If you already have the words Eudicots Rosids Eurosids Oxalidales Cephalotaceae tattooed somewhere on your body, first let me congratulate you on your mastery of Latin and second, let me reassure you that there is a new way to show your love for both carnivorous plants and 3D printing at the same time. Instructables contributor coyo18 has provided a step-by-step guide to creating your own Piranha Plant as part of a class at the University of South Florida.
This particular plant doesn’t resemble any of the carnivorous plants that you could encounter in the wild, but is instead modeled to look like the fireball-spitting vegetation from Super Mario Brothers. Coyo18 provides a list of the materials that you will need to assemble in order to ensure that your creation looks and acts like a piranha plant and not a failed valentine’s day rose.
And, of course, as with all great projects, the list includes Krazy glue and a stepper motor.
The STL files are provided in a ZIP file in step two of the instructions. The finished head is 5” in diameter, making it a good size for printing on most desktop machines. I think the most entertaining part would be being asked what I am doing while I am printing one of the ten teeth to be glued into its cavernous maw… but then maybe that means that I need to redefine what the word ‘fun’ means. With a minimal amount of modification to the printed pieces, in the vein of holes drilled and the like, you then will be able to insert the electronics that will bring your creation to life.
Assuming that you print your piece in white, you then have the option of painting the piranha plant. Or, you can leave it white and create the rare Albino Piranha Plant, which may or may not make you the envy of your friends – much of this depends on the quality of your friends.
The rest of the Instructable’s directions are dedicated to the mechanical aspects that make the plant work. Each step is laid out in an orderly and detailed fashion and as much of the work that can be done for you ahead of time, i.e., providing the coding, is provided. When that is all completed, the piranha plant will be functional. Via an Arduino board, the plant will spit “fireballs” and open and close its mouth.
Once you have finished the final assembly, just make sure to refrain from regularly feeding and watering your plant.
Is this a project you’d be interested in undertaking? Check out the Instructables page for more background and details, then join the discussion at the Mario Bros. Piranha Plant Instructables forum thread at 3DPB.com!