3dp_ten3dpthings_birdhouses_bannerA few weeks ago I reorganized my office and ended up with a nice, unobstructed view out of my window and into the backyard. I noticed that we tended to have a lot of birds passing through, so in an effort to get them to stop so I could get a good look at them I installed a feeder in a tree in my backyard. The flood of birds that came to visit my new feeder was like something straight out of a Hitchcock movie, and I’ve gotten a look at some amazing birds. I had no idea suburban Los Angeles had so many varieties of birds, and many of them live here year round. So I decided to look into getting some bird houses, which naturally led me to birdhouses that I can 3D print.

I found a bunch of cool options, and while I’m still trying to decide which is the right fit for my yard I decided that this may be a fine theme for this week’s column. So I went looking for the best that the internet had to offer and I was not disappointed in my options. As always i’ve included some basic options for beginners, some more advanced projects and a few options that will require larger sized printers, so there should be something here for everyone.

The best material to print out any of these designs is probably PLA, however it is sensitive to sunlight and weather. I’d suggest painting anything that you make with an acrylic spray paint that will protect the plastic from UV exposure.

Here are Ten Awesome 3D Printable Birdhouses:


BASIC BIRDHOUSE

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Bird House by Darras Bertrand

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

This basic birdhouse design is the perfect starting point if you’re looking for something with a more traditional feel that is easy to 3D print. It was designed to be printable without any supports and includes pegs that allow all 5 parts to easily snap together. Although a spot of glue isn’t going to hurt.

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CRAFTSMAN BUNGALOW

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the American Craftsman Bungalow Birdhouse by Mr_MegaTronic

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you suspect that the birds living on your yard may have a large family that will need more space than a basic birdhouse then this craftsman-style house is a big step up. The design includes two entrances, several interior perches and even drainage holes so no water will build up inside of it. And it was designed to be printable without supports and is only made of a few pieces that easily slot together.

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LACE-PATTERN CUBE BIRDHOUSE

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Lace Condo – Bird House Community by XYZ Workshop

Found on: MyMiniFactory
Cost: Free

This cube-shaped birdhouse is a great alternative to more traditional looking birdhouses. It has a beautiful lace pattern on all six sides, and has a simple off-set hole near the top of the cube that will offer easy access to many small songbird species. There is also a more modern cube design that has a circuit board pattern and a modern birdbath to accompany it. You can create an entire 3D printed bird community.

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DEATH STAR BIRDHOUSE

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Death Star Birdhouse by plainolddave

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

That’s no moon, it’s a birdhouse shaped like a space station that’s shaped like a moon! Bring a bit of Star Wars into your garden with this spherical Death Star birdhouse. And if you don’t want to use it to house birds, the files even include a cover for the entrance hole that is shaped like the giant space station’s dish so it can be used as an ornament or decoration.

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WINDOW-MOUNTED BIRD FEEDER

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Bird feeder 4.0 by printednest

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

This cool egg-shaped bird feeder is designed to be mounted on your window so you can get a close-up view when your feathered-friends stopping by for a snack. The feeder is held in place with four pieces of double-stick tape and a safety wire, so it should be nice and secure in just about any window. All of the parts are printable without supports or rafting, and the design can be scaled up and down a bit depending on the size printer that you’re using.

Close up of the feet that hold the feeder to your window.

Close up of the feet that hold the feeder to your window.

Here is some video of the bird feeder being used by some feathery guests:


RAINDROP HOUSE

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Raindrop “Birdhouse” by Scintilla

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

With a simple raindrop design and some really easy to assemble parts this cool birdhouse is a great option if you’re looking for a whimsical but simple birdhouse. The birdhouse prints in two halves which are held together with several 3D printed pegs. The parts were designed to be snapped together, but it couldn’t hurt to use a bit of superglue when assembling. You can just hang up one, or print out several of these and hang them in your trees or from the eaves of your house.

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COLLAPSIBLE NESTED BIRDHOUSE

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Nested Birdhouse by Gyrobot

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

This cool birdhouse was designed so it could be printed all in one piece on smaller 3D printers. The birdhouse itself actually collapses down into a much smaller shape, which is how it is printed. After printing it can then be folded down into its full size. All of the parts, including the joints, are printed all at once. It’s a pretty cool design that makes it a lot easier for those of us with smaller printer beds. There is also an optional back piece that can be attached to the collapsible portion of the birdhouse, but if you’re mounting it on a wall it probably isn’t required.

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You can see video of the birdhouse being opened up here:


TRAFFIC LIGHT-SHAPED BIRDHOUSES

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Traffic Light Bird House by asbeg

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you really want to bring a unique birdhouse to your backyard then how about a traffic light-shaped set of houses? The houses print individually and then can be mounted together with 3D printable connectors, or you can just print one of them for a unique-shaped house. The traffic light shape of the house is perfect for small songbirds that are safer in houses without perches. The fronts of the houses can be printed in different colors to match the traffic lights, and the designer even included options for mounting LED lights behind the front of the house so it will really light up.

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PREDATOR-RESISTANT BIRDHOUSE

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Cool Birdhouse by coconnor55

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

If you live in an area with a lot of bird predators like other birds or cats, then you may want something a little more secure. This double-shelled design is nice and durable and resistant to being broken open by predators, and it has an entrance that is high enough to keep the chicks from jumping out before they are ready to fly. The birdhouse is printed all as a single piece, so you are going to need a decent-sized 3D printer to make this one.

You can see the outer-shell being printed over the inner shell here.

You can see the outer-shell being printed over the inner shell here.


BIRD CASTLE

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Birdhouse Rook, Castle Tower by Valcrow

Found on: Thingiverse
Cost: Free

And finally, if you see a lot of regal looking birds flying around your home, maybe you should give them a big castle! This awesome looking birdhouse is really easy to print in three parts without any supports and includes a bunch of add-on options. The bird castle includes several entrances, perches, look out spots, a feeder and even an integrated bird bath that keeps water out of the castle itself.

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Thank so much for reading every week. I love putting these lists together for you and I especially love seeing how you did when printing any of the projects that I have written about. Please feel free to share anything that you’re working on, or if you have ideas for future columns, with me on Twitter @SJGrunewald or you can just email me.

Have fun printing everyone, see you next week!

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