This was my experiment to learn about parametrization in FreeCAD.
I chose an upcycling project involving cylindrical (or if you tinker a bit, conical) objects like bottle bottoms, tin cans or bottoms of plastic packaging. In short: anything that can be waterproof and is durable to some extent.
I have also seen that there are quite a few planter options out there. I have even seen some parametric ones. So this one had to be ludicrously parametric to justify its existence.
Now it is just that. There are basically three groups of parameters: container, planter and hole. You can see container and planter parameters in the attached drawing.
You can get these parameters by measuring the container you wish to use.
- Outer diameter - outer diameter of your container
- Inner depth - how deep is the inner cylinder (maybe even cone) of your container
- container wall thickness - how thick is the wall of your container
These parameters you can mostly choose to make your planter truly one of a kind.
- rim thickness - thickness of the of the upper rim (large planter = thick rim to carry the weight)
- wall thickness - how thick should the walls of your planter be (the sides of the planter have equal thickness at every point unless specified otherwise)
- bottom diameter - gives you the diameter of the bottom "pad", your printer will have to resort to bridging to print it, so choose a distance your printer can bridge
- bottom thickness - how thick should the bottom of your printer be
Had enough? No. Now the complicated parameters.
Consult the drawing at the top. The planter is segmented into five segments with potentially different angles and lengths.
You can now chose for the segments 5, 4, 3 and 2 which angles and how much horizontal distance (in %) this segment should cover. Segment 1 is then calculated to fit to the remaining distance with the right angle.
So even for two identical containers, you can create an infinite number of planters.
A couple of tips for a successful customization at that point:
- Segments 5, 4, 3 and 2 together should cover less than 100% of the horizontal distance
- If segment 1 only covers 1% of the horizontal distance it will be very steep, basically vertical. So keep that in mind.
- Play around with the parameters until you like the result.
- Don't do big jumps in parameters. Use small increments. Otherwise you might corrupt the model and have to start again.
- Save a lot. Trust me. It likes crashing.
So ... a lot of parameters. But still not ludicrously many.
So last category: holes.
There are up to ten rows of holes. Three on segment five, four on segment four and three on segment three.
For each row you can adjust hole diameter (set 0 for no holes). For every segment you can adjust the quantity of holes.
Beware: If your segments are very small and try to put two many holes in it, the structural integrity of your planter might suffer.
Okay, lastly there is the watering canal. It will be automatically generated and span over the first three segments. Easy.
Now that you have read all that. You might be asking yourself: this seems so complicated.
Well, in FreeCAD it is really not. All parameters are contained within spreadsheets. Should not be an issue.
Now go on and get your very own, one-of-a-kind planter.
Designed in FreeCAD. Make sure you use a version that is up to date. I used 0.17 I think.
Conceivably Engineering - Little competence, big smiles.