This Thing is currently under moderation: due to missing stls
Files and images for this Thing are currently unavailable.

Propellor Vase

by jameswood, published

Propellor Vase by jameswood May 7, 2013

Thing Apps Enabled


Give a Shout Out

If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag.

Print Thing Tag

Thing Statistics

Views Downloads Found in Decor


A swirly vase that has been described as "beautiful" by all and sundry.


To make a vase, print with several bottom layers, two walls, and no top layers.

Blender seemed to have trouble with the STL export of this. As a result, you'll need to scale it up a fair bit in your slicing program. I used Slic3r and from memory it needed 1000% scaling. It printed fine.

All Apps

Auto-magically prepare your 3D models for 3D printing. A cloud based 3D models Preparing and Healing solution for 3D Printing, MakePrintable provides features for model repairing, wall thickness...

App Info Launch App

Kiri:Moto is an integrated cloud-based slicer and tool-path generator for 3D Printing, CAM / CNC and Laser cutting. *** 3D printing mode provides model slicing and GCode output using built-in...

App Info Launch App
KiriMoto Thing App

With 3D Slash, you can edit 3d models like a stonecutter. A unique interface: as fun as a building game! The perfect tool for non-designers and children to create in 3D.

App Info Launch App

How long does it take to print on an ultimaker?

How do you get it hollow inside? i get it one big item...


Well I did it by reading the instructions, see if that works?

THX.....I made one. :-)

Thats a killer vase! What printer do you have? I'm still over thinking what one to get but def want to make vases like that!

Thanks! This was printed on a Printrbot Plus. (I love my Ultimaker2 more though...)

Hello again James. I got a fantastic result following your recommendations and reviewing the critical calibrations of my printer. The reference you made to unintentional lampshade made me smile. This is the first item of this type I have printed, and it was a positive & challenging experience. The photos of the "lampshade" will not be posted as there were other flaws besides being thin walled.
HOWEVER as you also mentioned the translucency of natural PLA is quite striking if the printer is optimized to give best surface finish.
Given the "bell breakers" on line I can just imagine if you were to design a lampshade and expressly indicated that it was not to be used on an incandescent fixture, but only with an LED bulb, that someone would complain that their lamp melted the shade and that it was somehow YOUR fault . Keep up the nice work. I only have a single extruder right now but have messed about with heat splicing filament of different colors together, I may have another go at this .

Ha ha... yeah, people love to point out flaws! Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying the model, and, for that matter, 3D printing. Can't wait to see the results of your filament splicing. I too have only one extruder, but hope to upgrade to two at some point. I'm keen to attempt solid models with flexible parts, using standard and flexible PLA. What an exciting time to be part of this hobby!

This not ready for printing. It has 118276 manifold errors and is modeled in inches.

How dare you. Inches?!

Since assembling my K8200, I've been doing hardware models for work. I am intrigued by this design and am still refining my printing technique, so I appreciate the insight you have offered as well on the print process. My wife was pleased with the aesthetics of your creation as am I. The first two attempts were printed with natural PLA and have a beautiful crystalline look. at single wall thickness they are too thin for vases(my bad) but will look excellent as light diffusers with LED bulb replacements in my lamp.

Google tells me that your nozzle is likely 0.5mm in diameter. That should be able to print 0.7mm walls, which I've found to be pretty strong! Which slicer are you using? I had good luck with Slic3r and Cura, both of which should let you alter the extruded diameter (and therefore, wall thickness!)
Natural PLA is one of my favourites. I recently bought some good-quality stuff from Ultimaker, but so far I've only used their blue and flexible white (love it!) filaments - the Natural is still unopened on my shelf. It's next!
I'd love to see a photo of your unintentional LED lampshade!

It's a little ridiculous that you have to specify shells and top layers in the printer software. I'm going to parse the file out and edit it so this isn't an issue. I'll shell it out to 3mm. It's a very aesthetically pleasing shape though.

It's only ridiculous if you don't understand the idea behind it. Feel free to make a derivative and share, I'm glad you like the shape.

When you shell the model out to 3mm, your slicer will need generate two or more "outer" walls (the inside and the outside of the vase itself, multiplied by the number of walls you specify), with, probably, infill between them. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to create a model one wall thick, and have it slice reliably with no infill artefacts.

Using the model as designed allows you to simply specify the number of walls needed. The slicer will generate no infill between them at all. For more advanced users (using, perhaps, more advanced slicers), this presents the opportunity to print the model as one continuous spiral of plastic (aside from the base), resulting in a far smoother print — which prints far more quickly than a normal layered, infilled, start-stop print.

I hope that helps you to understand the reasons behind this approach — and to see that it's not ridiculous at all, but rather, quite useful.

I scaled this thing to 1000% and it ended up 130 mm high. Don't forget to set infill at 0 otherwise you will get a solid object. I used 3 outside layers and the thing printed perfectly.Top layers must be 0 otherwise you an enclosed object.

As far as scaling, I used Netfabb Basic to scale mine, and made it 5" (127 mm) tall--it looks good to me at that height, but really it seems to me (I'm new at this) that you can scale it however you want, within the limits of your printer. I think it's an attractive design, thanks to the creator for posting it.

How large is this vase supposed to be? When I import it into makerware it is teensy, but when I tell it to use imperial sizes instead it's bigger than the platform.

Prints decently for me at about 9cm tall, 3 shells. Stop it at 95%, that's when it starts trying to add the top.

Hey man, try printing with no top layers. It's the awesomest way to print vases and other open-top containers (but remember to turn them on again for your next print...). I also usually use only one outer wall. They're surprisingly strong!

The bottom and top of this vase are sealed =[

Yep! You need to print it hollow, with no top layers (mentioned in the instructions).

Setting the number of perimeters allows you to control the width of the sides. If I made the model hollow, the slicing process would probably end up with messy sides. This way, it's clean perimeters all the way up.