It’s an all too common occurrence. You spend time, money, and love on a small potted plant only to find that it has shriveled up and died because you finally got to go away for the weekend. Sure, you could make your own self-watering planter from an old tin can and a small bucket, but are you really ready to introduce that kind of aesthetic into your otherwise ordered existence?
If this is the kind of scenario that leaves you in a cold sweat, take a deep breath and check out Parallel Goods‘ 3D printed self-watering planter, designed by Craig Stover. Joe Carpita, design strategist at Parallel Goods, explained the inspiration for the design:
“I got this idea after many failed attempts at keeping herbs alive at home. I’ve tried to grow basil at home in traditional pots, but every time we go away for the weekend, they shrivel up and die. This type of self-watering pot is pretty common, but we thought it would be great to try our hand at printing one. Many people make their own DIY, but none have the nice, polished aesthetic that you’d be proud to have in your kitchen.”
This means one less thing to worry about when you go away for the weekend and ensures that even if you were to forget your plants for a day or two, they’d weather your absence. Even if you’re the kind of person who would have no difficulty remembering to water your house plants, the bottom-up nature of the watering system ensures that the soil doesn’t get drained of its nutrients, creating a healthier environment for your indoor gardening.
“This planter was designed to be straight forward to use,” said Carpita. “Fill up the pot with soil and add your favorite plant. There’s a basket in the bottom of the pot that will allow the roots to absorb as much water as they need. This is great because you can’t overwater, and you’ll never wash away nutrients like you do when pouring water directly onto the soil. The rate the water is consumed will vary from plant to plant, but this Self-Watering Planter will allow a typical herb or small plant to thrive for 2 – 3 times as long between waterings.”
The planter is designed to be entirely 3D printed with no additional hardware required. The only element that makes this slightly more complex than an average print is the need for it to be watertight. The folks at Parallel Goods have been kind enough to share both their design and the recommended settings for the watertight finish, with a small version design available on Thingiverse. The piece is set up to be printed in PLA but if others can’t get the watertight finish settings just right, Carpita recommends that they simply coat the bottom of the planter using Tibebond-3 wood glue, which is both waterproof and nontoxic.
A larger version of the planter will be available soon through the Parallel Goods website, which the founders of the company are working on polishing up for release along with the forthcoming opening of their business.
Would one of these planters help your indoor green thumb? Let us know if this design interests you in the 3D Printed Self-Watering Planter forum thread over at 3DPB.com.