Dodecagonal Wave Planter

by Jesus_Gimenez Nov 25, 2018
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I had excellent luck with cooking spray. I used a generic brand but it was a foaming vegetable oil spray kind of like PAM. All PLA parts and a liberal spraydown with cooking spray made the demoulding procedure extremely easy. Thanks for uploading this cool model

You're welcome, I'm really happy to hear that! I designed them with that purpose, the ease of demoulding. I can say that my molds have lasted 5 castings with PLA. I think in the future I'll make them with PETG as I think they will last many more castings. Kind regards and happy holidays!

Does the cement not stick really hard to the moulds?

Hi! I apply a generous layer of vaseline to the interior part of the mould. I have no problem demoulding the side walls, the interior part sticks a little but a couple of strong hits with a rod to the plunger with a hammer and It breaks loose.

Hi there, very cool design!

I was having serious issues demolding the middle insert of planters I started designing... here's a hint, print an outer wrap for that insert out of TPU, 1.6 to 2mm thick works with shore hardness of around 90, fit this OVER your current insert.

Once cured the hard plastic insert will then pop right out with no issue, you can bend and flex the TPU wrap out without all the hammering and damage.

It took me plenty of design iterations until I thought this up and it works almost perfectly. The TPU can stick, especially at the bottom, but what I'll do is peel back the side walls, then use a vice grip to pinch the walls together and get good leverage to pull the bottom free.

If you end up tearing the TPU wrap after a few uses, reprinting it is not as big a deal. Hope this helps!

edit: also, check out Cement-all CSA Cement at Home Depot (if you're in the states), it cures in 15 minutes and you can get really good flow out of it without much water at all. I find it immensely easier to work with over standard portland cements.


Thanks! That's a really good idea! I haven't started to print yet with flexible filaments, I bought two spools but my stock Prusa i3 Mk3 doesn't seem to like them (the bondtech extruding gears push it through the narrow gap between them and the hotend PTFE tube creating a mess). I'm planning to do some upgrades to be able to print TPU.

Regarding the concrete, I'm from Spain so I don't have access to Cement-All (I've seen some YouTube vídeos about concrete casting and it's truly amazing). I'm using a local concrete mixture called AplicaSec. It isn't the best but the nice thing is that it's only 1.5€ per a 25 kg concrete sack.

Best regards and thanks for the idea!

No problem, happy to help.

I run a Prusa Mk2s, and after having struggled with a brand of TPU called Pianese(I think?), having similar issues as you are(my filament would bunch up just below the extruder before the ptfe tube.) Loosening the tension springs on the filament feed helped some as well as turning all print speeds but travel down to 25mms, but I eventually tried another brand called 3D Solutech, they offer what they call a "modified PLA" that is flexible, this stuff prints real easy. Look for a more rigid TPU or Flexible PLA, shore rating of 90 seems to feed pretty easily yet still be flexible when thin. If you can order 3D Solutech's it's worth it.

As far as the concrete, try and search CSA Cement locally, or if you don't mind the wait for curing you can make your own mix to your satisfaction... pick up a bag of portland cement, this will be the powder only, no rock, gravel or sand added, then buy a bag of sand, play with the mix ratio until your happy with the results.

I've spent the last 6 months researching all I could about this and have learned a lot through trial and error and man is it cool to see real world items like this come out of a printed mold... the weight of a concrete item feels so much more satisfying than that item printed in PLA!

Keep it up!

The TPU filament I'm using is from 3DFils and it is really flexible, so I'll follow your advice on loosening the tension on the springs and lowering the printing speed. I've searched on Amazon the Modified PLA from 3D Solutech but it's crazy expensive (70€ per 1Kg spool), so I think I'll try to make my Prusa to work with 3DFils' TPU.

The concrete mixture I'm using takes about two days to harden enough to be able to demould it successfully. I like your idea of making my own mixtures with different ratios of portland cement and sand, the main issue I'm having right now is with surface finish, it looks a bit rough on the walls at the top of the mold (maybe not enough pressure).

I also agree with you regarding the weight and feel of the concrete, and even it's cold and porous like a real rock, I think it's the most appropriate material to accomodate a plant.

Thanks for the advices!

See if you can order some inexpensive flexible filament (TPU or otherwise) that has a higher shore rating than what your using. Your printer will print TPU as-is, or at least the more rigid TPU I've used. You need something in the 90 range and it should, the more rigid it is the less likely it will kink or jam or pop out of the side of your extruder. Also, instead of using Load Filament which tends to feed the initial 40mm or so in very fast and thus getting jammed, manually feed the filament through using the Extruder option under the Move menu.

Try adding more water to get to a near-fluid consistency with the cement you're using. Pour the concrete with one hand and shake the mold from side to side as you do that, this will help with air bubbles and allow them to escape before there's so much cement on top of them that they just rise as far up as they can. After pouring tap the sides a bit, grab the mold by it's seams, and twist it back and forth quickly for awhile... a little agitation like this can go a long way.

Bubbles can actually look pretty nice if controlled properly, I believe there are additives that can increase bubbles in the mix to get this result. You can also buy yourself some fabric dye (cheap stuff where I'm at) and mix it into your mixing water to vary your planter's color. Concrete sealer can also make the planter really stand out if you apply it correctly and well after the piece has cured properly.

Anyways, I'll leave you to it now, sorry for the wall of text, I've been getting really excited about the possibilities lately!

Hi Roykinn!

I'm sorry for being so late to reply to your comment. They have been a couple of busy weeks at my regular job and I couldn't find time to post on Thingiverse.

I find really interesting the manual loading of the filament, as you say, it's waaay to fast for flexible filaments to feed properly.

Regarding the bubbles and rough surface finish of the bottom part of the planters (the top part when you're casting it), I think it's related with the difference between the density of the components. The heavier parts (cement, sand) tend to sink and compact to what will be the top part of the planters, and water to rise to the top. I think this heavier proportion of water on the top is what causes to not to stick well to the walls and create this rough finish. but I'm still not 100% sure.

I pour my concrete with a consistency of oatmeal or cookie dough, but I'm tempted to give it a try with a more liquid mix as you suggest and see how it looks. About fabric dye, I'm definitely going to try that one on the shorter version of my planters that I'm going to post today :)

Sorry again for the late response and happy holidays!