Lidded basket

This lidded basket is a good introductory project for working with the complete 3d building system (mat, stand and spacers). Using the same size spacer throughout your project will result in straight sided  cone, pyramid, etc. Using a sequence of spacer sizes will produce a paraboloid (curved sided cone, curved sided pyramid, etc.) This basket uses one of each. The lid is a straight cone, the basket itself a curved one. Additionally it is a good introduction to simple bridging, a technique essential to working with 3d pen.

You will need:

  • 3d pen
  • filament 
  • 3Dmate design mat
  • stand (See the post "Your complete 3D building system" on how to DIY one)
  • spacers (pairs #1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12) (See the post "Your complete 3D building system" on how to DIY a set)
  • filament cutter (pliers that produce a straight cut)
  • stray strands clean up tool (small scissors or wood burning tool with variable temperature control)
  • thin spatula (or palette knife)
  • removable adhesive tack putty (or a glass seed bead size of the diameter of the stand wire)

Making lid components

Start all your component shapes by putting a small ball of the adhesive tack (or a small glass bead) in the center of your circle template.  This will reserve a space to slide the component onto the stand wire during the assembly process. Make sure the plastic from the pen ends up surrounding the bead completely creating a solid small circle with a round opening the size of the diameter of the stand wire.

Starting with the second circle from the outside trace the circle first and then connect it to the center bead using all available diagonal grooves of the template. Let the plastic cool completely before removing the component from the template to prevent distortion.

Repeat with the next inner circle until you have nine components of progressively smaller circles.

For the lid bottom trace all the available lines in the circle template. Start with all the circles and connect them with all available diagonals.

Proceed by connecting the first two outer circles with a zigzag pattern. There are no grooves in the template for this but once the groove lines are traced it is easy to attach the subsequent free hand lines to the existing structure. (Yes you are allowed to draw outside the groove lines!)

Last component for the lid is the flange that will ensure the basket stays closed. Again trace all available lines this time starting with the second size circle from the outside. Then divide each segment in half and in half again. (Think of it as cutting pizza slices.)

All eleven lid components done. You are now ready for the lid assembly.

Assembling the lid

Start with the two smallest circles. Slide the bigger one onto your stand rod until it securely rests on the wooden surface, place the pair of spacers #1 on it and slide the smaller circle on until it rests flat on the top of the spacers. For a greater stability secure the sticks to the surface with small amounts of adhesive putty. Align the spokes of both wheels so they match. With your 3d pen connect the point where the circle and the spokes meet on the small circle to the same spot on bottom larger one. Let the first connection cool to solidify the plastic completely and make another one on the opposite side.

Once the first two opposite connections are stable it is safe to pull the spacers out. The circles will now remain suspended in space over each other at the height determined by the spacers. Continue to bridge to connect the circles at the points of the wheel spokes and also once in the middle of each segment. Bridging refers to connecting two points in space with your 3d pen. Whenever possible bridge from top to bottom to work with gravity and not against it. The circles are now safely connected at 16 points.

Run the spatula under the bottom circle to loosen it from the wood and remove the first two connected circles from the stand. Slide the next size circle on, top with spacers #1 and slide the first part of your project back on. Attach the same way working from circle #2 to circle #3. After the first two to four connections slide the spacers out and proceed to bridge the circles at the same 16 points, optionally adding another connection in between each segment to reach the desired density of the basket weave.

Proceed the same way until the first nine circles are attached (all using spacers #1). Periodically remove the unwanted hair-like plastic strands from your project with your heat tool or scissors.

When adding the bottom layer to your lid the side with the zigzag design should face towards the wood base of your stand while the rest of the lid gets attached to it.

This time slide your lid on upside down. Top with spacers #1. Slide the last circle on (the one with the pizza slice pattern) and attach this time bridging not to the outside perimeter of the lid but vertically straight down to create a flange to keep the lid from sliding off the basket.

Lid handle

Start like you were making the lid components all over again. Except this time make just the two smallest circles. Twice.

Proceed like you were assembling the lid components all over again. Join the two smallest circles. Twice. You can cover the handle halves with strands of plastic starting all the way from the stand wire if you desire more filled in look to match the density of the basket weave in your lid.

String your lid right side up onto the stand and follow with the two halves of your handle. Join the handle around the perimeter of the bead and also at the place it attaches to the lid with a string of decorative plastic dots. 

Making the basket components

Trace the inner four circles of the template and connect them with the diagonals. Then divide the resulting segments in half and in half again (in a “pizza pattern”) same as with the final component of the lid. This will become the base of the basket.

Trace the largest circle of the template and connect it to the center bead with two perpendicular support cross hair lines. Add a few additional beads of plastic to the center to make sure there is still a circular opening to accommodate the stand wire. These cross hair supports will be eventually edited out but they serve as necessary guides for the basket assembly. Remove the component and repeat with the next five circles going inward.

When you have your seven basket components done  it is time to assemble again.

Basket assembly

Start with the basket bottom and the circle next size up. Slide the smallest circle with the cross hairs onto your stand rod until it securely rests on the wooden surface.Place the pair of spacers #2 on it and slide the basket bottom upside down (the side that stands more securely on a flat surface should face up) on the rod until it rests flat on the top of the spacers. Secure at two to four opposite points. Slide the spacers out and bridge all around the base as if continuing the pizza wedges along the sides of the basket.

Continue attaching the concentric circles in order from smaller to larger using larger size spacers with each circle (#4, 6, 8, 10 and 12.) The bridging gets progressively longer but you have had a lot of practice by now to get progressively better at it. You can adjust the density of the basket weave by adding additional divisions as desired. After attaching the largest circle line it with a row of plastic beads from your 3d pen to strengthen the integrity of the edge.

Now is the time to make your basket hollow. Snip the cross hair out of your basket circles with your filament cutter pliers leaving just the basket bottom intact.

Done !!!