Tensegrity Planter



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What is a planter, a container for a plant or small tree and the use in this instance it will be for a small plant.

However, its not to be any ordinary planter this one will make use of symmetry and tensegrity.

Tensegrity derived from tension and integrity, in that the integrity of the structure is derived from the balance of tension not compression

The planter will be formed from two identical 3D printed elements either of which can be used to display the plant but only one at a time simply by rotation.

Due to the size of each of the two required elements they had to be printed individually.

The original model required scaling 400% for the required final size of 161.3 x 100 x 96 mm.

Materials and methods

Balancing size and time the following settings were applied.

Layer Height - 0.15mm
Infill Pattern - Tri Hexagon
Infill Density - 30%
Base Adhesion - Brim
Filament Type - PLA
Filament used - 39.32m
Filament weight - 117g
Print time was 13 Hrs 43 Mins

As there are two of these elements making up the complete planter that's a total of 27 Hrs 26 Mins

The Liner is what the plant will actually sit in, in the planter.

As a separate element it helps to protect the main structure from the effects of moisture and minerals that will be present in the soil.

Being separate it makes maintenance of the plant easier.

It also allows maintenance of the planter by allowing the plant to be removed to prevent interference for adjusting or cleaning.

As a result the liner was printed in black where the effects of any discolouration should they occur would be less noticeable

100% infill was applied to make it more water and mineral resistant.

Print settings for the liner also scaled 400%

Layer Height = 0.15mm
Infill Pattern - Tri Hexagon
Infill Density - 100%
Base Adhesion - Brim Filament
Filament Type - PLA
Filament length - 10.14m
Filament weight - 30g
Print time was 3 Hrs 25 Mins

Do not apply to much pressure or use too rough a grade of sanding paper as you may inadvertently expose the infill pattern and/or create deep scratches that are difficult to remove.

Use progressively finer paper finishing with wire wool to add a sheen.

Polishing methods may be applied as required.

For the liner a polished surface was not a requirement, however roughening of the inner surface was.

As an aid to water and mineral repelling the inner surface of the liner would be coated with a layer of clear epoxy resin. To which 2 layers were applied with a cure time of 12 Hrs for each layer.

Surface roughening was to improve the epoxy resin adhesion.

Once the epoxy resin has dried, fill with water and check for any leaks

If any holes are found these can be filled in with epoxy filler prior to use.

Five lengths of wire are required 1 short (~110mm) and 4 long (~200mm each).

Starting with the suspension points at the apex of the pyramid form.

File a small notch at one point in the circumference of both holes in the apex.

Thread the short wire through the hole in the apex allowing 3cm and fit an M2.5 screw, this will grip the wire and retain the screw in the hole wrap the excess around the bottom of the screw head.

Allow 5cm of suspension and repeat the same process on the other end.

Repeat the same process with the eight holes at the corners using the long wires taking care to retain equal tension on each.

Placing a spirit level on the platform will help in balancing the structure.



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    Issue #1 opened by Dona on April 28, 2021 16:42
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