July 4, 2015 | By Simon

Although we’re continuing to see a slew of new 3D printers, materials and new ways of thinking about additive manufacturing technology itself, there is still a lot of untapped potential for products that are created using 3D printing as a method of manufacturing.  

Of course, one of the most critical factors in encouraging people to print their own products - which can range from everything from home decor to office organizers and kitchen tools - is actually letting them know that they exist.  While platforms such as Shapeways and Thingiverse have done a remarkable job of sharing models with the worldwide community of 3D printing enthusiasts, the amount of products available on their site can be overwhelming for many.

In an effort to help create a more curated and higher quality experience, the relatively-new platform Cults has been focusing on offering the best and highest-quality 3D printable models as well as connect 3D designers to buyers who want to various print 3D objects.

Although the site features a wide variety of extremely well-designed objects that range from exoskeleton hands to figurines, one of the most memorable projects on the site is the Window Hanging Garden, a 3D printable garden that was created by industrial designer Nick Friez for a class at Philadelphia University and was recently presented at the IMM Cologne, International Furnishings Show.

The small and lightweight 3D printed garden - which attaches to a window using suction cups - was designed with small apartments or college dorms in urban areas in mind.

The STL file, which costs just $6.72 to download for 3D printing, is optimized for printing on both professional 3D printers as well as consumer 3D printers such as a MakerBot.  The finished volume of the garden is 7.5in L x 4in W x 2.5in H (19.05cm x 10.16cm x 6.35cm) and has an estimated print time of 12 - 33 hours depending on the printer used.  As for density, it has a recommended infill of at least 25%.  

“As a Junior Industrial Design student currently attending Philadelphia University, I find great passion in many design fields including electronics design, lighting design, and home decor,” says Friez.  

“For years I have explored the field by taking apart as many products as possible to discover how they are made and what they are made of. With new technology being researched and introduced every day I make it my goal to explore the endless possibilities they hold, incorporating them into each and every design I create."

Among other considered features of the vase include water drainage holes for easy watering as well as a flat base to that users can easily remove the garden from the window and use any herbs for cooking before returning the garden back to the window.  

Needless to say, the perfect blend of design and functionality make the Window Hanging Garden make the project one of the better 3D printed products we’ve seen and can’t wait to see what Friez has in store next.  

For those interested in 3D printing their own Window Hanging Garden(s), head over to Cults to download the file.  


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Nick F wrote at 7/30/2015 2:10:40 PM:

Hi! I'm the designer of the Window Garden. I must say the suction cups were definitely a huge concern during the creation of this product however as part of the project a lot of testing had to be done and to date I have never had the suction cups give. It's actually been on my bedroom window since I returned home for the summer from college and after cool rainy days and hot sunny ones... It's still there! To date that's almost 3 months straight in direct sunlight with no issues. That being said I am always open to improving the design and will definitely look into the addition of a third suction cup for guaranteed support. Keep in mind this was just a fun class project and never meant to be a high profitable masterpiece haha. The suction cups are inset into the model so the entire back lays directly against the window frame which means while the load vector is in its current position there seems to still be no issue. Thanks for your feedback though and I will definitely work on making it even more secure when I have some time away from work. Until then, the fact that it is still hanging on my window with flowers in it over the last three months shows it is pretty reliable in its current state. All the best! - Nick

Design before function... wrote at 7/4/2015 8:59:06 AM:

I've never seen a suction cup that did not get loose after some time. And here, the load vector resulting from that half torus sticking out of the window seems to be very badly oriented. I'd rather not pay 6$ for an stl that i would have to modify anyway to make the garden suspended on some strings and properly attached to the window-frame... Maybe if you would add a third suction cup further down and in the middle of the other two, it would give it some better grip. But having the temperature-cycles on a windowglass and direct sun exposure is just another problem your cups have to deal with...



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