Introduction: 3D Printed Vase Design

About: I am a University of Edinburgh electronics engineering student.

Hello everyone!

I'd like to show you a design that you can 3D print to make your own vase! All you need is my 3D design file and some plastic water bottles*! I will show you two designs:

• 3 Bottles Vase
• 7 Bottles Vase

The design is very customisable and I hope you find it inspirational to make your own version!


*The bottles that fit my design have standard neck size like the most popular fizzy drinks you get.

Step 1: Starting Off With a Single Cap

Here are the things that you'll need:

  • Flowers
  • Bottles (plastic ones with a standard thread - like most fizzy drinks)
  • 3D priner

To get the project going I started with a simple 3D bottle cap model.

Step 2: Modifications to the Cap

To make the cap fit the vase purpose I had to modify it a bit:

  • I made the walls of the cap thicker by adding two rings - shown in yellow
  • Added a hole in the cap where the flowers are supposed to go through - for this generate a "Hole" object and place it in the centre, then "Group" it with the rest of the design
  • Added thicker side section - shown in green - this will come handy in the next step where we bridge caps

Step 3: 3-Cap Vase

In order to make a vase out of three caps, I started by tilting a single cap by 9 degrees. This will allow the bottles to spread away and not touch each other at the bottom. Then I copied the cap a few times and rotated each copy by 60 degrees in the horizontal plane.

The connections between the caps are made out of frame-like structures (I'm not а civil engineer so my bad if it looks weak). Those are out of straight cylinders that I just played a bit with to get them to fit nicely to the caps. Click below to get the stl file.

NOTE: The design you see here is actually upside down! When you do the 3D printing you will flip the design. This saves a lot of material and time when you do the actual printing.

Step 4: 7-Cap Vase

Extending the design of the 3-cap vase, we will now make a bigger one that uses 7 bottles.

In a similar way as before I have copied the design two times and rotated it by 60 degrees in the horizontal plane. The cap in the middle is horizontally levelled and the others are tilted twice the 9 degrees with respect to it.

NOTE: The design here is flipped again. The way it is made implies that the middle bottle will be lower than the others. So we have to find a different shorter bottle for the middle.

Step 5: 3D Print

Now comes the best part - use a 3D printer to print the vase design. You are very lucky if you have one, or if you have a friend with a printer. Printing will take quite some time because it is a large piece.

OPTIONAL: After removing the structure supports from the printer you can use your own technique to give the design a smooth finish. For this, I placed the item in a container with a little acetone and left it covered for two hours. This is very hazardous so do it only if you're confident working with such chemicals.

Step 6: When a 3D Print Actually Becomes Useful

Now find water bottles and screw them into the 3D print. That is easy enough!

Finish off by getting some flowers and arranging them in the vase design. Now, do you think this deserves to be given to someone as a surprise? After all, what is better than a thoughtful present fabricated by yourself.

You found this inspiring? Make a vase and show it in the comments below! I'm happy to hear your thoughts! Here are some ideas that I haven't had time to try:

  • Using glass bottles
  • Using jars instead of bottles
  • Using different size bottles
  • Using test tubes
  • More than 7 bottles or
  • Non-symmetrical bottles arrangement

And don't forget - please VOTE for my design in the contests :)

Mind for Design

First Prize in the
Mind for Design

3D Printing Contest

Participated in the
3D Printing Contest

Reuse Contest

Participated in the
Reuse Contest