3D Printed Pots
Are you looking at purchasing 3D printed pots, or just want to know more about these innovative planters? This is the place to learn all you need to about 3D printed planters!
What is 3D Printing?
3D printing is a form of manufacturing that takes a material and creates a 3D object out of that material. There are actually several types of 3D printing processes, but the one that’s used most often for pots and planters is called additive manufacturing. This is accomplished by feeding a thin tube of plastic (aka filament) through a 3D printing machine, which heats up the plastic and lays down the plastic into layers to build the desired product.
You can see this in action with one of our timelapse printing videos!
Why 3D Printed Pots?
3D printing is being considered for building homes, manufacturing airplane components, and has also been lauded as an economic method for creating prosthetic limbs for humans and animals alike. So why pots and planters?
We first created Print A Pot because we wanted to make unique planters that were fun and different. We also wanted to explore the possibilities of additive manufacturing, which enables us to use different colors and mixed materials. Some filaments are made by mixing plastic with metal, clay, or wood fibers, giving certain pieces an interesting texture that you wouldn’t find with other manufacturing methods!
We’re also interested in the varying needs of different plants. Our most recent projects have delved into how to optimize drainage for succulents, which has become important for us during the rainy season in Florida! This has led to one of our most unique planters, the Aztec Succulent Planter:
What Should You Look For in a 3D Printed Planter?
A quality 3D printed planter should have solid layers that stay together — squeezing or “ripping” the product shouldn’t tear the product apart. If the plastic layers tear or separate, that means there was poor layer adhesion.
Quality Print Materials
All of Print A Pot’s products are made with PLA, or polylactic acid. It’s a plastic made out of plant starches, like corn or sugar cane. We like using this because it’s biodegradable (in landfills), industrially compostable, and made out of renewable sources. Another popular plastic type used in 3D printing is ABS, or Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. We prefer not to use this type of plastic, as it can release toxic fumes during the 3D print process.
Drainage for Succulents and Cacti
Unless you’re shopping for a drop-in planter (a decorative container that you can place a nursery pot in) or outer pot, you should look for a planter with drainage. A lot of planters in the 3D printing space tout a feature called “self-watering”. The problem? Succulents and cacti should never be in a self-watering planter! It would keep the soil moist for too long. There are some tropical houseplants that require moist soil, so self-watering planters would be better suited with tropical plants.
All of Print A Pot’s succulent planters have drainage holes or other water-holding mechanisms.
3D Printed Air Planters
Air plants are epiphytes, which means that they’re plants that don’t need soil. This makes them especially suited for unique displays with minimal care.