How to 3d print a vase on a 3D printer?


A vase on a 3D printer is one of the most popular models that beginners try to make. But there are not many detailed instructions on how to make this figure on the web. Let us try to fill this gap by providing our own guide to making a vase on an FDM printer.

Vase on a 3D printer: the popularity of the product


If you type in a search query “vase on a 3D printer”, we see that this project is of interest to about 150-200 people per month. Where then does the demand for this model come from? It’s simple. To find the roots of the popularity of this figure, you need to go to the profile forums or groups on 3D printing. And here you can clearly see how many people try to make vases on their own printer.

Synopsis! By vase we mean a model in the form of a vessel. It can have different shapes. To be closed (without holes in the walls) or in the form of some semblance of a grid. This figure is not always symmetrical. Its walls may consist of a set of polygons or have a flat surface without sides.

Vases are popular for several reasons:

  1. They are relatively easy to build. Such a project can handle even a novice 3D-maker.
  2. The figure is made for sale. Model has a high demand. It does not require a lot of filament and time to make. It is possible to get a normal margin from the sale of the vase.
  3. Large range of applications. 3D-printed vase is a reservoir for storing flowers, an unusual interior detail, a holder for something (keys, phone, watch), a plafond for a lamp, a small vessel or decanter for liquids and much more.
    The most important condition is ease of fabrication. It is this property that makes this project so popular.

Photo of a designer vase

How to make vase models for the 3D printer?

If we talk about 3D printing, by model vase we mean not only the type of figure, but also the method of printing. In this case, it refers to the mode in which the printer makes the model actually in one pass, without stopping the extruder nozzle. The figure has no supports. When printing a vase, practically no fill is used. The model is monolithic, not hollow.

Now let’s look at the important information regarding hardware settings:

  1. You will need a wider nozzle. For vase printing, we recommend a nozzle diameter of 0.8mm to 1mm.
    If you set a larger orifice for the plastic output, you will need to change the print speed. A wide nozzle will cause the filament to come out faster. Reduce the speed by at least half if you previously had a 0.4 mm nozzle in the printer.
  2. Keep in mind that you will be printing in a single layer. Increase the extrusion rate by 5-10%. Also consider the geometry of the table. Be sure to calibrate the surface before you start printing.
  3. Almost all parts of the vase are printed in a spiral, except for the bottom. This element of the figure will have different settings. You will need to adjust the “number of layers of lid/bottom” parameter. Try different settings. Practice shows that the bottom of the vase does not fall off and has optimal stiffness when printed in 2 or more layers.

Attention! If you are going to make a vase for potted flowers, it is better to choose ABS plastic, as PLA in prolonged contact with the ground can begin to degrade.

How do I print vases on my 3D printer cura slicer?

Now let’s look at the slicer presets that you will need to set before you start printing the vase. We will need to change the properties of the filament. Just take the finished profile you are working with, create a clone of it. Make changes to the new preset settings:

  1. Go to “Special Modes”, find the “Spiral Print Outer Contour” option. Check the box next to it.
  2. Find the “Fences” section. Go to the item “Bottom/cover thickness”. There we set two parameters. The first is “Bottom Layers” and we set two of them. The second is “Bottom Cover Template”, it is better to take a zigzag pattern.
  3. Now go to the quality section. Here you need to change the layer height, because the physical size of the nozzle diameter has doubled. Usually for PLA and 0.4 mm nozzle this parameter is 0.1 mm. Change it to 0.25-0.3 mm, taking into account that you are working on a diameter of the nozzle of 1 mm. You also need to change the width of the print line. For 1 mm it will be in the range of 0.95 mm. This may vary depending on the printer model.
  4. The width of the first printing layer as a percentage can be left unchanged.

Vase in slicer

Save the resulting preset settings and send the model for printing.

Advantages and disadvantages of 3D vases

Let’s first evaluate the advantages of this figure:

  1. Easy to print. A great example for gaining experience as a beginner 3D maker.
  2. No large amount of filament is required. Printing without fills in one layer.
  3. Relatively fast printing when the design features of the figure are taken into account.

There are a couple of tangible disadvantages

  1. The fragility of the design. Printing without filling affects the strength.
  2. Obligatory calibration of the printing table to almost ideal parameters.
    vase on a 3D printer

Finished vase

Printing a vase on a 3D printer is not that difficult. The main thing is to get the filament settings right before you start printing, and to carefully calibrate the device’s desktop. It’s best to start with the simplest designs that can be made in a single pass of the extruder.

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