Design of the Week: Biohazard Planter
This week’s selection is the Biohazard Planter by designer Saad Chaudhry.
Chaudhry, a.k.a. PlasticBarista, is based in Finland where he in his spare time designs practical devices that can be 3D printed. This one is a planter for, well, plants!
The structure holds three standard size plant pots at different elevations. If you look at this design, you might think that it is unstable and will tip over, possibly fatally injuring your plants.
This is apparently not the case, as Chaudhry explains:
“As much as it looks wonky, the center-of-mass is perfectly centred. As long as the three cups are (roughly) equally weighted, it stays upright!”
There are hidden features in the Biohazard design. First, the support arms holding up the plant containers are hollow, and they allow excess water from the plant pots (which usually have holes in the bottom for overwatering scenarios) to flow downward.
The base of the Biohazard contains a hidden drawer holding a water capture tray. This is where the water drains into. The drawer can be pulled out and emptied.
I’m truly impressed with this design for several reasons, mostly due to the specific ways it is compatible with 3D printing. First, all of the parts can be 3D printed at once in a single print job: they should fit on any reasonably-sized 3D printer build platform.
Secondly, the parts are designed so that they can be 3D printed without support materials. This saves material and printing time. And your time too, as there is little, if any, post-processing to do.
The parts when printed simply snap or screw together. The support arms screw into the base of each plant pot holder easily, right off the printer. This video shows how it works:
When printing this object, be sure to use a sufficient amount of infill and perimeters to make it strong enough to hold up the plants. If you skimp on material, you might be in for a disastrous surprise.
The Biohazard planter is actually an ideal setup for a desktop herb garden. If you haven’t tried using fresh herbs in your cooking, you don’t know what you’re missing. This is an easy way to get started.
You might be wondering why it’s called the “Biohazard” planter. It turns out that if you view the object from above, it looks suspiciously like the famous international biohazard symbol.
It’s quite apparent that Chaudhry clearly spent good time designing this piece with Autodesk Fusion 360. For your added pleasure, Chaudhry has also included two sizes of plant cup and a plate option to hold other items if you are so inclined.
If you have small plants you’d like to mount more efficiently space-wise, consider 3D printing this terrific 3D model.