Introduction: Tinkercad 3-D Printed Bird Planter

About: 18 year old artist who dabbles in a bit of everything! 100% addicted to coffee and painting @ElsiebsArt on insta, YouTube, and etsy!

Hi Ya'll!

In this Instructable, I will be showing you all how to create a 3-D Printable Bird Flower Pot using Tinkercad. I will not be showing the basics of how to use Tinkercad, because although it is INCREDIBLY easy to figure out, it would take a lot of time to explain in this Instructable. That being said, it is probably best to have a basic understanding of the site, but if you do not, this project is simple enough that you will be able to figure it out! :)

The only materials needed for this Instructable are:

A Tinkercad Account- It'sFree and easy to set up!

A 3-D Printer- If you do not have to a 3-D printer, your local library or school may have one. If you want to purchase your own, they can range from the low hundreds to thousands of dollars. I recently bought an InStone Mini printer that can print up to 6x6x6 inch models. It is a great starter printer because it was relatively inexpensive and easy to use. However, the downside is that it cannot make larger prints.

I made the planter about 3x4 inches to hold smaller plants or succulents. Throughout the photos, I tried to include the dimensions of the shapes I used, but they are not in every photo. Because this design is somewhat abstract and by no means anatomically correct, it doesn't matter the exact measurements of the shapes you use which is why I am not listing all the dimensions of every shape.

Step 1: Beginning the Body

First off, I always find it helpful to convert the grid I'm working on to inches. But if your in any other country than America, you may want to stick with Millimeters! I customized the grid to be 12x12 inches to give me plenty of room to work with.

The birds body starts as a sphere (Found in the shapes column on the right of the screen). I elongated it into the size of the planter I wanted. This will be the bird's body. Don't worry if it's not perfect- you can go back and change it later!

Step 2: Making It Flat

To keep the bird from rolling to it's side, it is important to add a flat bottom. Now, this is where it REALLY gets cool!!

Add a rectangle to the grid and make it slightly longer than the body. In Tinkercad, the shapes can either be solid or a hole. Make this rectangle a hole and place it directly under the body. Then, at the top of the screen (see photos) you can group the two together by highlighting them and clicking 'group'. Grouping the shapes together makes them into a solid object that will not come apart when moved around the grid. Now you have a body with a flat bottom! Perfect!

Step 3: Neck and Head

To give the head a little more support and make it look slightly more realistic, add a paraboloid from the shape box on the right. Adjust it to be a realistic sized neck for your bird's body and once it is where you want it, group the two shapes together the same way you grouped the rectangle and the body.

The head is another sphere and goes directly on the neck. You can adjust it to be more round or more oval, depending on the look your going for.

Step 4: The Beak

The beak is just a pyramid rotated about 80 degrees. Depending on how much of an angle it is at determines whether the bird is looking up or down. Group the beak and the body together after it is attached.

Step 5: The Hole

Now this planter wouldn't be much of a planter without a hole for the plants, now would it? ;)

Edit a sphere to be roughly the same shape as the body. It should be slightly smaller however, and able to fit inside the body. Place the smaller oval inside the body with the top of it sticking out of the top and edit it to be a 'hole'. When it is how you want it, 'group' the body and the hole together. MAKE SURE THE HOLE IS NOT STICKING THROUGH THE BOTTOM OF THE BIRD OR YOUR PLANTER WILL LEAK!

Step 6: Adding the Wings and Tail

A Circular Trapezoid makes up the wings of the bird. Tinkercad allows you to edit the sides and shape of this shape to how you want it. Once you are satisfied with the shape, click 'duplicate' so you have an exact copy for the other wing. Add them to each side of the bird's body.

The tail is another Circular Trapezoid but edited to be slimmer and thinner. Add it to the bird's rear and 'duplicate' it twice. Each copy can be rotated slightly to create a fan like tail of three feathers. Again, once you are finished, 'group' the tail and wings to the bird.

Step 7: The Eyes

The eyes are made in two steps:

  1. Add an eye socket to each side of the bird by creating 2 spheres making them holes. Put them on each side of the head and slightly inside it to create indents. Group them together so that you now have 2 eye sockets. Make sure they are symmetrical from all angles or your bird will have lopsided eyes!
  2. Add the eye itself by making two spheres exactly as you did for the eye sockets but make them slightly smaller. For my bird, they were 0.1 inches smaller. Place them inside the sockets and make sure they go into the head a little and are a slight bump and not bug eyes! Be sure to group the bird when you are finished.

Step 8: Drainage Holes and Crest Feather

To keep your plants healthy, it's important to have good ventilation and water drainage. To let water drain, add two cylinders at the bottom of the planter and make them 'holes'. I made mine about 0.2 inches wide so they will drain, but the soil won't erode out the bottom. Group them to the rest of the bird.

The crest feather is a corneum shape that is entirely optional.You can make any other type of design, too, or leave the head bare. I edited the corneum to a more thin and wispy feather rather than a cornucopia shape. Be sure not to make it too thin that it breaks when printing and add supports before you print it. Tinkercad also has several character designs and parts that are available to use to customize your bird.

When I printed the bird planter I realized that I was running low on filament and so I had to print a much smaller version of the original. Due to it being smaller, the crest feather didn't turn out. However, I hope to print the planter again, once I've ordered more filament and then, hopefully, the crest will turn out.

And there you have it! All the steps to make your very own 3-D printable Bird Planter! Please let me know if you make one yourself! Thank you!

~Elsie B.

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