Is a 3D printed vase watertight?
What is the difference between a waterproof and a watertight object and what are the possibilities to make a 3D printed vase watertight? Although making a 3D printed object watertight is not impossible, many factors play a role. That is why I have attempted to outline some of the options in this blog. Not only for if you have a 3D printer and want to experiment yourself, but also if you are generally interested in these challenges.
Watertight vs waterproof? What is the difference?
Water resistant means that water does not affect 'the material the object is made of', which means that no defects (such as small holes) will appear over time. Watertight means that no water can enter or leave the object.
Since real flowers need water, the 3D printed item must be able to withstand long-term exposure to water and sunlight. This means that the 3D printed vase has to be waterproof and watertight.
A 3D printed vase is built up in layers. Due to the nature of production, small layers of plastic are stacked and melted together to create an item. Although the layers usually fit together neatly, there is still a chance that there are tiny gaps between them that cannot be seen by the naked eye, but are large enough for water to pass through.
There are a number of possibilities, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. I will explain three of them below: print settings adjustments, design adjustments and post-processing.
Print settings adjustments
All in all, the nature of production layer by layer brings a challenge when it comes to making a vase watertight. There are many aspects that influence the water proofing and water tightness. However, in my opinion, the above possibilities are the most promising options at the moment. For now, I have chosen to create vases purely for dried flowers, until I have found an effective solution to make my vases watertight in a simple and sustainable way.