Lovebot❤ a Cement Planter

Introduction: Lovebot❤ a Cement Planter

About: I am a 36 year old scenographer living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I get free time I like to make things ranging from cigar box amplifiers to stuffed Cthulhus. I like to make art/tangible...

How do you take you love for succulents, 3D Printing, adorable cartoonish robots, and heavy objects to the next level? By making Lovebot❤ a cement planter. What started a tiny plastic succulent planter has grown into Lovebot❤! It took quite a few revisions to get it right but now that it is I thought I'd share it with you. So if you'd like to make your own Lovebot❤ read on!

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Step 1: Files, Materials, Tools, and a Sidenote With Fire.

It took seven revisions of my Lovebot❤ to get one I could consistently demold without damaging either the planter or the mold. I was having trouble getting the top free I ended up burning the stuck pla out of an earlier version. Talk about a hunk of burning love... I know you didn't come here to read bad Elvis Presley puns so long story short I'm including the final STL files that don't need flaming assistance. What follows are the tools and materials you will need for making your own Lovebot❤.

Tools

  • Paint brush (you don't mind ruining)
  • Prybar or an old chisel you don't mind damaging
  • Flat thing to scrape with. I just used a junction box cover.
  • 3D printed Lovebot❤ mold.
  • A bucket
  • A 3D printer
  • Drop cloth

Materials

  • Cement or Concrete mix
  • Water
  • Strong Tape (I used Gaffers tape)
  • Demolding agent (I used petroleum jelly)
  • PLA or filament of your choice.
  • Gloves
  • A sense of adventure
  • Sand paper

Step 2: Printing the Longest and Least Involved Step

The beauty and the beast of 3D printing is that it can make so many awesome things the beast is that it takes sooooooooooooooo long. So armed with the STL files and your favorite slicer be prepared to wait. It took me over thirty six hours to print out the whole mold. My slicer settings were .2mm layer height, 40% infill, and 3 perimeters. You can start printing the pieces now I'll wait...... You're back! Yay! Let's get on to the next step.

Step 3: Get Your Grease On!

Now that we have invested all that time in printing a mold it is time to make sure it will last for many uses. The way to ensure this is to grease it up. Using the chip brush apply an even coating of petroleum jelly to the inner faces of the mold. The outside needs to stay grease free for the tape to work. Watch out for a buildup of grease near the edges if you have grease lumps in your mold now you'll have divots in your final Lovebot❤ planter. Once your Lovebot❤ mold is good and greasy assemble the three parts and apply tape liberally to hold it all together.

Step 4: Mix, Pour, and Tap Dat Lovebot❤

Look closely at the water to cement/concrete ratio your mix recommends and then do what I do when making pancakes from a pancake mix. Which is completely ignore it and focus on the consistency of the batter. Oddly enough we are looking for a pancake batter consistency from our cement. This will allow it to pour easily and fill in all the details that make Lovebot❤ so cute. I know you are thinking but if I don't have the ratio correct as indicated on the box I'll compromise the structural integrity of the cement. To that I reply it is a nineish inch tall succulent planter of love not a structural beam so we should survive. So far with five Lovebot❤s in the wild there have been no structural failures. Much to the disappointment of my local feral cat population. You can also purchase a special cement designed for pouring countertops if you aren't comfortable with winging it. So with that out of the way add water to your cement and stir it with your hand until you reach pancake batter consistency. Carefully fill your mold or haphazardly fill your mold if you prefer.(That is why we have a drop cloth after all.) Once you think you've gotten your mold filled with cement now is the time to get to tapping on the mold. This is to encourage any trapped air bubbles to escape before they become immortalized in cement. Some people build vibration tables or use drills with bent bolts as powerful vibrators I just tell a lot of bad knock knock jokes. You'll notice as you are tapping the level of your cement might go down in your mold that is a good thing it means the air bubbles are escaping to get away from the bad jokes. If it hasn't gone down too much you can solve it with the next step otherwise you might need some more cement. With the air bubbles out it is time to level your Lovebot❤'s feet. To do this you want a sturdy straight edge you can drag across your mold. There are proper tools for this but I did it with with an electrical junction box thing because I had it kicking around. With the Lovebot❤'s feet flattened it is time to set a 30 to 45min timer. The cement is ready to be demolded when you can no longer mark it with you fingernail.

Step 5: Demold Your New Best Friend the Lovebot❤

Using your chisel or pry bar gently work your way around the top piece of the mold and slowly wiggle it free. With the top removed it is time to separate the front and back parts of the mold. When doing this you need to be careful to try and keep the inner faces of the mold as parallel as possible or Lovebot❤ will most likely loose a hand. If you were patient and worked slowly your mold should have given birth to a beautiful cement Lovebot❤. There may be some mold lines around the edges where the molds met up. Now is the perfect time to sand them off.

Step 6: Rinse and Replicate or Plant and Enjoy

If you've been following along you now have your very own Lovebot❤ so just fill it's head with dirt, plant a succulent in there to keep it company and you are good to go. However if you're anything like my you'll get carried away and end up with a small army of adorable Lovebot❤s. Which is when you'll want to turn to an Instructable about how to propagate succulents. Thanks for taking the time to read this instructable. I hope you found it as entertaining to read as I did to write.

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    13 Discussions

    0
    jproffer
    jproffer

    14 hours ago

    these look really easy to tip over.. have you tested their stability?

    0
    TinkeringProductions
    TinkeringProductions

    Reply 9 hours ago

    I live in a very flat urban area so I don't have a lot of ground that isn't concrete or asphalt. If you have a flat surface they manage quite well. We have had some pretty windy days and rainy storms since I built the first one this last summer and it has been standing fine. It would be pretty easy to make an additional base to set the robot in if you find it needs more stability.

    1
    SebastianL62
    SebastianL62

    12 hours ago

    Not sure if you realize but that design is basically "lovebot the robot" an already well established art piece.

    0
    TinkeringProductions
    TinkeringProductions

    Reply 9 hours ago

    Thanks for sharing that with me. I totally just did a deep dive on the "lovebot the robot" Wikipedia page very interesting. I hadn't heard of it before. I've been doodling this bot for years. It is interesting how ideas or concepts can seem to pop up across great distances. Also the limitations of molds and concrete pouring helping drive some similarities. I would say that while the heart placement and the cement are similar but the designs are for fundamentally different looking robots. That being said they are both hopefully spreading love and happiness to those who see them. As whimsical art should.

    0
    MadeByBarb
    MadeByBarb

    17 hours ago

    Wonderful lil'bot! Isn't working with concrete fun?!?! I'm surprised that this mix with aggregates sets so fast! 'And I love the fast setting mixes. I'm hoping I take the leap to 3D printing really soon but in the mean time using silicone works too!

    Cast-your-own-Concrete-Bunnies--madebybarb-11.jpgCast-your-own-Concrete-Bunnies--madebybarb-17.jpg
    0
    TinkeringProductions
    TinkeringProductions

    Reply 15 hours ago

    It sure is! :) With the silicone molds how would you go about making the 3 part mold? Or would you have too given it's flexible nature? Also super cute bunny.

    0
    MadeByBarb
    MadeByBarb

    Reply 15 hours ago

    Depending on the shapes of the object there is some leeway. I have just cut some open to make into pieces. The thinner the silicone thickness the more flexible. You can see here and here. I discovered that pins work to keep mold together. I'm 'kinda' a concrete nut...

    DIY-Life-Cast-Concrete-Hands--madebybarb-25.jpgDIY-Life-Cast-Concrete-Hands--madebybarb-36.jpg
    0
    mikesmithfl
    mikesmithfl

    12 hours ago

    I tried making a cement planter before, but no matter how much care I gave it, no matter how much I watered it, that cement always died and got hard as a rock.

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    2 days ago

    Excellent, I dig it! :D

    0
    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    5 days ago

    That is such a cute little lovebot :D

    0
    TinkeringProductions
    TinkeringProductions

    Reply 4 days ago

    Thanks. I'm really happy with how they turned out. One of my friends uses theirs as a key caddy.