45/55mm Hydroponic Pot

by vik, published

45/55mm Hydroponic Pot by vik Oct 2, 2009

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45/55mm Hydroponic Pot by vik is licensed under the GNU - GPL license.

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No, not that kind of hydroponic pot. This is just a little plastic tub with a mesh bottom that you fill with vermiculite, perlite, clay balls etc. and plant hydroponic plants in. The pots then go into 45mm or 55mm holes drilled in a piece of 100x50mm rectangular downpipe to form a [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrient_film_technique ] Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) hydroponic system. I grow a lot of tomatoes, beans, lettuce, brassica, celery, basil etc. in my NFT runs but the pots keep on breaking.

Now I don't need to worry. Even if the plant bursts the pot, at the end of the growing season I'll just throw the whole lot in the compost heap and print another one. They should stack, so you can keep a few ready to hand. It's cool using your RepRap to help grow food!


Print from food-grade biodegradable plastic, typically PLA. The outer wall is just one layer thick giving a total weight of 9.5 grams for the 45mm version, so you might want to leave homing off to ensure an even wall.

Print on a single-layer raft, and cut around the base of the object with scissors to leave the mesh partly covering the bottom of the pot. This will help keep your hydroponic growing medium in.

Should scale to suit systems using other pot diameters.

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I like this design and going to use this for my project, and i have some questions:

  • How long does it take to finish a 3d print for 1 item like this?
  • How much weight that 1 item get?
  • How much money if i want to print 7500 items like this?

Thank you so much!

Not clear from this thread; What is the source of the food grade PLA? Would love to have some of that over here in Brooklyn.

Skeinforge 6 says it's got broken triangles.

It probably does have broken triangles 'cos AoI has boolean issues. Print anyway :)

VIk, I live in western australia so the shipping might not be that bad for me, or maybe the company you use has an AU subsiduary. Any chance I can swing some from you

PhillyDee: Bath Uni. Or I can ship a load to your shop.

Suz: Sorry darling, that's the 55mm ones we can't get. I've added those to the files. Unfortunately after printing the first one the RepRap's extruder gearmotor blew again. The new one has a much lower RPM - I'll have to raid one from an old working extruder.

Vik :v)

Which uni? I want a lot, so I can stock it in my shop!

Wow what a cool idea! PLA is such a cool material...reminds me I need to cut a new extruder for the pla...

we're a month or so away from having PLA in the makerbot store for people in the US.

great ! i'll add to my wish list, but i guess u'll send to south america too?

I've got PLA in New Zealand and can ship it anywhere, but the shipping usually costs as much as the PLA itself! There is a stock in the UK at the University, and I believe (from conversations in #reprap on http://freenode.netfreenode.net) a batch has just been run off in the US.

Yes, I am going to grow my own food with it. It will be interesting to see if I can grow a crop that can make enough starch to replace the PLA pot I grew it in. I probably won't because that really needs root veg, and they do not do well in hydroponics.

Vik :v)

No, not that kind of hydroponic pot.....?

How disappointing. you realize if people start printing "supplies" suddenly a MakerBot and a ton of ABS will be of "items of interest" to the DEA on the north cal coast. :-D


great idea, btw, r u planning have u r own food at home with this?

We have been growing food hydroponically for about a decade. Long enough for 45mm runs to go out of fashion and the tubs become unobtanium.

Where do you get your PLA from? It looks very nice!

I love the simplicity!
Now if only I could find a cheap source of PLA in Ireland/UK I'd be all set..