Anyone who has a fish tank probably wants it to look beautiful and professionally designed. “How can I decorate my aquarium?” you might ask. Gambody – Premium 3D Printing marketplace knows the answer, and it is happy to share some stunning ideas for aquarium decorations 3D printed by Thomas Hlinka.
Most of us would line the bottom of the fish tank with sand or other natural materials. Then it is fun to add live plants, corals, rocks. However, before you add water and let the fish enjoy their new surroundings, it is a fantastic idea to turn your favourite movie characters to 3D printed aquarium décor.
How Can I Decorate My Aquarium
As Gambody enthusiast Thomas Hlinka proved it, it is possible to turn just any 3D printed model into the fish tank décor. Thomas, for example, chose two beautiful figurines. He made a fantastic dragon Viserion and outrageous Arya Stark from Game of Thrones.
You can download both models designed by Xander3D on Gambody:
If you also wish to make 3D printed Viserion and Arya figurines a part of your aquarium decorations, you can learn more about the project details from the interview below.
Aquarium Decorations 3D Printed: Interview with Thomas Hlinka
Thomas was kind enough to share some of his secrets. His fish tank looks so beautiful that it can quickly become a trend to use fantasy figurines from movies and computer games as aquarium decorations 3D printed at home.
1. Thomas, it is excellent you joined Gambody – 3D printing gaming community on Facebook in October. Welcome, and please tell us how and when you were introduced to 3D printing?
Hello, dear community and dear Gambody Team. I am very happy to have been accepted in the Gambody family.
I got my first 3D printer from my wife on 02.11.2018 for my birthday. It was an Anycubic I3 Mega, and since then, I’ve been infected with the virus.
A week later, I bought a second Anycubic I3 Mega, and it went on. In February, a Core XY printer came to my collection, a Tronxy X5SA. I then wholly moded and tuned this. In August 2019 an Anycubic Predator Delta printer came to me, and I was very excited about the new technology. In October 2019, I bought another Eryone Thinker S because I liked the setup and the feedback very much.
Thus, I am now exactly one year in the field of 3D printing active as a hobbyist, and now I have five printers.
2. Many enthusiasts 3D print game characters and models from movies to display on the shelves. You have chosen to display your 3D printed Viserion Ice dragon and Arya in an aquarium. How did this idea come to your mind? Have you seen such decorations somewhere?
I like to print figures and models, functional parts and spare parts as well as prototypes for exciting new projects.
I came up with the idea with the aquarium decorations together with my family. Since my sister and my brother-in-law are huge Game of Thrones fans, it was natural to interpret the aquarium decorations.
We searched the internet and did not find anything significant. So, I suggested to 3D print the dragon and Arya which can be downloaded on Gambody marketplace.
These Game of Thrones models have pleased my family instantly and right away.
The next problem is how to protect our fish against the filament and possible pollutants in the water. We will come to this later in the interview.
3. How big is your aquarium?
The aquarium size is 600mm x 600mm x 2000mm (24 inches x 24 inches x 79 inches) and is about 710L capacity. The fish living in it are Tropheus perch, clams, snails, and catfish.
4. Did you choose two Game of Thrones 3D printing models based on their size to fit inside the aquarium? Or did you have to scale the STL files to prepare decorations?
The size of the models fit accidentally. Otherwise, I would have been able to scale the STL files, which I tend to do with other Gambody models. I like to scale models by 200 per cent because I like large figurines more.
5. Did you 3D print both models as usually? Did you use the standard settings recommended by Gambody?
Both models, the Viserion Ice dragon and Arya, were printed in standard FDM format. The printing took just under eight days for both models with the three 3D printers working simultaneously.
I looked at the recommended default settings but used my own profiles because every printer and every filament behave differently and require different settings.
6. Which filament did you use for decorations?
I have used a silk filament from Ampertec for both models, which is based on a biopolymer base. And I’m completely satisfied.
7. Once both figurines were crafted, how did you prepare them for display in the water? What did you do, and where did you learn about epoxy resin and its usage? How and when is it applied to the 3D printed decorations?
After 3D printing both models, I used a dust-free compressor and then treated figurines with a special aquarium resin. I cannot say anything exact about the application of Vorgangsweise resin because it is a very complicated process that I have appropriated myself. It is something I wish not to publish.
I have performed multiple tests to get the surface absolutely smooth. I made sure that all the optics and details of the figurines do not get affected by the water. I also did not want to endanger the fish in the aquarium with foul water or bacteria/algae on the surface. So, this was fixed as well.
Besides, it was necessary to prevent the possibility of pollutants being released from the filament to the water.
8. How do you take care of your 3D printed aquarium decorations? Is there anything special that has to be done every day or once a week?
Virtually no maintenance is needed. The smooth surface makes it easy to wipe and clean the models with water and a sponge.
It is up to the aquarium owner to decide how often to clean the décor because each fish species has its own peculiarities.
9. Do you think about adding more 3D printed models to entertain your fish? Which characters to your opinion will look great in the scene?
In fact, something is in planning. However, we still lack the right 3D printing model to use as decorations.
10. Are you planning to display each figurine you create in the water? Or do you think of 3D printing and painting future projects for shelf-display?
No, not every model will come into the aquarium. However, it is possible to display any model in the water with fish.
Regarding painting, I leave it for now, until I prefer to print models with a beautiful colour combination, and this should work for itself.
11. How happy are you with your home aquarium now? What do your friends say about such outstanding decorations idea?
We are all so happy about it. As I said, it is something rather extraordinary. Friends and acquaintances are always enthusiastic about it and want to know more about it or even have their own model as aquarium decorations.
12. Anything else you wish to tell about your fish tank design project? Any challenges or fun moments related to it?
I could talk about it for hours, and there were fun as well as very bad moments in this project. The worst part was the test phase with the filament and the resin, how the two work together and behave. Also, the tests with the water quality were frustrating at first because we did not have the perfect result at once.
The most beautiful moment was decorating the aquarium with my whole family and then admiring the result of our work.
More projects will be launched in the future, and then let’s see where the journey takes us.
It is incredible to observe unique aquarium decorations 3D printed by Gambody enthusiasts. Bringing characters from Game of Thrones to the bottom of the fish tank and creating real fantasy under the water is something magical. If you also enjoy 3D printing and sharing your projects with the interested community, join Gambody on Facebook to showcase your crafted aquarium décor and other 3D printed models.