For the last birthday of my daughter, I gifted her potted flowers 💐. As usual, it came in a basic plastic pot full of holes to drain water. Typically, you also have to buy a beautiful decorative pot that will keep the water from spilling and, well… look nice. Then you just put the original plastic pot inside the decorative one. If the size difference is quite big, it may look ugly. And make sure that the base pot can fit into the outer pot, or you will have to re-pot the plant, and this is yet another headache.

I didn't think about the decorative pot once I was buying the flowers, but I started to think about it once I was at home. Of course, I thought about printing a pot as I already printed drip trays for pots of basil and other herbs in the past.


For now, I design all my creations in OpenSCAD. I like the aspect of coding your model. As you model by coding, you can version your models with git and share them on GitHub. Finally, it was just easier to get started by uniting and intersecting cubes and spheres and not learning all the controls on full-fledged CAD software.

I started by measuring the plastic pot dimensions and implementing a reference object (it was as simple as two stacked conical cylinders).

Basic sketch of the internal pot.

Afterwards, I started to work with 2D side projections, or it's better to say crosssections. The pot is symmetrical around its central axis. Thus it's enough to create a 2D model and rotate it around its vertical center axis to obtain a final 3D pot. At the same time, it is easier to understand how the two objects will fit together when looking at their 2D crosssections.

I decided to go with a simple sphere-ish design that is elegant and easy to print (no overhangs). In the end, I finished the model by rotating the 2D crosssection around its center (notice that in OpenSCAD, you have to have all the 2D shapes on the positive side of the X-axis; thus, I removed the negative side before applying rotate extrude).

The yellow pot model. Extruded by rotating the red 2D shape.


It's a pretty straightforward model to print. However, you throw in some nice improvement here. I set the position of the seam to be random to avoid a visible seam; I've set the top and bottom infills to archimedean chords (although almost no one will see them), but mainly I've added a color change. By printing the bottom part and the top ring in another color, I could improve the look of the pot even more. For this print, I used Prusament PLA Vanilla White and Lipstick Red.

Closing Ideas

This story is about a simple print that I made for my daughter to complement the flower bush that I gifted her. You can use the same idea when you plan to gift plants. Additionally, you can add embossed text to the printed pot, to make it even more personal. While many can buy a lovely plant 🌱, it's touching to know that someone designed and printed a pot especially for you 🤓

The plan in the printed pot. Also a small printed wattering can.

The watering can in the picture is the Small Watering Can by shmeeed. I printed it in PETG for my daughter to water her new plant.

You can check out the .scad file for the pot here: