Bird feeders and bird houses seem to go hand in hand with both Spring and Summertime. So, what better use of filament is there than to print your own bird-feeder?
This design, “Bird Feeder / Bird House with Chopsticks”, was created by mm-cnc. You can find and download his design at Thingiverse.com. His post shows the assembly as well.
If you are not familiar with Thingiverse.com check them out. They are a terrific site with a ton of content.
Here is a list of things you will need to build your bird feeder:
- Mm-cnc’s Bird Feeder/ Bird House with Chopsticks download from Thingiverse.com
- Bamboo Skewers from the dollar store (see below).
- One or more colors of PLA (see below)
- Adhesive to glue your project together (see below)
Adapted Design Suggestions:
We think mm-cc’s design is awesome! In keeping with our “Adapted Design” philosophy, we make the following suggestions to “plus” an already great design……
- Instead of “chop sticks” for the upright supports for the top we used cheap Dollar Tree store (or dollar general store) bamboo skewers such as these:
They are just the perfect fit for this design.
All you have to do is cut them down to the correct height once you assemble the basic feeder. These same sticks, with only minor drilling, can be used for the bird “perches” as well.
They “friction fit” into the base and only need to be replaced occasionally, with no gluing needed. Bear in mind that these bamboo skewers are typically a seasonal item, so depending on when you are creating your bird how, you may have to make a substitution from a craft store.
- We recommend printing the house out of PLA, then gluing the parts together (the top sections and the bottom sections) using this Acrylic Cement from Amazon,( SCIGRIP 16 10315 Acrylic Cement, Low-VOC, Medium bodied, 5 Ounce Tube, Clear).
It sets fast, works great on all the PLA filament we have used and keeps your project moving along.
Even in 95F + outside temperatures, in the glaring sun, the birdhouse you see here has gone through 1 season already.
When gluing the lower sections, we found all you need to do is apply glue between each lower section and to the tabs connecting it to the center as shown below:
- The top assembly can be a little tricky. Each top section has its angle set by these two inner and outer joiners. The inner joiner is the smaller one on the right shown below:
When assembling the top, we found it best to just join two top sections at once and let them dry completely before moving on. This is because each roof section will sit at an angle when properly positioned with the joiners securing them:
The hardest joiner to “get right” is the outer roof joiner. There is a high probability that you will glue it in the wrong direction to line up with your “post” when the roof is on. Not to worry though. We found that these posts are only “ornamental” anyway and not needed to hold the roof on. That is handled by the food cylinder.
2. Don’t glue either end if the cylinder which holds the food. It has a nice friction fit in both the top and bottom. In our study of using this bird house it has yet to blow off, and makes for easy cleaning or adding of food.
3. For the bird feeder food holder (the tube) we recommend going with mm-cnc’s included tube / cylinder.
We were unable to find a suitable bottle to use as his original posts comments on and his cylinder works perfectly.
If you wish to reproduce the color scheme shown, you will need the following PLA colors:
Solutech White: (base and top sections)
Solutech See Thru Purple (Cylinder)
Solutech See Thru Blue (Cap)
- One last tip: If you are planning on mounting the birdhouse on a post (as we did) requiring some sort of mounting hardware, measure where your mounting holes need to be and either add the holes to the center section before printing, using a tool like 3D Builder or drill the holes out after printing before assembling the center section with the lower outer sections.