More than two years in the making, this is the second version of my original concept for a stacking, nesting modular herb-garden planter!
Inspired by the structure of a pinecone, this version is more advanced than my first design in this series because it does not require tongue and groove to hold the device together. This version uses an inward-sloping helical structure which draws the pods towards the center.
The key advantage here is two-fold, no unsightly shapes can be seen used to hold the parts together, as in the first design, and far more importantly, any individual pod can be taken out of the structure and replaced at will!
You can take a pod out, move it around, exchange it for another pod, without having to remove the pods above and around it, as you would need to in the first design iteration.
This also more closely mimics the structure of a pinecone as well.
I hope you are as excited about this idea as I am; I can easily see people building little herb or flower-gardens in their kitchen windows, mounting these on lazy-susans that let them rotate the whole garden and choose which herbs get the most sun, or even take advantage of the center-hole to mount them on a pole or hang them from the roof.
These nesting planter pods let you grow any number of garden herbs, flowers, or succulents, and mix or match them as desired.
The individual pods aren't much more than 4" in any one direction, and should be printable by most 3D printers. As for the height, it's only limited by how many you want to print, though very tall versions should consider using a stick or wire-rope down the center to keep it from toppling over.
If you put a stick through the center, integrated water-holes allow the pods to be individually-watered, and allow the excess water to drain into the center of the planter and down to the bottom nicely, even if you place a large rod down the middle.
The footer sections have tongue-and-groove sections used to hold the pods together. With about .010" extra space overall, so that even if your printer isn't great at holding good tolerances it should work decently fine.
The center-hole is larger than in the previous design, and could allow you to run a drip system through the middle and up through the drainage-hole if you chose.
And, as always, my designs are completely open-source, public-domain dedicated. Feel free to alter in any way you like, even to commercialize them immediately. In fact, if I don't see these for sale in Home Depot by the end of the year, I will be disappointed :P
Some additional thoughts:
The wall-thickness modeled is .100".
The walls need to be water tight. It may help to use some secondary process to make the pods water-tight if your print fails to produce a water-tight product. Hot-wax perhaps? Or pitch? Some have had good results with simple Elmer's wood glue.
In the images of the assembly, I've colored one of the pods blue so it is easy to see how an individual pod is part of the larger whole.
The footer parts and the top parts were made from the same stacking-pod model as the pods themselves, modified for that position. They are not optional to use as they are required to hold the pods together. So the entire assembly is constructed from three-separate model variants of one pod. The header-pods on top ARE optional.
It could be made into a hanging-planter by passing a wire or string through the center of a piece of wood dowel and tying off a knot.
It is advisable to put a dish of some sort under the bottom to catch excess water, if used indoors.
- Footer sections have new drainage holes for water.