move it -5mm from its original position
  4. Join both the ends of splines with the help of line tool.

Step 5: Convert Inner Structure to a 3D Model

Enough Sketching. Let's start 3D Modeling!

Now, we will select the area of 'inner' structure only and click on revolve to create a planter type shape.

  1. Select 'Inner' Structure's Area
  2. Click on Revolve.
  3. See 'Part 2' image and apply same configuration for our 'revolve' function.

Step 6: Convert Outer Structure to a 3D Model

Let's do that same for the outer structure.

  1. First of all, un-hide the sketch which we created earlier. ( Part 1 - Image )
  2. Hide '3D body' of our inner structure which we created earlier. ( Part 2 - Image )
  3. Now see the sketch and select the 'outer' structure's area. ( Part 3 - Image )
  4. Similarly, for this step, we will click on revolve with same settings and make a 3d model out of it. ( Part 4 - Image )

Step 7: Let's Create Our Initial Pattern

Once we have converted our outer structure to a 3d model, now we would like to start creating a pattern for our indoor planter. By pattern, I mean the symmetrical lines which are on the surface of the planter.

  1. Move your cursor to the timeline of our project.
  2. Right-Click on our 'sketch' icon and click on 'Edit Sketch'
  3. Create 2 Parallel lines in 'Inner' structure's area which appear to be at an angle.
  4. Click on 'Save Sketch'
  5. Now back to our 3D Modeling window, we will select the area in between the parallel lines which we just created and click on 'Extrude'
  6. Now copy the settings as shown in part 4 image and Drag the Extrude Arrow till it is larger than the width of our planter.
  7. Click 'ok' and now we have our initial pattern available to us for creating a complete pattern around the planter.

Step 8: Replicate Initial Pattern

Once we have the initial pattern available to us, We will use a very helpful function called 'Circular Pattern' in Fusion360 to create a complete pattern of symmetrical lines around our planter.

  1. Select the initial pattern's 3d body and click on Circular Pattern ( as shown in part 1 image )
  2. Select the Y Axis line ( as shown in part 2 image )
  3. Now, You can edit the 'Quantity' field in our circular pattern to create a unique pattern according to your liking. I chose 30 and it gave me a very interesting pattern to look at.
  4. Click 'ok'

This way, we have created a complete pattern around our planter's inner structure.

Step 9: Create a Shell

We need a cavity to put some soil so we will use 'Shell' function on our inner structure.

  1. Select top face of the planter.
  2. Click on 'Shell' Function
  3. Modify the value of our shell function to 2 ~ 5mm which would be enough to keep water from draining outside.

Step 10: Join All 3D Bodies

In this last step of our 3D Modeling, We will be combining all the bodies which we created into a single one.

  1. Select all bodies
  2. Click on 'Combine Bodies' and click 'ok'

This will take a couple of minutes depending on how much computational power you have. It took a minute or 2 for me, I'll suggest you to just wait if your Fusion360 is not responding after clicking 'ok'. It's probably doing it's job in the background.

After this step, We have completed our 3D Modeling course and now we can simply export this project from Fusion360 as a .stl file.

Step 11: Slice and 3D Print

Now the only thing left is to slice the exported '.stl' and 3D print it. I believe most of you will be knowing this already.

I printed mine on a Zonestar D805S and it produces some decent quality prints for me. Make sure to share pics of your 3d printed planters in the comments section to inspire others!

You can download the STL file here.

Step 12: Voila! Your Very Own 3D Printed Planter

Now you have a 3D printed planter in your hand what else do we need to do? Grab some soil and a plant.

Add your favourite plant in it and show it off to your guests. These little indoor planters look great in various parts of our home and most importantly, you have the colour choice! Take whichever colour of filament you like and print it in that colour.

Indoor Plants Challenge

Runner Up in the
Indoor Plants Challenge