Making a Pot for an Ikea Akerbar

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May 30, 2024

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The Ikea Åkerbär is a low cost mini greenhouse, ideal for providing a little extra warmth to your plants.

One thing it’s lacking, though, is a plant pot to fit its full length. Of course, you can use smaller pots (the Ikea Bittergurka looks quite nice inside one), but I wanted to maximise the space available.

To accomplish this, I’ve created two 3D models, which are designed to fit together to create a larger pot. They are designed to fit the build plate of a Qidi X-Smart 3, which is around 18cm wide.

Printed piece of the pot, still attached to the build plate
Middle piece of the pot, still attached to the X-Smart 3 build plate.

Once slotted together, glue/sealant can be added to hold the parts together. I chose to use hot glue. The gap is intentionally large – given the size of the print, I find it preferable to have a bit more wiggle room to make sure they will definitely fit together.

While the design of the joins was intended to try and limit leakage, it’s not going to be watertight. You can either fill the gaps entirely, or use a liner. I used a carefully cut bin bag, held to the pot using hot glue. Once filled, you wont see the bin bag, but it will keep water/soil from coming through the pot. This also has the benefit of covering any print imperfections which would also cause water to leak through.

Given that I used PLA to complete the print, I also decided to cover the outside of the pot. In direct sunlight, even UK-strength sunlight has been enough to warp PLA pieces, so protecting the pot is a good idea. I used thin fabric purchased cheaply on eBay, taped to the inside and bottom of the pot. When inside the greenhouse, the pot is partially obscured, so a perfect finish isn’t necessary.

You might prefer to use a different material or filament cover, though the fabric also allows the top edge of the liner to be covered.

Completed pot in greenhouse
The completed pot, with fabric covering and spiky contents

In my opinion, the result looks pretty good, and makes full use of the available space. It’s not the cheapest, with the total build using around 500g of filament. At around £16 a kilo, that would come to £8. And that’s before considering the glue/filler and any extra decoration you might want to add.

In my case, the plants added are cacti – of which one in particular looks rather lethal. Here, the cover protects me as much as it benefits the plants.

If you’re interested in making one for yourself, you can find the STL and blender files for the two pieces over on GitHub.

If you have a 60cm Åkerbär, it should be trivial to widen the middle piece to fit, though be aware that this will make it too large for smaller printers.

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