German 3D artist and game developer David Hagemann also refers to himself as a “3D printing addict,” put his design skills to practical use creating a 3D Printed Fruit Tree for his kitchen. The tree, which can be customized to hold different kinds of fruit, looks like something out of an old-school video game. Hagemann designed it so that the pieces snap together easily and the lower branches, which terminate in spirals of different sizes, hold the fruit or anything else you’d like to store in the branches of this great cartoon tree.
Hagemann shared photos, instructions, and .stl files on his Thingiverse page and also documented the process on imgur. The tree is printed using ABS and, while supports aren’t needed for printing, he recommends using a raft for the branches. The ABS is also the more appropriate material for this project as it allows for greater flexibility with the spirals and easier connection of the various pieces. You can use a printer with a fairly low build volume — as small as 120 x 120 mm, according to Hagemann.
Hagemann’s tremendous attention to detail included designing those great spiraling branches in different lengths and sizes to accommodate a variety of fruit — it’s a sort of pre-fruit-salad display! So, there are branches for the heavyweights like apples, oranges, and pears, smaller ones for nectarines and apples, another size for kiwis and comparably-sized fruits, and little branches and spirals for strawberries and so forth.
Another great quality of the tree is its expandability. The trunk can be lengthened as can the leaves. There are nine separate pieces for the foliage that are connected in a loop that Hagemann refers to as “the magic bracelet of torment,” which promises fun. If you have kids or are generally just secretive, you’ll appreciate that there’s a hidden case piece that can be inserted in the trunk. You can either hide things there or put something in it to weigh down the tree further, although it is designed to be quite stable and placement of the fruit further stabilizes it.
If you’re taking on this project, Hagemann emphasized that there’s no reason you need to use the same color palette he used if you’re feeling like a naturalistic-looking palm tree isn’t your thing. Creativity is encouraged, as is sharing the results of your project with its designer either on imgur or on Thingiverse.
While you’re stopping in, I recommend that you check out Hagemann’s other impressive but perhaps less practical projects on Thingiverse: A 3D printed skeleton, a colorful 3D printed Earth, an excellently modeled Professor Farnsworth bust, and so much more. I also love his Monster Mouth Phone Holder on imgur and am happy to enable this talented designer and self-proclaimed “3D printing addict.” We’ve covered some of his fun ideas before, as well, like his Spring Things and the fun linking Linklings.
Will you create your own 3D printed fruit tree? Let us know what you think about this fun tabletop piece in the 3D Printed Tree for Fruit forum thread over at 3DPB.com. Check out the animation below of the assembly of the tree.