This week’s selection is the Strawberry Planter by Joel Telling.
Joel is the internet personality behind the widely viewed YouTube channel 3D Printing Nerd, where he provides reviews, commentary and many tips for those exploring the fascinating world of 3D printing.
Joel is a good friend of this publication, and we’ve featured him a number of times in our pages.
Like many of us these days, Joel is correctly staying at home to block virus transmission, but this means material for his videos is somewhat constrained. Thus his recent episodes are a bit different from his normal fare, although still excellent. This week’s episode was quite interesting and involved not only a unique design but the process used to create it.
Joel found a way to merge 3D printing, staying at home and growing your own food. He explains:
“Many of us are stuck at home, and gardening is one fun way to be productive. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD! Now, thanks to 3d design and 3d printing, I’ll be growing some strawberries in our new green house! Fire up Fusion 360, and let’s get to work!”
And that’s exactly what he does in the video.
This design is not only useful and practical, but Joel’s detailed description of the design process in Fusion 360 made it clear this should be our Design of the Week.
There are several interesting aspects here. Joel shows us the process of transforming a concept into a real 3D design using Autodesk Fusion 360, step by step. Having done this process myself many times, I found it easy to follow along, and I learned a few things.
That’s how you learn complex tools like Fusion 360: set a challenge and figure out your way through it. Each time you run into a roadblock, you eventually learn how to get through it, and you keep going. That’s exactly what Joel does in this video. It’s a different thought process where your mind must transform design elements into CAD actions to gradually create your object.
I should point out that you really do need a basic understanding of Fusion 360 to get the most out of the video; it’s not an introduction to the tool. But even so, by watching Joel’s actions you can gain an appreciation for how easy it is to design relatively complex objects in a 3D CAD system.
The design in question is a simple strawberry planter, but Joel had a few interesting design constraints: he wished to have multiple plants, and make a design that was stackable. In this way he could maximize the strawberries per area.
This is quite important if you’ve ever attempted to grow strawberries on the ground, where they snake their way towards a complete take-over of your garden. By placing them in vertical towers such as Joel’s design, you limit the area they occupy without compromising on strawberry production.
The design is sized deliberately to be just barely under 200mm in width, allowing it to be printed on devices with a print bed of 200mm width or larger. It should take around 12-15 hours to 3D print.
I’m going to test this print myself in my garden, and I’ll have to print at least two to test the stackability. Or three.
What are you going to design while stuck at home?