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Hey! This thing is still a Work in Progress. Files, instructions, and other stuff might change!

Drain Frame

by JoeTisch Mar 18, 2018
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This model looks very promising.
Thank u for the up load. I'm looking in to bee keeping.
Thanks for everyone's info.

Has anyone tried this model in a hive yet? Also have there been any updates to the original design?

Comments deleted.

curious what filament you suggest for this and has it been tested yet?

I suppose you use 3D printing for a model only and not for real use in the hive. Thus you can use any filament. Because you cant use any filament for parts which will be in contact with honey. It is not safe and may help spreading a bacteria or diseases.

For real usage I think a mold should be prepared and the parts shall be created by casting them from some different material suitable for bees and repetitive contact with honey.

I would recommend using food grade filaments and stainless steel printer nozzles. I have used these in my hives and feel they are no more likely to spread disease than any other plastic frame on the market. The bees coat the entirety of each cell in wax, so all of the little grooves due to the 3D printing process itself are filled. The acceptance rate is similar to that of other plastic frames that I have. I no longer recommend using PLA plastics for bee equipment, they just don't stand up to the heat. PETG is generally considered food safe by the FDA for contact with food. You could look for a food grade version of that or use a natural PETG - no colorant. Hopefully in the future more food grade filaments will become readily available and cheaper to purchase.

Hi guys, anyone got results ? how much filament is used for one frame medium or deep ?
I tried to figure it out and got around 2.5kg, but thats kinda sketchy ..
Any ideas of what filament to use ? Pla feels like it could be soft and cause problems in high summer heat, i mean screw up
function ..
Ideas ?

hi thank you i have started printing it today and will keep you informed

thank you


Did you ever get this assembled? I'd love to hear how it's working!



My Word,.......!
Amazing Work. I sure do have to try this. Do you own an existing flow hive ? Any comparisons on your part?
Really impressed. I will seek guidance when trying out this design. Thumbs Up

So this is good. I'm starting to print. It will take a while.

The current versions of the files do produce a working Drain Frame, though I am working on some minor improvements that I hope to have up within the next few weeks. You will need one each of the left and right sides, and at least one of those sides should have a drain hole. (There are a couple variations of each available.) You will need a drain plug to keep bees and beetles out of the frame. You will need 37 slides and spacers and 36 middle sections. You will also need three pieces of threaded rod, I used 8-32, if you have access to 4 mm threaded rod, that should work as well and 6 nuts/locknuts.

The design of the Drain Frame is heavily based on the basic design of a Flow Frame. I liked the idea of it, but not it's current implementation. I do like the tool/key used to actuate the Flow Frames and as such I designed the Drain Frame to use it as well. You could make your own fairly easily or just purchase one. They are available for sell by the manufacturer of the Flow Frame and I believe you may be able to find some Chinese versions for sale on ebay.

If you do end up printing and assembling a Drain Frame I'd love to hear about it.


I have the original at home.
I'll try to print transparent PLA.