My Brother challenged me to design something in TINKERCAD for the Planter Contest. I thought that a "stone head" pot would be cool because you can grow all sorts of different plants to create different effects. I will go through a few of the design steps used in TINKERCAD to give an idea of how simple the design process can be. This will not be a complete instructional piece on how to use design software. Rather it is an overview of the steps used to create this pot. I will also share the file in the last step if you would like print one of your own.
Safety: Unlike some of my Instructables this one is fairly safe and requires very little precaution. Just make sure to print and paint in a ventilated area to avoid breathing the fumes.
3D printer - I print using PLA
Rust-Oleum - American Accents - Stone
Spray Polyurethane to seal finished pot after painting
Optional: RBG flashing LED, Wire, Two AA batteries, and a switch. I will explain this option in the end. I buy my RGB LEDs from Sparkfun.
Step 1: Build the Pot
I started out with a sphere that I stretched a little longer and taller. I then dropped the bottom of the sphere below the build platform and cut it off with a "hole" shape to give the pot a flat surface to sit on. I then cut the top off with another "hole" shape that was angled slightly and opened up the pot area with a "hole cylinder".
Step 2: Design the Face
I wanted a basic stone statue appearance so I cut the face flat. I have shown the shapes that formed the face above in picture format. You can see that the nose is a paraboloid and a cylinder combined (Grouped) and tilted to fit the face. The eyes are cut with a half cylinder named Round Roof by Tinkercad. The mouth was formed with a number of combined Torus shapes that are stacked and offset.
Step 3: Paint & Seal
I wanted a stone look and the blue PLA filament that it is printed in was not going to work for the proper effect. So I used Rust-Oleum, American Accents, Stone spray paint. This is the first time I used this product and I am impressed with the effect. I then sprayed the pot with Urethane to seal it as it is going to have soil and water in it. I did not put a drain hole into the design shown here which may create a problem for potting soil so I am going to include an stl file with a drain hole. I added an LED effect into my pot design so I left out the drain hole to insure that I did not get water near my batteries.
Step 4: LED Effects & STL Files
I cut channels into the pot to accept batteries, wires and an LED RBG flashing light. I also printed some translucent eyes that I decided that I did not like the look of. So I went with the light shining into the eye wells instead. See photos for notes on this added effect. I did not add a switch, but if I make another one of these pots I will include a switch at the back of the pot with a channel running under the pot for the wires to run through. I think the LED effect is cool, but unnecessary.
Dimensions are roughly: 6" long X 5" wide X 4 1/2" high. These dimensions can easily be increased proportionately if you are not using the battery box and LED light effect.
A few details: Print time is roughly 6 hours. Cost of a can of the stone paint is roughly $8.50 USD. I used most of the can to get the planter fully coated inside and outside. I had a can of spray urethane in my shop already and I do not recall how much they cost. I would estimate that it costs roughly $20 to make one of these.
Here attached is the file if you wish to print one for yourself. This file does include a drain hole to remove water.
As always I welcome any questions and comments.
Step 5: Bonus Design
Here is an additional planter design made with Tinkercad, which is my "go to" design program. It is very ease to use, and the fact that it is free is beyond cool.
I used most of the shapes in the “Character” shape section to create this character.
The only item that I added support to for printing is the propeller on top of the hat. The rest of the design printed just fine without support. The shared file does include the support material for the propeller.