Food or Water Dish for a Bird Cage

by mamclain, published

Food or Water Dish for a Bird Cage by mamclain Mar 9, 2013


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Let's face it, birds love to file their beak by chewing things, and my pet bird could put a termite to shame in sheer destructive prowess!

I have seen books turned into pulp, beak stones all but obliterated, and perches ground into mulch.

With that being said, sadly to my misfortune, my bird has acquired a taste for the exotic and has decided that the odd shaped food and water dish that nobody sales a replacement for was looking rather scrumptious!!

Thus, while he works on destroying his current dish, I decided to try and make my own replacement and figured I would share the result.


Note, the walls of this designed were made thick to help discourage the bird from chewing on them and to add extra strength to prevent breaking in the event the bird did try to chew on it.

Important Information

Disclaimer, when it comes to birds you can never be too careful, please read up on the type of plastic you are going to use and see if it is harmful for your bird to be around or eat. From the information I have found online, it appears that ABS plastic is the normal plastic used for this particular application and is generally considered safe for birds; However, there are several grades of ABS plastic available, and some of those grades are safe for food consumption while others are not. Furthermore, homebrew 3D printers have a tendency to leave small microscopic gaps and pits that can allow bacteria to grow inside the print that cannot be easily sterilized, thus a food safe sealant for the food safe plastic utilized is recommended to avoid this problem.

You might need to scale this model to fit your printer or intened application, and reasonable scaling should produce good results.

You should probably print this with support material enabled, oherwise it will come out incorrectly.

Also Important

Note, if you intend to use this item to replace an actual bird dish --- since birds do enjoy tearing things up --- you should be aware that printed models can sometimes have stringy and sharp microscopic filaments covering the model, a lot of time should be spent cleaning up the material via sanding and possibly attempting heat brazing here to ensure plastic cohesion into a solid smooth surface. While sandblasting and a nice hot rinse might be useful here, I have not attempted such methods and to make the dish safe such attributes should be considered and addressed.

I Printed with ABS Black plastic

this model was done in scad and files are included.

This model could use some more refinement feel free to modify it if needed.

I like to run my printer slow and steady since my print deck has a tendency to dance around a bit so your configurations will vary.

I printed it with the following slicer settings

Because plastic fusion is a good thing, the smaller the layer is here the better. After all a watertight seal is needed for a water bowl and I would speculate that the better the plastic fusion is here the safer the bowl is for the bird in terms of reducing choking hazards from broken pieces.

Layers and Perimeters
Layer height .15
Vertical shells 2
Solid layers 4 top and 2 bottom

Fill Density .25
Infill 1
Solid infill every 6
Fill angle 45
Solid infill threshold area 70

Perimeters 50
Small perimeters 50
Infill 50
Solid infill 50
Top solid infill 50
Support material 60
Bridges 50
Gap fill 40
Travel 60

Filament and Temperature
I was printing with 1.75mm filament with a bed temperature between 95C to 110C and a hot end temperature of 220.

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