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3D printers and aquarium ideas

chriscoli

Board of Directors
Staff member
Two weekends ago, I had a (really wonderful) friend bring me his "extra" Ender 3 printer. I'm absolutely loving it, but of course, the first word I searched for on Thingiverse was "Aquarium." I see a lot of interesting ideas, but I wonder how many are actually successfully being used.

Anyone on here have a 3D printer that they've used for anything in or around or even just remotely related to their aquarium? How did it go? What would you do differently? Favorite filament? General thoughts?
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
I have never used a 3D printer but I've had at least half a dozen ideas for cool fish things that could be made with them. Frankly, if I had one, I'd start by 3D printing suction cup mounts for the Ziss breeder boxes I have that didn't come with them. I'd also 3D print better overflow grates for the Marineland breeder boxes.
 

JLW

CCA Members
In the marine hobby, there's tonnes of hobbyists using 3d printers and 3d print designs for all sorts of things: pump holders, tube holders, heater shields, sensor holders, stands, scrapers, and more.

There's even a market for both design files and the 3d printed products themselves.
 

chriscoli

Board of Directors
Staff member
Ah. Well so far, I haven't heard from anyone that's ACTUALLY used one for aquarium stuff. That's what my original question was about.
 

Becca

CCA Members
Staff member
Ah. Well so far, I haven't heard from anyone that's ACTUALLY used one for aquarium stuff. That's what my original question was about.
I've seen folks use them to make planting frames for mosses. I, myself, have never had the opportunity to use one.
 

JLW

CCA Members
I have *stuff* that's been 3D printed. But I've never done it myself.
I have a couple of marine tanks with holders for the annoying PMUP from Apex, a couple of probe or doser holders.
 

jstlstn

CCA Members
I have an ender 3 pro and was planning to make rocks, pieces to attached moss on, and covers for my python to stop sucking up loose plants. The plan was to replace all the heavy rocks in my tank with printed ones. I have a couple of samples of rocks some half finished shrimp caves and the cover for my python. Unfortunately my printers main board suffered a heart attack before I could get a lot of rocks printed. Plan on continuing once I get it up and running.
 

chriscoli

Board of Directors
Staff member
Sorry to hear about the board issue, but glad to hear you're thinking along the same lines as I am. What filament are you planning to use for the rocks? I saw several designs out there that looked ok.
 

stany

CCA Members
Awesome idea. Not a fan of the stealth bomber look but more rounded would work for me. What did it cost to produce one of these?
 

chriscoli

Board of Directors
Staff member
there are some more interesting looking rocks on Thingiverse, but I haven't tried them yet. I'm also wondering how people deal with the PLA floating. I think I saw something where some left spots underneath where you could glue in a weight after printing, but I saw somewhere that some were filling with sand? Anyone know if that's during the printing process?

As for cost, I won't speak for jstlstn jstlstn but as long as you're not using crazy expensive filament or making something huge, it's not much to print. A roll of PLA is in the $15 to $25 range and weighs 1 kg.
 

jstlstn

CCA Members
Stand not to expensive overall excluding the cost of the printer no more than maybe a couple of bucks per rock depending on size.
 
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