3-d Printed Bonsai pot

Discussion in 'My Shapeways Order Arrived' started by bluelinegecko, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. bluelinegecko
    bluelinegecko Well-Known Member
    I'm sure I'm not even close to the first person to do this. But while I've seen a few 3-D models in the galleries I have yet to see one anyone printed off. Now that Shapeways added more glaze color options I decided to order one. I got this one delivered yesterday. This was a last minute addition to an order I placed right before the "black Friday" sales deadline and was an unfinished model I made some time ago just to get a price quote and didn't put the finishing touches on it. There is some unevenness in the glazing that was likely due to the fact that my model has several sharp edges that weren't radiused and smoothed. I like the eggshell blue color but think that black or green would have been a better choice for this model. Overall I am very happy with how it tuned out though. While the cost is not very economical yet for larger scale pots, it's an option smaller "mame" (small) sized bonsai.

    View attachment 24359
    View attachment 24360

    There is some debate over whether a glazed interior pot surface is detrimental to the health of plants. I'm of the school that it is not. I do however plan to make a few changes to the design including sloping the interior floor towards the drain holes to increase drainage, smoothing the edges, and adding some very slight "friction ridges" to the interior sides of the pot to help lock the tree and soil in the pot. I don''t have a tree ready for the pot right now, but I I think I'm going to put a seedling in it and place it outside for the winter to make sure it can withstand the freeze/thaw cycles outside.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  2. Ray716
    Ray716 New Member
    Amazing and a fantastic idea!!! I can't wait to see it with a Bonsai set up in it.

  3. bartv
    bartv New Member
    Sweet! Waiting for pic with bonsai +1! ;)
  4. bluelinegecko
    bluelinegecko Well-Known Member

    It appears my pot didn't fare too well outdoors over the last winter in my experiment. The ceramic material itself survived numerous freezes and thaws, but the glazing on it separated from the pot in several areas.

    pot glaze seperation.png
    This shows the worst of it where several inches separated and came off as a sheet.
    pot glaze seperation2.png
    This shows the cracks and the glaze starting to lift in the same area on the opposite side of the pot. The interior surface has developed numerous hairline cracks as well though those areas haven't separated yet.

    I can't see this in any way being a defect in the printing/manufacturing process as the glaze looked fine when I first received it. The seperation is also not around any thin spots on the glaze like the corners, but rather started right in the middle of very solidly glazed areas. Shapeways lists this material as heat resistant, but i'm not sure if anyone has tested it out for freeze/thaw tolerance before. I still think this material can make a good small bonsai pot, but after my experiment I would recommend it only for indoor use on tropical species. I just wanted to share this information for anyone else who might be planning on using this material for cups, dishes, ice trays, etc that might see use in the freezer.

    On the bright side I was inspired to take my original idea and go in a slightly different direction

    http://www.shapeways.com/forum/index.php?t=msg&th=19953& amp;start=0&
  5. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    Good to know about the freeze/thaw problems... I made a Bonsai pot for a client a while ago, too:

    bonsai pot.jpg

  6. bluelinegecko
    bluelinegecko Well-Known Member
    I like the design, but did you leave forget the drainage hole or was your client using it for something else? My issue with the freeze/thaw might be an isolated case. Haven't heard any feedback either way from anyone else on how well the ceramic material handles the cold.
  7. lensman
    lensman Well-Known Member
    Nope, made exactly to his specifications, but now you made me think that as I recall he was actually "making" Bonsai's out of silver strands, so not quite the same thing!!