To use a 3Doodler Pen to make a small planter.
Choose a shape I have not seen used for a planter.
Gather tools and material.
- PLA filaments
- Cardboard starting base
- Sharpie for outline
- Extension cord
- Wax Paper to place in the bottom so the dirt will stay/ or just make a solid base
- Scissors to cut wax paper and random "hairs the 3Doodler leaves behind.
- Dirt, water & flower seeds (got some wildflower seeds from a Cheerios booth to save the bees)
- Canon Rebel T5, corded shutter switch to prevent movement and tripod used near an open window for natural light for photos.
Step 1: Doodling the Outline & Build Up
On a piece of cardboard, hand drew the desired shape of the to be planter. Most projects with a 3Doodler pen are created in pieces to "weld" together to build a 3D item. This attempt was to try to build up more like a 3D printer.
- Note: For strength doodle a base first so it holds the desired shape better. I did the walls first and I ended up with it bending slightly from being level. Simply doodle some extra on the lifted areas to make it level across.
- Different choices of a base creates a different effect
- On glass to get a glossy effect on the glass facing side
- On wood to gain the wood grain texture
Plugged in and set up the 3Doodler, set aside the green and blue PLA refills for the project.
- An extension cord was used because the nearest plug was further than the pens cord
I turned down the speed of the 3D pen so id have more control to handle anything that could happen :P
Once the pen light turned from red to blue I was ready to start!
- Start with a practice line and curve off to the side to gauge your movements, as well as the pens flow.
- I set the pen to the continuous flow so that I'd only have to click a button to stop. (saves finger cramps) Simply double click the button to set for continuous, double click to end or press and hold if you are just moving around a complex turn etc.
- PLA filament colors were alternated as the project went along.
- When it bent more than i liked while drying i simply used a heat gun to slowly heat the error and gently ease it back to shape and hold it in place while it cools so it stays fixed.
Step 2: Mesh Base
Once the sides were at my desired height, I flipped it over and just zig zagged across in different directions to make a mesh. Touch down lightly on each side once you've spanned the gap, to allow the base to adhere to the sides. 3 different layers in different directions seemed to provide ample strength, then some quick spot welds around the edges to make sure the mesh stayed there. Next the wax paper was cut to shape and pressed to the bottom to catch dirt but leaving some spots to excess water can escape.
- Watch your speed as you span from one side to the other, too fast and you will pull the PLA filament "thread" too thin.
- When you start going in different directions don't let the hot tip touch the other strands or it will cut thru them.
Step 3: Grow!
Add your dirt and seeds, water them as directions say to on the seed package. I got sprouts up in lass than a week, as you can see in the pictures now 2 weeks later they are growing well. Placed on a window sill that gets plenty of sun each day and watered with a small dropper.
My two girls 2 and 4, have poked and carried the planter around that's why it looks a bit disheveled :P
Total time to fabricate was 3 hours, that included multiple times of the PLA filament getting stuck when it was running low. Simply stop, let the pen cool down and resume in 6 or so minutes, while sometimes adding a new PLA filament was all it needed to get pushed through.