I have been thinking about designing a reusable planter for starting seedlings for a while. So, I decided to try making something in Fusion 360. As you can see, the default size, on the left, is pretty small. I didn't think it would be terribly practical, so I tried scaling it in my slicer. That is where the other two prints come in. I printed the other two 200% and 300%. I think that 200% works best for smaller seeds, while 300% should work for things such as melons and other larger seeds.
This is not designed as a long term planter, but more as a starting point. The basket is meant to be planted with the seedling. I printed it with PLA, so it may, or may not be reusable. Time will tell.
I should also say that the tray hasn't been printed yet, so I can't offer any suggestions, except that you should scale it with the other components.
I designed the holder/planter to be the reusable part, since you can put a new basket into it. It also has some space inside that is meant to work as a reservoir. Though, most of this is still untested. I welcome constructive criticism. Please let me know if you find anything that needs improvement! :-)
Here is a link to a time-lapse video of it printing.
Please visit my website, if you have the time. I am trying to work on getting out regular blogs and videos. My site is the hub for everything.
It is working well so far. I filled the basket with soil, made a little hole n the middle, and planted a mellon seed. After about a week or two, one of them started growing! Next step is to see about planting it.
Though, I think it may have been wise to print, and plant it into a 4-500% scaled seedling planter. I am going to have to keep an eye on how the roots handle the current basket. The reservoir in the holder gathers a little soil in the bottom.
At 300%, the planter keeps the soil moist for 2-3 days. This is inside a sun room, that has been around 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit for the latterr half of the day. A little wind comes through at times, but the planter doesn't dry out that quickly. Printing it with woodfill PLA may have helped with this.
Oh, definitly have a tray to catch overflow when watering. I haven't printed a tray, since I haven't completly settled on a planter size. Either way, it is easy to have a little overflow, so keep that in mind.
I have successfully grown two seedlings in the planter. I found that when the leaves are visible, it is pretty much time to plant the seedling. You can see the roots sticking out around the bottom, and sides of the basket. I planted the basket, and seedling into a larger planter. We will see how it goes from here. I will let you know how it turns out. So far, I am pretty satisfied with the design. So far, it functions just as I had hoped.
Please let me know how it works out for you. Share your makes, and what you decide to grow in the planter. I am going to move it from experimental, to "finished."
I printed it with 3 shells on the sides and bottom, and 4 on the top. Personally, I would just use 2 shells on the sides, otherwise the holder is pretty thick. The basket is pretty thin, and fragile, so you don't need to change the number of shells for it.
I would probabally print the tray with 4 top shells, and 3 for sides and the bottom, just for strength.