Introduction: Desk Planter

About: Hey there! I'm a technical tutorng my MA in visual communication. I absolutely love creating things and exploring innovative ways to use different materials, processes, and techniques.

The goal for this project was to bring some greenery into my workspace, along with combining my interests in digital fabrication.

This design is based around the use of a CNC machine and 3D printer, but if you don’t have access to this, I have a list of other ways to create something similar.

Step 1: Tools and Machinery

The initial design was to use a CNC and 3D printing, but later in the instructions I suggest other ways of creating a similar outcome.

If you want to create the planter using a CNC and 3D printer, the tools you will require:

  • 18 mm Plywood
  • Ozmo Wax
  • Wood Glue
  • CNC Machine
  • 6 mm End Mill
  • 6 mm Bull Nose
  • 3D Printer
  • PLA

Other options are at the end.

Step 2: Designing Using Fusion 360

This screen recording goes through the process of creating the planter pen pot.

Step 3: Final Outcome From the CNC

This is the outcome from the CNC once it has been glued together and has 2 coats of Ozmo wax applied

Step 4: 3D Printing the Plant Pot

The 3D Plant pots are optional if you don’t have a plant pot or one that you like.
The most important thing is for the plant pot to have 3 perimeters; this will allow the print to be watertight. When I printed these plant pots I used:

  • 0.3 mm Layer high
  • 3 perimeters (have 3 perimeters makes the walls of the planter solid)
  • 20% infill (to support the base)

Step 5: Other Ways of Creating the Planter

With this example we used a CNC machine to create the planter, but the same design could be archived with the use of:


You could print out the DXF Files or a 1:1 scale drawing of the planter layers and use a router to carve into the wood. Make sure to be safe as this could be dangerous.

Laser Cutter

If you have access to a Laser Cutter you could adjust your design to use more thinner layer, and build you design this way.

3D Printing

If you have access to a 3D printer you could combine all of the bodies that in this example are CNC'ed and then 3D print these to create your planner.

Step 6: Other Shapes

These are some other designs I came up with based of the same ideas.

Step 7: Final Images

Indoor Plants Challenge

Participated in the
Indoor Plants Challenge