***UPDATED on June 25th 2020***
A quick thank you to near 100 people who have downloaded the model! Before downloading and printing please know that this iteration of the model has many problems (ie. tolerances in between parts, fitting electronics neatly, the electronics in general and the coding). This model was made very quickyl on a deadline so it is prett flawed. This iteration of the model has caused many of the plants to die :( BUT I have been taking notes on how to improve it... and I will be posting a far better version 2 soon, that should actually work this time around! Wouldn't that be great! Stay Tuned!
This fun 3D printed project is a prototype for a table/desktop hydroponics system. It is designed based off commercially available systems - but what's the fun in buying perfectly functioning off the shelf technology, when you can try to hack one together! The water pump mounted inside the tank, circulates nutrients and water up into the "water guide section" which - as the name suggests - guides the water to the plant's roots. This method of growing plants as become very popular in recent years because of its efficiency in terms of water and soil usage. This design can support different types of plants that can be used in your kitchen (in this case its Basil) - and can be used to either grow plants from scratch (pending testing) or be used to sustain pre-grown plants from the store (current test).
This is the first iteration of the design that was make specifically for the MyMiniFactory 3D printing and electronics contest - and I designed, printed and put the whole system together in a weekend in order to barely make the deadline. This fast deadline of course means that there is PLENTY to be done to improve the design (I will include the faults of this system in the write up so people can take this as a starting point to make their own modifications)
-Hatchbox PLA White & Black
- This automatic watering system from amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VRMRQWR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- Standard RGB adjustable LED strip with remote
- Soldering tools
- Wire Cutters
- Stock wires
- Drill & bit to help remove supports
This was a fun project to design, but I am always shocked on how much I overlook in the design process after actually printing it out and adding all of the electronics components. Generally, I went with a loose tolerance approach to this design (leaving a generous 0.5-1mm offset for the bigger parts) because I only had time/resources to print these parts once. I used Fusion 360 for this project (I will be exporting and sharing the project soon) – which you can get if you are a student/small business for FREE. It is not my favorite program but at that price you cannot argue too much and it does allow you to do everything you need.
This design needs a LOT of tweaks to be optimized for V2 see “Needed Changes”
Needed changes for Version 2:
The following list details all of the needed changes/stupid mistakes I made during the final assembly process/hail mary style build to make the midnight deadline
- Incorporate the LED strip control into the arduino
- Figure out the LCD screen bug
- Make the water pump have a smart timer
- Adjust mechanical tolerances for the spacing for the LCD screen and the LED holder. (give a 0.25-0.5mm offset to allow an easier fit right off the printer)
- Add in a spacer to the water guide so the wires from the water pump can pass through to the arduino. I totally forgot about this and needed to sand out a groove to make the wires fit
- Increase infill of water tank to prevent leaks
- Redesign parts to use less supports (particularly the plant holder)
-Make the button functioning or eliminate it from the design. I didn’t spend enough time building in a function for the button. I think it looks good but I am not even sure if it is worth having because this is a set it and forget it type of device. The screen could even just transition needed information on a timer. Let me know if you think the button campaign is worth it.