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3D Printing Beautiful Self Watering Planters

Three 3d printable planters

Have you ever had a plant that you loved, but inevitably forgot to water and it ended up drying out? Or perhaps you just wish to plan ahead for that much needed vacation, and could use a self watering planter to keep your green friends safe and sound.

Today we are exploring the topic of self watering planters, with a special focus on designs that can be 3D printed for cheap. We will examine how these clever inventions actually work, and provide a list of some of our favorite picks that you can print yourself today. Enjoy!

How Self Watering Planters Work

Depiction by AI of self-watering planter.

Self watering planters are designed with a hollow design that allows an inside container to be filled with water. This water then moisturizes the growth medium, whether it be dirt, coir fiber, cloth or perlite etc. The plant roots will then slowly absorb the water through the growth medium, thus avoiding overwatering and other issues.

This makes it easy to care for your favorite plants, as long as you remember to top up the self watering planter itself. Depending on the 3D printed design you opt for and your plant in question, some of these containers can have water that will last a month or more.

One thing to note is that you might need to keep an eye out on your plants for the first few days, as not all 3D printed models work equally well with all the growth mediums out there. For instance, if you have a plant that is susceptible to overwatering, you might need to use clay pellets, perlite, or bark instead of dirt or coir fibers.

With that out of the way, let us now examine some of our favorite designs from printables.com, that you can print yourself today!

Helical Self Watering Planters

Helical Self Watering Planters - 3d print

The first model on our list actually comes in a few varied designs that are both modern and sleek. While you can print these with most filament colors and types, we particularly love the models made with wood filament, as they provide a lovely warmth and aesthetic that looks like it was bought in a designer store.

As for the filament options you can go for PLA or PETG, but it is important to read the print instructions on the page properly, in order to get a watertight seal. 

Another neat feature of this design is that you can scale it up or down depending on your favorite plants, allowing you to easily customize the size without having to edit the 3D models themselves.

Self Watering Planter Collection

Three square 3d printable planters.

Next up we have a minimalistic and highly modern set of self watering planters. This collection features more than 10 different planters in the same style, allowing you to choose your favorite design, or mix and match depending on your mood.

Quite a few of these are shaped as cubes, allowing you to stack and organize them neatly if you so choose. They can even be arranged on a plant bed making them perfect for hobby nurseries and similar growth operations.

These designs have proven to be great and highly versatile, allowing you to adjust the water levels as well as the scale. However, as with all the models on our list, you should pay extra attention to the print instructions, as you otherwise might experience issues with water leaks. 

AI depiction of self-watering planter.

Balcony Garden Self Watering Flower Pots

Have you also wondered why flower pots for your balcony are so expensive? Then you might be interested in these parametric self watering flower pots that can be fitted to your balcony railings. They are made in 4 different parts, with the brackets being printed separately, so that you only need to change a small portion if the standard design does not fit your specific railings.

Not only does the author provide 2 different sizes for the flowerpots themselves, which can also be scaled depending on your needs, but they have also included a clever little trellis that can help keep your tomato (or other) plants upright without hurting them or stunting their growth.

These flower pots are mounted with M3x20 screws and M3 hex nuts in order to secure them no matter the weather outside, and if you choose an appropriate filament for the print, you should be able to enjoy your self watering flower pots for many years to come without issue.

AI depiction of self-watering planter.

Self Watering Planter

The 4th design on our list has a slightly different feel to the rest of the self watering planters we featured so far. The shape is unique and interesting, and while it perhaps is not for everyone, we are sure some of you will love it. It has a large container for plenty of water, meaning you can leave your plants for an extended period of time, and still come back to luscious green leaves.

The author of this design managed to achieve a watertight design with just 2 perimeters, instead of the usual 3 or 4 like most other designs use. The self watering planter also features a water level, which is quite handy to quickly gauge when it is time to add more water to the reservoir. 

As for filaments, you could go for either PLA or PETG, depending on your preference. Once again, we recommend being creative with the color or style of filament here, as it will add a touch of sophistication and style to this water planter, and make it stand out in a good way for sure. 

Parametric Self Watering Planter

Two parametric 3d printable planters.

Here we have a set of beautiful parametric self watering planter prints, featuring various designs that feel inspired by mid-century Scandinavian aesthetics. We would not be surprised at all to find these in the accessories section of a retro furniture store, or in a modern IKEA for that matter.

And in fact, this is one of the most beloved creations on our list, there are many positive reviews and likes on the authors page on printables.com – so we highly recommend you check it out for yourself and see if it might fit your style at home.

The parametric self watering planter comes with an indicator to show how much water is left in the container, and the design even allows for ventilation, to ensure healthy roots all year round. One thing to note about this design is the potting medium, as you will need to use a variety that has a strong capillary action, such as clay soil, in order for the roots to fully absorb the needed amount of water.

AI depiction of self-watering planter.

Self Watering Square Planter

The last item on our list for today is a square self watering planter that looks just at home indoors as it would in the greenhouse or sunroom. As with some of the other models on our list, the author has also included a water level, and the way it has been designed, allows for quick printing of the inner shell, as only the outer shell needs to be watertight.

When it comes to filaments, PLA is recommended, although we do not doubt that PETG would work as well, even though it might require a few changes to the files if you are thus inclined. Overall, we love the author’s choice of using different colored inner and outer shells, which also serves as an easy reminder of which plants are potted in each container.

The square design is both modern and aesthetically pleasing, however the water level is designed as an attachment to the outside shell, meaning it is not as easily stackable as other models we have featured in this article. 

Final Thoughts

That was all for this article, we hope you found some new designs to try out on your 3D printer, and that your plants will love their new homes. We are sure you will appreciate the different designs, and find just the right one that matches your interior and personal taste. Thanks for reading!

Author

  • Mark Pedersen

    Mark Pedersen is a passionate copywriter with over 10 years of experience in the copywriting and advertising industries. He is dedicated to crafting compelling copy that resonates with audiences, and is also interested in exploring ways to connect with audiences and drive positive change in the world.

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