Double Helix Planter

Introduction: Double Helix Planter

About: I am an automation engineer but I will give anything a go. I don't know if you call if pessimism or just being an engineer, but I look for problems everywhere, then I look for some weird, left field way to s...

This is my design for a planter/former for vines and creeping plants.

It was designed in Tinkercad.

I like the idea that the form is artistic while you wait for the creeper to cover it, I based the design on a DNA model of the double helix. As the plant grows, it will creep along the spirals and the cross struts hiding the frame and forming a "Living DNA" model in your garden.

Step 1: Create the Helix

Start a new model in Tinkercad.

From the drop-down menu choose -> Shape Generators -> All

On page 5 you find the helix tool

When you drag it in it looks a bit like a dog poop, but we will fix that fairly quickly.

In the settings options, you can change the parameters, I used the following:

6 Windings

Bottom Radius: 10

Top Radius: 10 (this makes it look like a spring and gets rid of the dog poop look)

Separation: 10 (this spaces out the windings to max)

Sketch Diameter: 1 (the reason for this being so thin will become apparent)

Step 2: Scale

Copy the helix you created, paste it, rotated it 180 degrees and then use the align tool to align both objects on the center and middle axis.

We made the helix as large as the generator would allow but it is only about 10mm in diameter and 100mm tall (this is a pretty small creeper)

We can group the 2 helices and scale them, I took the height to 500mm and the diameter to 100mm.

You will see that the profile of the helix has changed from circular to elliptical.

Step 3: Base

To add a base we want to draw on the end of our model.

by adding a workplane on the end of the helix we can do just that.

I pulled the model back through the plane a little to have it fit "into" the base.

Using the box tool, I added a 15mm thick 100mm x 100mm base and used the align tool to center it all.

The model was then flipped to put the base at the bottom (where it belongs)

Step 4: Cross Members

As it's the cross sections of DNA that are the important bit, we need to add some.

Using the cylinder tool, I reshaped it into an ellipse, then stretched it to 96mm (not 100)

This allows it to fit between the helices without protruding.

Once I had one placed by eye for hight and centered using the align tool, I copy and pasted all the way to the top.

I then copied this stack (minus 1) and rotated 45 degrees, I move these into place, pasted 45 degrees from here, moved them in and then once again to get the full effect.

Step 5: Add the Planting Pot


I forgot to add this step in the original instructable...

We need somewhere to plant the creeper.

I thickened up the base to give us enough material to insert a planting area.

I then used the paraboloid tool, this it that strange domed nose shape, I set the height, width, and depth to 75mm to fit inside the base and between the uprights of the helix.

I then aligned center and middle, the top surfaces are offset by 1mm.

The paraboloid was selected and converted to a hole and then combine using group to the base, this opens a cavity in the base to fill with soil and plant our lovely creeper.

I have included a .stl file if you want to explore it in 3d for yourself.



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