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Hydroponic Window Farm

by RockstarAlchemist, published

Hydroponic Window Farm by RockstarAlchemist Oct 8, 2013
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12453Views 2582Downloads Found in Outdoor & Garden

Summary

Inspired by WindowFarms which you can learn all about at www.windowfarms.com

This is a hydroponic growing system that uses basic aquarium equipment.

Instructions

To print:

1 x BaseTanks
1 x TankCover
1 x TankTubeHolder
1 x TubeHolder
n x MainHolder
n x Basket

where n is the number of plants you want in the stack. Recommend 1-4.

Needed to complete:
1 x aquarium pump
Aquarium tubing
T-coupler
Flow control valve
One-way check valve
Daily plug-in timer
Kite string

Much of the information can be found here: http://www.windowfarms.com/build-your-own/

You'll need to do you're own research on growing media, plants, and nutrient solutions. I'm still a novice, so I don't want to misguide anyone.

I'm using a mixture of clay ball, perlite, coconut coir for my media and Botanicare CNS17 Hydro Formula Grow for my nutrient solution.

Pictured is sweet basil and cilantro.

[EDITED: this is no longer valid. See below] A key point I found to ensure you get pumping of the water up the tubing to the top is to make sure the bottom opening of the T-connector that is open to the nutrient solution in the base is pointed down and as deep as you can get it in the tank, which is why I created the TankTubeHolder and glued (with cyanoacrylate) it to the bottom of the tank.

[EDIT] I ended up drilling a hole towards the bottle of the tank and epoxying a tube in place to feed the water to the air lift T-joint, which is now outside the tank. See the new photo and video of the air lift system.

Let me know if you have any questions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCN4mh9lhUE

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How is it fixed to the window?

It hangs by kite string from a hook in the ceiling.

Thanks for the quick reply.
Do you have any suggestion on how to mount that to a window?
I'm new to the 3d printing and have yet to learn how to design stuff.

Hey everyone, I designed an object which combines the basket and main holder. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1687979/#files

Modified Window Farm

Hello all. Just attempting a print. As one would guess looking at the design, Basket V3 has a problem when printed on FDM without supports. It printed well enough to be usable for me, however.

tarek : )

I suspect you're talking about the center point of the basket. I didn't use support, and I did have some loose filament in the bottom of the basket, but it wasn't an issue, as far as function goes. Thanks for giving it a try. Hope to see you post your results.

Yes. The MainHolder is great except that I've found with the water bottle version I've been using that the water dripping down has a tendency to splatter. I'd thought that in those cases, if the mainholder had a cap that could be slipped over the bottom spout, with a small extrusion that a 1/4 inch tube could be slipped over, that the tube could then be arranged to drip directly on the basket below.

ITSourcePro, I was hoping you might share how you get consistent lifting of water up the tube to the top of the stack? I can get it to flow by adjusting the air valve, but during a restart some time later, it won't restart the water flow.

Brilliant design. I've only recently made my own Window Farm ,using the water bottle method, and was looking for something like this. I'd like to make a modification to the main holder so that I can include a cap with a tube fitting. Would you be willing to release your sources?

OK, great discussion over PM. I just uploaded what I think you had in mind. It's called MainHolderCapWithNipple

Are you interested in the MainHolder? My source is in Autodesk Inventor. If you can't work with that you can take the .stl file and import/modify it in OpenSCAD, which I've had great success with in the past. Let me know. If your modification is pretty straight forward, I might be able to do it for you.

nice design. But I am personally too concerned about the additives in filaments being absorbed by the plants, to actually try this. Maybe its better to keep to less nice looking foodsafe bottles...

I'd be curious to know what additives you are most concerned about? I hold degrees in biochemistry and organic chemistry and work in the chemical industry. ABS is generally safe for food contact and I'm not aware of any additives to be concerned about in ABS filament.

Did you mean "additives to be concerned about in PLA filament"?

Honestly, most plastics have additive packages, so being concerned about what can leach into the water is a consideration. I can't comment as to what goes into these masterbatches, as the formulator would have to address that.

I see. Do you have any suggestions for a food safe finishing method for a PLA print? (e.g. specialized paint/sealant)

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