This is a two-part self-watering planter. Each piece is 50 mm tall and 100 mm wide. Together they form a 100 mm cube. The bottom part is filled with water. The top piece uses cotton strings to draw water from the bottom piece into the soil of the top piece. The purpose of this project is to teach students about how plants grow.
How I designed this: I used Autodesk Fusion 360 as my design software. I designing the bottom piece first. I drew a 100 mm square and extruded it 50 mm. I then shelled it 5 mm inwards. Next, I made a sketch at the top and extruded it to make a rim. Next I added a new component and made a 50 mm tall square on top of the last piece. I then extruded a square inside the piece and used a circular pattern sketch to create the holes. Finally, I used a voronoi sketch generator plugin to create the voronoi patterning on the bottom piece.
Project: Self-Watering Voronoi Planter
Overview: The objective of this project is to introduce your students to botany and hydroponics. Your students will also learn about capillary action. This is intended for elementary and middle school students in a science or biology class; however, anyone can participate. This project does not require any skill or prior knowledge.
Lesson: After you have printed the self-watering planter for your students you are going to demonstrate how it works. Tie cotton strings to the holes in the top piece of the planter making sure the strings are long enough to reach the bottom of the planter. Wet the strings and fill the bottom piece about half way. Fill the top piece with soil, plant the seeds, and water the soil. Capillary action in the string will replenish the soil with water. Place the planters by the window sill and let the seeds do their work! While you wait for the seeds to germinate you can teach your students about germination and photosynthesis. How in depth you go into both topics is up to you. The plant seeds you choose are also up to you. Remember to check the water levels every few days.
Duration: The duration of this lab is as long as it takes for the seeds to germinate and grow plus the time it takes to print the planter. It will take a few weeks but it does not require a lot of work.
Rubric and Assessment: How students are graded is up to the instructor. I recommend grading them on the health of their plant plus a quiz on what they were taught.