This is a water dish I designed for my cats. Even filling their water dish twice a day, it was too small and would occasionally be empty. I decided that if I was going to print a new dish, I would make it the kind that is fed with a water bottle. I looked on Thingiverse, and while there was one design, I didn't care for some aspects of it, so instead of reworking that one, I just made my own.
The design looks like a fish, very similar to a certain kind of snack cracker. The tail serves as a support for the water bottle to help keep it from tipping, and the bowl has a rim around it to prevent it being knocked over. (Determined cats will always find a way, but I haven't had any issues so far.) The bowl itself holds a good amount of water even without the bottle attachment, I may make another file that matches as a food/water dish without the bottle.
I printed with 0.2 Layer Height
Be sure you are using food-safe PLA!
As this dish will be in constant contact with water your pets will drink, you want to be sure you're not using any potentially hazardous plastic material. Double check your filament to ensure it is food safe.
You will need a build width or length of about 23cm to fit this print. If I get requests, I may do another version to fit a smaller print bed, but because it needs to be water tight, it will never fit a smaller print bed like a 100mm.
Layer height could be 0.1 or 0.2, the bottle screw most likely won't work at higher resolutions. No supports or rafts are needed. I don't recommend supports, but you can use a raft if you need to.
You don't want it to leak, so the solid layers are important!
- Bottom Solid Layers: up to you, 2 or 3 is sufficient
- Shell/Side Layers: 3 or 4, depending on your printer and settings. I personally used 3.
- Top Solid Layers: 4. You may get away with 3, but 4 definitely will work.
If part of the fin curls
If the tips of the tail curls and separates from the build platform, it won't hurt the dish. You can use a heat gun, or hair dryer (assuming you used PLA) to warm the tip tail and bend it flat again. A pretty easy process and doesn't need to be perfect.
Cleaning is going to be more difficult than for a smooth injection-moulded plastic part due to the surface texture. When cleaning the bowl, use a hard bristled scrub brush like the kind used for scrubbing pots. As long as you are only using water, and regularly change it, it should rarely need cleaning. If algae or something seems to be growing into/inside the plastic, I recommend getting rid of the bowl. I've used mine in a tropical climate where algae is a constant problem and have yet to have issues.
If the bottle leaks
For me, I didn't have any issues with the bottle leaking, however depending on your printer and the print quality, it's possible it may happen. If so, use an O-ring at the bottom of the area where the bottle screws in. Generally though, this really shouldn't be necessary because the design means that any water from around the bottle threads would end up in the bowl anyway.
I used Sketchup to design the bowl, which is very easy to use and free for non-commercial use. :)