Introduction: Potato 3D Printer

Hey, fellow makers.

I just yesterday saw this potato speed challenge and since it was ending in one day I decided to build the first thing that came to my mind. A Potato 3D printer.

Now, you are probably thinking why would we need that when we have a regular cool 3D printer. And what is a Potato 3D printer anyway? Let's start with why.

Well, it is a nice project that you could try with your kids/cousins/siblings/self. Besides that, if you master the art you can build anything. Imagine you felt through a rift in time and ended in the XV century. You'd have so many great things to teach them and so many great tools to invent, but only if you could have your 3D printer with you. Well with this technique you will need only ask for potatoes and some toothpicks. Except they don't have potatoes yet. What a bummer, ask for other solid vegetables...

Ok, moving on. What will we build?

Essentially a mold, a potato with shape in it. We will cut the potato shape the pieces and put them back together. Then fill it with the material of choice.


1. Large potato

2. Toothpicks

3. Material for filling

Step 1: Prepare

Estimated cost: less than $5


1. Large potato

2. Toothpicks

3. Material for filling (wax/candles, silicone, plastic, plaster cast, concrete, etc)


1. Knife

2. Something to cut on

3. Marker

Prepare potatoes by drawing lines on them. this will later help in identifying how to put back parts of the potato.

Step 2: Cut the Potato

Now we will make a simple kinda 2D object.Cut the potato in 3 pieces. Make middle pieces as fat as you want your simple object to be. Take the middle piece and draw object outlines. Here I gave my little brother to help me with that.

Then cut the shape following outline. The more precise you are the better the final product. You can see I was not that precise and that made a shape a little wiggly.

Put pieces together with toothpicks.

Step 3: How to Make More Complicated Objects

To make more complicated objects, cut a potato in more layers.

Then start from one layer and extend it with other layers.

For example, here I wanted to make Thor's hammer with sharp sides, for one of my brother's action figures. So I made a rectangle in the middle layer and two pyramids with the square top on sides.

Step 4: Fill With Material

So put it together and fill with material, wax in my case. You can make a hole and put it through-hole or you can improvise like me and cast one pyramid and connect it to the main part when it drys out.

I decided to do it safely and just let candle drip. Since melting them ended in near disaster.

Step 5: Check Your Result

Disconnect the layers, pop your model out and polish if needed. And that's it you did it. You printed with a potato! Imagination is limit to what you can build with it.

Hope you liked my instructable and that it will inspire you to build something.

Potato Speed Challenge

Participated in the
Potato Speed Challenge