I debated on posting this outdoor project since it was so mundane and uneventful. What I later realized is that this could be combined with another, semi-related 3D design project to give you all a two-for! So sit down and prepare to get your socks blown off!

My wife and kids wanted to have an area all their own for growing vegetables and spices. This was a perfect chance to learn about gardening, so of course I jumped at the opportunity to build stuff. After a quick Home Depot trip and some time in front of AutoCAD, we now have a raised outdoor planter and some Mario-themed self-watering "pipes."

The raised planter was real straight forward. Grab wood, cut it to length, screw it together, and finally put dirt inside. The kids loved "helping" and that was clearly the most important part. They felt like they were part of the construction, and hopefully they’ll go nuts when something eventually grows.

July 2021 Update: Our plants are growing great! Who would have thought?


Raised Planter

  • Ingredients
    • Redwood 2x’s for length and height (walls)
    • Redwood 4×4’s for height (mounting posts)
    • Weed block landscape fabric
    • 3.5" deck screws
    • Galvanized hardware cloth for bottom
    • Flathead, wide, short screws
    • Bags of raised planter soil
      • Alternatively: 1/3rd compost, 1/3rd soil, 1/3rd airation (3/8“ volcanic rock pieces)
  • Directions
    • Cut 2x’s to length
    • Cut 4x’s to height
    • Attach walls to posts
    • Attach galvanized fencing to bottom with flathead screws
    • Lay down weed cloth under bed
    • Fill planter with soil
  • Notes
    • Do not use treated wood unless you want chemicals in your food

While the construction was going on, my printer went non-stop in the background for a few days. It eventually managed to print Mario pipes with self-watering reservoirs for basil and rosemary. They currently sit inside a cabinet with timed LED grow lights mounted directly above. When they’re inevitably too big for their new home, they’ll be transferred to the kid’s new outdoor planter.

3D Printed Mario Self-Watering Planter

  • Directions
    • Download .stl files here
    • Print everything in PETg
    • Grab some grow lights and mount above planters
    • LEDs with aluminum heatsinks are ideal
    • Add seeds
    • Fill with water
    • Wait for something to grow


Previous: Giant Ruler - Part Deux Next: Phone Mount