Jun 24, 2015 | By Kira

The first day of summer has come and gone, and for avid gardeners and suburban homeowners, that means that the season of lawn care is officially upon us. From seeding to aerating to raking and mowing, maintaining a healthy lawn is far from easy, but nothing screams summer like enjoying a cocktail on your patio, a BBQ party, or picnic with the kids next to a soft, luxuriously green yard. Luckily, Belgian designer Tom De Vrieze has just released a deceptively simple multi-use garden tool that, using nothing more than a 3D printed head, an old broomstick, and a bit of elbow grease, will turn your law from brown and patchy, to golf-course-worthy green.

De Vrieze’s tool, accurately named the Lawnfixer, is 3D printed in a strong and flexible polyamide that, when mounted on a broomstick, easily repairs lawn spots by improving aeration, verticutting (removing thatch building in the lawn so turf can breathe more easily, absorb more nutrients and soak-in moisture), overseeding (the process of planting grass seed without tearing up existing turf or soil). The result is a healthy, dense, and full lawn that you (and your neighbors) can admire all summer long.

According to De Vrieze, the tool completes three functions at once: plowing, aerating, and seeding directly into the lawn. Further, there are two ways to use the it. Option A is known as “Scratch & Seed” or the ‘soft’ way. Option B is the ‘hard way’, known as “Plow & Strew” for lawns in need of some tough love. Both are demonstrated in the video below:

De Vrieze was inspired to create the tool after noticing that his small garden in the city of Antwerp suffered from brown spots, which can be the result of various issues, such as too much sun, too little, mischievous pets, or soil problems. “The classic way to repair lawn spots is using a lot of garden tools and manipulations such as spades, aerator rakes, [or] star tillers,” De Vrieze told 3ders.org. “I wanted to shortcut all of these tools in one, and most important, not to damage the existing plants and grass.”

To solve this problem, the reputed designer began with a ‘dirty’ prototype, pictured below. From that prototype and a few sketches, he created the first model in Sketchup Pro, fine-tuned with a few special plug-ins to ensure smooth and rigid curves. All in all, the design process took four months (no prost-processing is required) and he created about 15 different versions. “It was a progressive way of designing, printing, and seeing what could be better,” he said.

The first prototype of the Lawnfixer

The final product is available via Shapeways and comes in two versions, the M model and the S model, which retail for €90 and €60 respectively. The printing material for both is pa2200, also known as polyamid, with an overall thickness of 1 mm. According to De Vrieze, the combination of the material and his specially designed curves make the Lawnfixer surprisingly strong, making it durable and easy to maneuver over even the toughest lawns.

This seems to be one of De Vrieze’s first official forays into 3D printing, however he’s far from new to the design game—in fact, his experience in furniture design goes back to 1996, and has training in information technology, math and material handling. His next project will hopefully be to find a way to 3D print chairs or other large pieces at affordable prices, however in the meantime, you can check out his past designs on his TOVDESIGN and via his micro-enterprise Fox & Freeze.




Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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tom de vrieze wrote at 7/24/2015 1:32:07 AM:

kira wrote a nice article, many thanks ! a progressive way up(-ed) of the lawnfixer is using mould injection, of which i am looking funds, ... https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/946956128/lawnfixer-a-garden-tool-for-lawn-care-and-lawn-mai?ref=nav_search

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