Upcycle Jar Greenhouse

by Milhooz, published

Upcycle Jar Greenhouse by Milhooz May 15, 2017
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Fusion 360


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With this model, you can upcycle the glass jars commonly found in Europe into mini greenhouses for your plants. It has a water reservoir and a lip to collect condensation water and re-inject it in the reservoir (See cross-section image for detail). With the hexagonal design, you can pack them in a honeycomb pattern or mix sizes easily.

I have created 4 models matching 4 different sizes but you can easily design new sizes for your jar.

To find your size, measure the outer diameter of the opening of the jar.

The 72mm is also available with larger sides because my apple purée jars have narrow opening but are quite wide, this is to allow to pack them together without the glass touching.

Watering tips:
If you keep the glass jar on it, don't use the reservoir or keep the water level in it very low (0,5 cm), because the greenhouse will be closed, the water that you put will not evaporate and the soil will be too wet. Use the reservoir only when not using the glass.

Happy Farming!

Print Settings

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As the design is quite simple, you should be able to print at fast speed. Printing at 60 or 80mm/s should not be a problem on a Prusa i3 MK2.

If your printer allows it and to add some color, I suggest that you do a color change at layer 251 (Z 50.2mm).

If you are using Simplify 3D, you can rotate your model on the z-axis by 45° to align top solid infill with the side for a nicer look.

Wall thickness is designed to print 2 perimeters at 0.45 mm layer width.

How I Designed This

Edit it to fit your jar!

I designed this in Fusion 360 and it can be easily modified to fit more glass jars.
You can download my designs from Autodesks' A360.
52.5mm file: http://a360.co/2pPES0l
62mm file: http://a360.co/2ql1CZx
72mm file: http://a360.co/2r9Lvzh
78mm file: http://a360.co/2qlas9V

In the pictures above, you can find an explanation of how the measurements are taken.

Change history

2017-05-17: Renamed file for 52.5mm (was wrongly named 57mm)

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Comments deleted.

how long time for print the large size?

Hi, it depends on your printer, slicer and quality but I’m able print the big one in less than 3 hours, because the model is mostly straight lines and circles. I case in worst case it can take up to 10 hours or more.

Thank you so much for the info Mihooz !!

Anyone had issues with holes in the bottom? mine is leaking from the bottom. I made it with 20% infill, would it change with 100% infill?

Hi Fitze,

The interior infill should not matter as the bottom thickness is about 1 mm and you should have something like 5 top and bottom layers at 0.2 or 0.15 mm layer height so the total will be more than 1 mm. If this is leaking maybe your printer is under extruding? You can also try with the models I have published a few weeks back in the comments which have thicker walls.

Hi Milhooz,

I have 0.1 layer height (21 hours print :)), and only 3 layers bottom and 3 layers top, could this be the problem? Im fairly new to 3D printing, but I dont think the printer is under extruding? can you see from my picture? stupid enough, I didnt take any pictures of the bottom :(. And after 20min in the oven at 110C (someone wrote this in a comment), the model is dead.

I used your new designs with thicker walls. I am not sure if it has to do with me number of layers in top and bottom?

Its like I can see the mesh in the bottom, and a little bit in the top, as it seems that the layers are too thin.

A last question, how long time does it take for you to print a 78mm? is 21 hours too long?

If you are printing at 0.1 layer height, you should set more than 3 layers for top and bottom else your printer parts will have only 0.3 mm shells which is pretty weak compared to probably 3 perimeters at 0.45 mm so about 1.2mm thickness. At 0.1 mm layer height you should go at least 6 layers for top and bottom. Extrusion seems to be good yes. Any particular reason why you have a brim? The model is flat and should do well without brim but this is not the reason why it is leaking. Also this is an utilitarian object so usually for this kind of objects I print at 0.15 or 0.2 at a pretty high speed, but it depends on your printer capabilities, I think it takes less than 4 hours to print for me. 110 degrees in the other user comment was in Farenheit as 110C will make your object flat if printer with PLA ;-)

I printed af new one, with different settings, 0.2 layer height, 6 layers bottom and 6 layers top, 100% filling, still leaking from the bottom in the corners :(...

Im printing with rectilinear pattern.

I have a feeling, that it is due to the places where the extruder turns directions, I have attached some fotos of the bottom. Do you have any clue what could be the problem?

That is weird, do you usually get a first layer like this on your prints? Usually the first layer should be squished enough so it is flat. Maybe you need to redo your first layer/bed calibration. Which slicer are you using?
Even if the first layer is not perfect, there are many layers above and it should fill the gaps.
You can also try to rotate your part or the infill angle so it is aligned with the walls. See attached image of one that I have printed in 2h34 last year, the bottom infill is parallel to one of the walls.

I am using Slic3r to generate the Gcode. I could try to calibrate again, I have had issues going too close to the bed, it seemed like the extruder was pushing the PLA into the bed, which made it almost impossible to get the parts of the blue tape.

Im running the cooling fan on 100%, and first layer is printed at 215C, 65C bed, and following layers 210C and 60C.

I still dont understand, how you can print it that fast :), this part was around 8 hours.

Usually it is best to disable the fan for the first layer (I disable it for the first 3 layers) but it depends on the print surface, I have PEI surface on my Prusa MK2S. I have no experience of other surfaces so I could not say. Speed depends on the printer capabilities and on the Slicer as well.

What do you have below your blue tape? If it is glass, you can try with diluted PVA glue (like Magigoo) instead of blue tape for example, it would give you a better finish on the first layer, but as I said, I have no experience with this other than on PEI.

I have the alu plate under the tape, I will try to adjust my extruder 0.1mm, and I have ordered a PEI sheet for my bed.

Which slicer program do you use?

For the nozzle, I guess you followed height adjustment instructions that came with your printer (gap between nozzle and bed must be about 1 sheet of paper).

For Slicers, I use Slic3r Prusa Edition for multi color prints and Simplify3D for single color as the later is much better but does not support multi color for now.

Are you sure this prints without supports? The lower and upper roof seem to be waaaay off limits to print without supports.

Yes printed fine for me without supports. All angles are 45 degrees or less and rest is bridging. If your printer is correctly tuned, it should be easy.

Mine leak. What should I do to the print to stop this. and what can I do to the final print to stop them leaking?

Which version (diameter) did you print? I can generate a new file with thicker walls if you want to test.

I tried the 52.5mm and 62mm. They both leaked. Ive now resized the 62mm by 96% as all my jars are 58mm. I will try and oven them ( when I do some cooking) I am also going to look into spraying them.

If you are willing to test a bit more, please try one of these, they should be 3 perimeters instead of two (but check in your slicer to confirm). I did not test them yet. If you tell me if your 58mm jar as 4 or 6 tabs on the lid, I can create a new one of 58mm diameter as well.

I've used the 78mm_v13, 3 layers and no leaks! Thank you for the design.

All my jars are 4 tabs and 58mm ( i keep them in order to store apple sauce). Thanks

I found one that is 59mm for the exterior of the opening of glass, measured with callipers just before the thread. I'm not sure if yours are 59 mm as mine or if they made custom one at 58 for your or mine. Interior diameter of the metallic lid for mine is about 63,6mm. I have created a new model for this with 3 perimeters. Maybe it will match yours.

Ive just printed the 62mm at 96% and it fits great. Ive yet to investigate if peatpots will fit. etc

If you used PLA, you can temper the pot in your oven. Just set the oven to 230 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook the parts for an hour.
This should eliminate any small cracks between layers, which makes water leak out.

Ok, I misread 230°F for 230°C, this would have looked like a flat cookie lol.

Haha, that's not good!

I will try that. Ill have a go when im doing some cooking.

Nice! Let me know how it turns out.

Hi. Can you check if you don't have any under extrusion, it should not leak. People already request that I thicken the perimeters to ensure it is stiffer. I tried to make a model with good printing speed and low plastic volume but I guess I need to make it 3 perimeters thick. You can edit the files in Fusion 360 but I will do it. Also be careful not to put too much water, it should not be more than 1 cm deep else your plants will rot.

Its leaking abou 5mm from the bottom. I cannot see any underextrusion,
A thought for a future design. How about some slots/linkage so that the can link together, in strips, or blocks or other shapes or combinations with other sized greenhouses of your design.

maybe a stupid question... how much water should i so in this :)

No much, about until it reach the lower floor where the soil is. If you put too much it will stay wet and it might rot your plant.

I thought that PLA degrades when in contact with water? Is that a misconception?

Water is ok. The heat of the sun will gradually break down the PLA, but it is such a slow process you don't need to really worry about it I think. I made a flower pot out of a single 0.4mm white PLA wall before, and used it for years. there was never any problem with it.

52.5mm design fits Australian Masterfoods Ginger jar. Most standard jars in Australia are ~58mm looking to see what % scale i need to change the print to get it to fit.

I scaled the 62cmm one by 96% to fits the 58 cm and it works well

You just saved me asking, thank you

you got a nice thing going on here :) I Like it!

non 3d print related noob question... this will protect the plant from frost right?

Nice idea. The design is a bit flimsy though, easy to damage or break. I think if the walls were a bit more thick it would be a lot more durable.


Thank you for your comment! Yes you are right, the initial idea for having thin wall was to be able to see the level of water through the wall and also to use as little material as possible but I agree I could make the wall 3 or 4 perimeters instead of 2 because if the jar is a bit stuck while trying to unscrew, you can break the thing.

Hi! Did you get to generate a design with 4 perimeters? Printed twice, but failed to produce one of the walls near the "nose". Thank you

So...Where the plants get Carbon dioxide and oxygen?

what kind of threading did you use? i want to remix this


I copied the threading used on the lid of european glass containers. Basically it is just 4 or 6 little tabs depending on the lid size. Mason Jars are using one continuous thread so it is not the same.

can you possibly post a link for a version w/ mason jars, or find out if the right type of jars is available on amazon? if so, please post link

I can try, I don't have a Mason jar and I don't know if they are all the same size but I can take a thread from another thing on Thingiverse

Will this work with mason jars

Ive made a remix of this with mason jars

Hi SMuly,

I don't have access to Mason jars in Europe, but I believe they have a continuous screw thread whereas jars here are 4 or 6 partial threads so it will most likely not work but there are other people who created the same kind of thing for Mason jars before me.

Doesn't plants need C02 to do their photosyntesis? I believe covering plants like this is mostly done for seedlings to keep mositure inside but will not work well in the long run for larger plants.

Most green houses got some way to get air into them, a lot of plants that are grown inside also got their own C02 generators when there's enough of them. If moisture content is too high as well, it will promote plant disease.

Also second problem, if the roots reach the bottom they will end up rotting, but it's not a big problem if the plants aren't large.

Looks nice though!

Plant cells do two things, fermentation and respiration, the fermentation produces C02 and so does respiration which the plant can use

Hi MrGemeco,

This is mostly for seedlings so CO2 is not really an issue, I doubt it will consume all of what is inside. Also, online I have seen plants in enclosed jars last for decades so I don't know of this is exactly working, not that I recommend that you don't open the jar for years. I'm conducting tests right now to see how it is going but so far my seedlings seems to like it, and when they will be big enough I will move them in the garden.

If too much moisture is an issue, the water reservoir can be used once the plant is big enough only and that you don't need the glass anymore.

I'll try to improve my design if I see problems and thank you for the comments, I don't have much experience with plants so I appreciate inputs.

basicly the plant also burns energy and thus creates its own co2. covering it won't cause the plants to die but it will limit their maximum size.

just a suggestion: It would be cool to make this as an array that has 1 common reservoir so it can be used for hydroponics

Nice idea - but i see a minor problem ... more a missing piece.
If the plant has grown a proper root ball, it can not be removed from your pot without damaging or destroying the pot or the root ball.
In order to be able to easily repot the plant, a insert is needed.
The green line represents the insert. As with hydroculture, the water is supplied to the plant with some sort of thick yarn, represented by the blue line.

My solution to this is to use Peat Pots
they are made for transplanting seed germinations. Once transplanted, the peat pot becomes part of the earth and the roots can grow past the peat pot.

Hi Balmung83, I see what you mean. While this was designed initially as a nursery for small plants before moving them to another place when bigger, it can be an issue if you keep them in this for a long period. I will work on another model or an insert to offer a solution for people who want to keep the plants in the planter.