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

Modular Hydroponic Tower Garden

by boundarycondition Feb 5, 2019
Download All Files

Thing Apps Enabled

Please Login to Comment

sorry if stupid question but what are the screw mounts on the sides used for?

It has no particular function, you can use them to fix things there, like plant tags.

I was thinking of a chain design. Have one large water tank and 5 of these towers connected to the tank. One of the other designs I have seen has an attachable tube that goes on top to pour the water down instead of using a pump from the bottom. You could theoretically have a really good pump, a 5 way split and have it go to each tower then recycle back into the large tank. Anyone wanna help design this with me?

If I understand you correctly then it's already done:
https://thingiverse-production-new.s3.amazonaws.com/assets/43/c0/36/f8/6e/MHTG_V102.PNG

There's a modified cap at the top that lets you connect a tube to it, and a modified cone module at the bottom that drains the water wherever you want (through another tube).

The only thing left to design is a fixture of the towers themselves. I designed little screwing points on each module and on the cone too.

Can't seem to find it. What's the link?

Look for these files within this thing:
Dispenser_Module_External_01.STL
Dispenser_Module_External_01_Without_Holes.STL
Dispenser_Module_External_02.STL
Cone_Module.STL

Thanks man! I have a few more of these printed out. how could I suspend the towers so that i could use 1 pump with 5 towers?

Do you think it’s necessary to use some type of sealant on the interior of the parts to make them watertight?

It's not necessary at all. The water circulated inside tends to avoid the gaps between the modules. And it's a good thing if rainwater find its way inside the system.
I had problems on the bottom though; the capillary forces made the water dripping out of the 3 small pipes on the filling module. So they need to be plugged in.

Hey, i am not sure, if its a dumb question, but for what are the M3 screw points on planting modules for? I do not see a function...?

They have no pre-planned significance. I want to use it to hold plant tags, somebody here has attached lighting to it. The point is, that it's there in case when needed. And I like to design seemingly irrelevant parts that come handy in the future. For now just ignore this feature.

Hi,
I have a printer with large bed, I'm going to use muskot as the reservoir, Can you help muskot adapter on single print instead of dividing it by 4.
Thanks in advanced

We had some trouble earlier that someone couldn't fit the assembled adapter on top of the reservoir.
Could you measure the biggest outer diameter on top of the reservoir?
The adapter I just made has 232 mm inner diameter. The reservoir should be a few millimeters smaller.
Or if you have a different size, just write it down here, I can easily scale the outer part of the adapter.

Hi thanks for replying,
Ikea muskot top outer diameter is around 235-236 mm

Thank you for the measurement!
I modified the existing part to ID=240mm and uploaded the full part as you requested. The module adapter is integrated into the center so you don't need to glue anything. Print and play.

You're welcome! Please share an image here in the comments when you finished, if you can.

Hi successfuly printed full version of the resevoir top, all parts assembled now.
I make 6x 3way module, 1x way module for filling the water, for top I used the closed one. All printed on black pla.
Total Filament around 4 kg (3 black and 1 brown)
I used AC powered pump, I cut some of the hose, I out on the reservoir lid, so I have some gap for the cable and have stability on the top reservoir.
Thanks for sharing this.

What Layer Height are people printing at?

0.2 mm normally, 0.3 mm if you're in a hurry.

hi i real like it
2 questions
which reservoir do you use .... and where can i find it
same for the pump
Thanks

Hi, thanks!

Reservoir:
https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50308196/#/30308197
Size: 7 1/2"

Water pump I used:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32804709012.html
12V or 24V variant, the switch is useless in this application.

Note that this DC water pump needs an external circuit and power supply that switches it on and off. I used a custom Arduino board with a MOSFET switch.
You are probably better off with a 230V AC water pump and a timer.

Edit: in case it's important, here are two kinds of silicone tubes that I used:

ID=10mm, OD=14mm:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32741455761.html
I used this in the tower itself.

ID=18mm, OD=24mm:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32742367454.html
And this if for the adapter that converts the water pump's 19 mm outlet to 10 mm.
I attach the tube adapter here and a picture how to assemble the tubing.

Comments deleted.

Why not just run the cables in the open? I think this just brings unnecessary complexity to the system. I don't have anything in mind.

hi i really like this design you have made here.

will it be possible to get dispenser_module_external_01 without holes in the site ?

Hi, thanks! I just uploaded this module without the holes, check the file list.

Hi Mr boundarycondition I really like your work. I request the file (Dispenser Module External) version with the holes. Thanks.

Thank you very much. I really like your work. :)

I deleted this version of the lid long ago, I don't have the design file nor the STL-file, sorry!

Hi all, I've been having great success so far my lettuces are very happy. Some updates and things that probably could be improved even more. Reinforcing the muskot lid more and incorporating the ring to the lid made my tower super stable, I posted a stl as a remix. It no longer wobbles and with the original lid I was starting to get some serious lean (think Tower of Pisa). The new lid fixed that for now.

Some issues still are:
1). The small reservoir size. With the 7 1/2 muskot and 6 modules growing lettuce I am using about half my nutrient volume every other day. I was thinking about getting the 12 1/2 size muskot and making a lid for it. I used an online calculator and I think the 12 1/2 muskot is roughly 5x bigger by volume. So it should hold 5+ gallons (20+ Litters). I am working on a lid for it. I'll attach an un-reinforced un-sectioned version if someone wants to take a stab at it. I'll post a finished version once I am done. I think it should be printable on a prusa sized bed if cut in four pieces.

Second issue is the plants on the lowest module have roots sticking down into the reservoir and are starting to get into my pump. Plus they just look "soggier". I am thinking the extra section plus a screen might be mandatory. I bought some stainless steel mesh from ebay, https://www.ebay.com/itm/5-8-20-30-40-Mesh-Stainless-Steel-Woven-Cloth-Wire-Screen-Filter-Sheet-6x12/122619680362?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=423028969015&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649. I will update again when I get it installed. I may have to wait until I can fully disassemble.

Anyways, thanks again boundarycondition! Hopefully this helps make the project better and we can all have some sweet veggies. P.S. I am looking into making something like this, https://www.towergarden.com/shop/support-cage. May incorporate support points into the larger pot lid. Ill post if I come up with something good.

Can you provide the design file (not the STL, something i can make changes to) for the cap (the version with the holes please!)? I picked up a couple of these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JLJFWNY/ and I'd like to add a bar to the top of the cap that they can clamp onto. Or, since i'm pretty novice to CAD, if you wanna do something like that, that'd be great too lol.

Awesome! It would be better to design an add-on to the cap (glued together) instead of remodeling it. What diameter and length of a bar do you need? I sketch up something and show what I mean.

Its funny, when i started really thinking about this, i started to consider a sort of add-on system that attaches to the cap. Anyway, the widest part of the clamp is ~74mm so it'll need to be at least that long. I didn't measure, but vertical clearance (space between top of cap and bottom of bar) should be fine at ~20mm i'd guess. and 20mm wide would probably be fine too. I was thinking a flat bar, not round. If it was round the clamp might not be stable, it might be able to rotate around the bar, but then i guess the cap would keep it from going too far too.

EDIT: I should probably also mention that in order for the arms to be centered on the top (and thus the tower remain balanced and give it the best chance to remain stable) the bar should be offset. most of the mass of the clamp (and the portion of it where the lights attach) is behind the gripping portion of the clamp.

This balancing makes the part complicated, I can't think of any solution right now. :/

shouldn't be hard, think of a hollow box that sits on top of the lid, then remove about 2/3rds of it. As long as the kids don't mess with it it seems stable enough so if you don't wanna bother with it thats fine, i'll see what i can do. Those lights do seem to be helping my plants though. The other option, I've seen a version of the cap with the m3 holes for attachments on the side. maybe that could be used to rig up some sort of bar. (goes back to thinking of an 'addon system' lol)

HI,
can you do a 1-way_planting_module with a cut please? So i can use it instead of the Filling Module. Thanks.

I've been running the tower garden for about a week now. Great design, I am running half strength nutrient at 15 on / 30 off right now with seedlings.

I can only think of two things that need improving:

The minor one being a way to disassemble easier. With the pump feet suctioned to the pot and tube connected to the dispenser module trying to do small things like modify the pump speed is a giant pain. May not be able to solve this with 3d printing.

The more major issue is, I am getting a small amount of wobble in the tower when my pump is on. I think it is coming from the muskot lid adapter flexing slightly from the pressure of the water coming out of the top. It needs significant strengthening. I am slightly concerned that I am already seeing this with only seedlings and wonder what is going to happen once my plants are heavier. I remember reading in these comments somewhere about the muskot lid buckling for someone else.

I should say that I screwed the 4 lid panels together with the suggested 8 m3 screws and nuts with washers. Then used large amount of hot glue to attach the adapter ring. I did notice that the inner ring of the muskot adapter when all four panels are put together is slightly larger than the module adapter ring that I glued in the center so it is possible that the ring could be placed off center. An easy fix might be just to make the muskot lid adapter panels a little thicker and shrink the internal diameter to more closely match the module adapter ring.

Anyways, I love the project! Just putting in my two cents to help it improve, thanks!

Edit: Small update to this. The parent project has another remix of possibly a better Muskot lid design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3093004

Remix of Modular Hydroponic System

Thanks for your comment! All your points are valid so let's discuss them.

Changing pump speed is inherently hard when the switch is placed on the pump itself. It has to be set before the system goes online. I have no other solution to this problem. I used a different type of water pump (12V) that tolerates pulse width modulated (PWM) power source. This way I could set the pump speed externally. I can't see how this system could be more assembly friendly.

My tower wobbled too, it's because all the elements fit loosely (0,2 - 0,5 mm) and the more modules are connected, the more these air gaps add up causing visible wobbling. This is the main reason my water tank buckled, it couldn't handle the extensive wobble at the top of the tower. Unfortunately the loose fit can't be eliminated without making the modules hard to assemble. The weakest point is indeed the water tank adapter. That's the lowest point hence all the strain goes there. The adapter ring being off-centered doesn't contribute to the buckling too much. I would use epoxy glue instead of hot glue. Hot glue is weak for this high-strength application.

seBASTARD's muskot lid won't work with these modules, there's a slight size difference in the locking mechanism.

Thanks for the response. I am glad the wobble isn't just me. Perhaps a bracing system that works with the 3mm mounting points on the modules could be used? Would make assembly and disassembly much more involved though.

I saw that the locking mechanism on seBASTARD's model is different. I am working on remaking it with the locking mechanism from the adapter ring. If you are already working on it let me know! I am not sure if it will solve the issue completely like you said it is probably the cumulative gaps between all of he modules.

Are you thinking about or working on anything to fix this? Let me know if you need cad help.

Well I havent tested this yet, but here is a messy attempt at remaking the lid. If anyone prints this let me know how it goes!

Are there any issues with algae printing this in white due to light leakage into the system? Would it be worth printing in black and painting it white? Any ideas on what kind of paint would be the safest to use?

After 1 month I experienced notable algae growth throughout the system due to the white color. My water tank is transparent so it was full of it after 2 weeks. The crop was fine the whole time but I had to harvest early because the water tank buckled under the plants weight.

Someone mentioned painting here in the comments and I'm recommending it. Dark modules and white paint as you said. Use acrylic spray paint but only on the outside. The glossy looking finish will reflect sunlight even better.

Yea, I think I am going to go with that. I was thinking latex paint or plastidip, but it probably shouldn't matter if its the exterior. Along this same line of thinking are the holes on the lid a good idea? Is the light pollution from having the holes worth the slightly better airflow? Is there any real need for airflow inside the system?

Any opaque paint will do.
Actually algae first showed up on the top thanks to the holes on the lid. I'll upload a new version without the holes.
The system is not airtight, there's a small gap between every planting module. I guess it should be enough for ventilation.
Roots not only take up nutrients from water but oxygen from the fresh air too. That's why water is oxygenated through air bubbles when the roots are flooded 24/7 in other hydroponic systems.

Good to know. I printed a lid already, but I am going to reprint it with no holes. Here is the STL with no holes if you don't have time.

Thanks, I already uploaded it without holes.

Oh okay, no worries. Thank you for all the work you did on this project, it is awesome! Super excited to get it together and see it working. I'll post a make when I do!

I'm glad you enjoy working on this system! :)
I only used the system for about 1 month but the plant growth speed was phenomenal compared to soil growth.

Are you still using the system? Any other issues that you think could be resolved to make the system better? I was thinking it might be worth it to waterproof the parts (would take for ever...) to reduce growth inside of the parts.

I stopped using it 2 weeks ago and disassembled the whole thing.

First and most important issue is light-proofing because of algae growth. This can be done with dark filament and white painting on the outside. The water tank must be surrounded with light-reflective material. Nevertheless the plants can survive and thrive just fine but some amount of nutrients will be wasted.

Next in line is the filling module itself. Water tends to creep out of the small holes due to surface tension. It would be better to completely remove this module from the system and use a port from the lowest planting module as water/nutrient filling.

I experienced unstable water flow that led water escaping through the lid holes. Either you use the no-hole lid or put the stream-breaker on top of the dispenser cup.

I don't think waterproofing would make a huge difference.

So are these the reasons you decided not use the system any longer? seems like those should be simple problems to fix. You've got me concerned now because i've just about got everything printed to build my second stack of four modules lol.

Another possibility for algae control might be copper filament. I know copper is used to control fungi in traditional planting systems, so maybe printing with copper fill filament will help. I've got a couple of modules printed in copper so if it seems to make a difference i'll leave a note.

The only reason for stopping was that my water tank buckled under the weight of the plants. The other issues I listed are not the end of the world so you're good!
I have never heard of copper filled filament, please do report back, I'm curious.

Ah, yeah, that's a problem. I'm concerned that's going to be a problem with the muskot lid as it is already buckling slightly and the plants haven't even started growing much yet. If that happens i geuss i'll need to find a new reservoir myself.

I can't believe that the IKEA muskot pot and custom lid is not strong enough. Compared to my hair-thin plastic reservoir yours should support a human standing on it lol.

I used this as water reservoir:
https://static.toom.de/produkte/bilder/4954510/supermaxitonne-inklusive-deckel-silbern-50-l-4954510-1.png?quality=15&bg-color=ffffff&width=300&pad=0.12&format=jpg

costs about 5€ and is very stable, i just had to cut out the handle and the adapter just fitted sneakly and it holds about 20liter water ;-)

but i have the same problems. the filling three holes, water is just plunging out of it. i will print out the 1-way planting module and use it as water filler.

How long do you keep the pump flowing? im doing a 2.5h/0.5h flow (2.5h pause, 0.5h running).
And i printed the jiffy version of your holders and put jiffy into it, but it seems the water is washing them out. any suggestions there? maybe to go for coconut?

The reservoir looks good to me!
If you're short on filament, you can even use one of the ports of the planting module. The 1-way planting module is also a good idea. It's funny how the complexity of this system enables one to come up with solutions.

During my previous research I couldn't find any consensus about watering schedule. I did 50/50% that is 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off and all my plants were happy.
For power saving the ratio should shift towards the off time but I think 2.5h is too much. 1-1.5h pause and 0.5h running seems more plausible to me.

What do you mean by Jiffy pellets washing out? Becoming loose and dissolving into the water? They all have protective net around them to keep material inside. If you can hold the coconut in place then it's a good choice too.

Yes, the net is there, but since the water is dropping from "high" above it broke the net and washed it partly out. Maybe i got the wrong jiffys, i took these:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71TMsyPX%2BbL._SL1500_.jpg

but they are kind of small.. 40x30mm, they seem to get lost in the "tubes". What works better are the cones from my herbert hydro garden:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2463/1015/products/SmallBox_offen_300x300.png?v=1557150133

looking at the moment for replacement since the company charges too much for them.

I see now. There's no size written on the package but 40x30mm seems the right one. I noticed too that they slip too far in the pots. My solution was clay pebbles on the bottom to raise the Jiffy pellets.
These cones look good!

Ok here an Update. I changed the WaterBasin to a stabler version. I got too much wobbling. And there i can also say: PLA is not suitable at all for this project. I printed it in different colors to see which could fit best and stayed tehn to light blue/orange.
The lid was in black and due to the sun it shrunk so much that i have a very loose lid (2-3mm). also the whole construction was tight when installed. now i have to be carefully not to dismante it :-)

I will try other plastics if they fit better. Overall very nice!

btw: Could you create a 1-way planning module with a gap in it? so i can use it as lowest version and extract the 220v cable of my pump out?

and this is the new water reservoir i used:
https://www.amazon.de/Floraworld-011085-maischefas-s-Classic-schwarz/dp/B00AZX2FBE/ref=sr_1_5?__mk_de_DE=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&keywords=maischefass&qid=1561216280&s=gateway&sr=8-5

its very stiff, but i need a new more stable adapter for the lid of this to the system.

Hi,
is your remix compatible with the original from: archipelagourbanfarms?
He used one Ikea vaselid, so i thought i could use his, instead of yours.

Second question, any guide/document which of your files is used for what? How to create one set? for what i use the hollow version vs the non hollow version?

My modules have slightly different dimensions so they won't connect to his vaselid.
There's no documentation yet. For now the gallery shows the files in logical order, that is from the bottom to the top. Check the assembled pictures and the one showing a cross-section to decide what you should print.
I recommend using the hollow planting modules. 99% of time it's what you need. The non-hollow version was my first idea but didn't think of the space needed by the ever-growing roots. Either way the roots will find their way, let's not introduce additional resistance.

Thanks, another two questions:
The filling module, what are the three hoses are for? and what are the screw holder inside it for?

And last question: which CAD you use for designing this?

I printed now the dispenser module and the lid. going further ;-)

oh and while we are at it. which pump you use?

I intended those 3 holes to be used as cable management and air ventilation.
The clips on the inside and outside are for 10k NTC thermistor temperature sensors. You can just snap the cylinder into it if you want to measure temperatures. I ended up not using them.
I used a 12V 350 GPH submersible bilge pump. I found 350 GPH is a bit strong for this system, I had to PWM it down about 75%.
I designed this system in SolidWorks.

Could you provide measurements for the ports on the filling module? I'd like to know if the wire/plug will fit before i spend the filament to print one. Also, wouldn't it be more efficient, instead of having a module for filling, to design a special cap that allows for the cord. This way you can use the standard planting module, have more planters and still allow minimal light into the reservoir.

Ports have 20 mm ID holes. The other filling module has two 12x12 mm cutout on the bottom. This cutout may leak water. At the time of designing I didn't realize the water will stick to the walls and find its way out of the system.

Good point on removing the standalone filling module. The filling port and planting ports are identical. I don't know why I didn't think about this sooner. That special cap however I have no idea how it should look like.

Question: The bottom module for filling has three ports that are kind of small, what goes in those?

Those are for electrical wires if they fit.

Thanks for a very nice and usable design! I have been printing now for the last couple of days. I will start small with only 3 three way modules. Could you give me an idea how you start the planting process? Do you buy you plants and shake the dirt out and then add the clay pebble? So new to this.

Cheers,

First I germinated the seeds in Jiffy-7 41 pellets placed on a tray. You can do it in rockwool or any hydroponic growing medium you got that fit in one of the pots. I watered them every day manually. After 1-2 weeks when the seedlings were strong enough and roots were poking through the pellets I prepared the Jiffy-pots. I had to add a small amount of clay pebbles at the bottom of the pots so the Jiffy pellets don't sink in too far. Finally I put the pots in the planting modules.
Automatic watering is set to 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off. So far so good.

In addition to smokes2345's comment: he/she is right, you better off starting from seed. I transplanted strawberry from soil, washed the roots off and had to remove some of it to fit in the standard pot. In retrospect this was not a good idea, the plants are clearly suffering, there's no new root growth and the fruits are barely developing.

I had trouble finding any 41mm pellets locally, and ended up going with the 42mm ones.

Just so no one else repeats my mistake, the Jiffy-7 41 pellets you mention above are actually advertised as 36/38mm pellets. The '41' is the measurement when soaked, which makes sense. Unfortunately, this realization comes after acquiring a few hundred 42mm pellets which will not fit these pots. Lesson learned!

They may fit in the larger pots nevertheless. Don't get rid of them just yet.

Edit: they mark this as "Jiffy-7 41" and soaks to 45 mm diameter. 35 mm when dry. It's confusing. So 35 mm dry, 41 mm advertised and 45 mm soaked.

There are some plants that you can grow from a cutting, but i'm pretty sure strawberries aren't a candidate lol. I took a cutting from some mint that we planted in a pot last year a couple of weeks ago and when i checked on it earlier today it has started to root. Cutting as in I snipped a stem of the plant from just above the roots and stuck it in a rockwool cube.

Agreed, this is how cuttings should behave.
These strawberries on the pictures were sold in pots fully developed with leaves and fruits. I guess this makes the transplantation worse lol. Anyway the first round of fruits tasted excellent, the next round seems to be delayed while new roots are forming.

Typically you'd want to start from seed, transplanting from dirt can carry pathogens and parasites that you want to keep out of an aeroponic system. Plus I imagine there is a significant enough difference in nutrients that i'll cause stress to the plants. Also, once you have the equipment, starting from seed is cheaper.

apparently all muskot are not created equally. I picked up two 7.5" muskot pots at ikea over the weekend. I just got the last pieces of the lid printed today. It fits one firmly enough that I can't take the lid off of the pot without holding the pot down, which is probably about right. However, it doesn't fit on the second pot at all, the lid is way too small. Anyone ran into this? Have a fix?

It's odd. There should be a small clearance inside and outside and no friction at all. Are those muskot pots identical?

they are clearly not identical even though they look it to the naked eye and they stack into each other. i'm in bed for tonight and tomorrow will be busy, but maybe i can get pictures later in the week. I don't mind enough friction to make the lid hold the pot, but the second pot doesn't take the lid at all. I'm not skilled in cad, but i was thinking a slight taper around the top of the inner wall of the lid might be enough that i could fasten the pieces of the lid in place around the pot. To your credit, i put a lot of weight on that lid trying to get it to drop on the second pot and it didn't break, i was kinda impressed lol.

Is there a file for the muskpot adapter that makes the entire lid all in one piece?

It wouldn't fit on a 210x210 mm average printing area so I didn't design one.
What printer do you have?

Craftbot 3. I can print 250 x 250 x 374.

So i ended up ordering the 1/2 inch tubing that was listed on the page of the system this was remixed from. Is there a .5" version of the distributor cap?

I see you discussed this with JH3d further down in the comments, i'll try the adaptor or some teflon tape

Hey, I am just about to buy PETG 2.85mm filament to start printing. I am planning to do pretty much the exact same one as you did (6 planters high with the ikea base and water filler) with the two different colors as well. For the white how many 1kg rolls of filament do you think id need? For the Peach how many do you think? Id be super grateful for any kind of guidance on this! Also I was wondering what the difference is between the Jiffy and the standard pots (eg size and such) Cheers, Sam.

Hi Sam, every planting module is slightly less than 250g in weight, considering 3 wall lines and 20% infill. Therefore you can print 4 planting module from 1kg filament. Module adapter + filling module + dispenser module + lid + 2 planting module can be printed with another 1kg roll.
All the white you see on the first picture is printed from a single 2kg filament roll nearly without waste.

The Jiffy-pots are smaller in diameter so they can hold the soaked pellets tightly without light gap. Standard pots are bigger, in fact they are as big as they can be.

Hey, Thank you so much for the breakdown its very useful knowledge! Also thanks for such a great model, I am really excited to start printing when my filament gets in! Cheers, Sam.

Hi, love your design. I think your design is much more improved version of the original. Just a quick question, how do you check the water level or checking the PH level or adding nutrients to the water ? I am living in an apartment so natural sunlight is very minimal. Still thinking how to incorporate an LED Strip Grow light into the system. By the way, want to ask you what is the real purpose of the screws in the grow module like picture attached ?

Hi, thanks for your comment!
Adding nutrients and checking water level is done at the filling module's opening. Just remove the cap and look into the tank to determine water level or add nutrients.
For checking pH-level remove the top lid and put the meter in the cup. It's just big enough to not block water flow and get proper reading.
The screws have no real purpose but you can use them to fix LED strips for example. I haven't done this but if you're creative you can come up with a structure that holds the LED strips and connects to planting modules. Or it can be completely standalone.
Check attached pictures!

Thank you so much for your reply. Ok, now I understand how things works in your design. Actually the LED fixture idea gave me a new idea and hopefully I can share with you once I got my 3D printer at the end of May. I am New to this 3D printing so while waiting for the printer to arrive, at the moment I learning to use the FreeCAD software. If it is not too much to ask, can you share with me editable file ( for example STEP file) for the IKEA Muskot Pot 7_12 adapter ? I would like to modify it to fit a normal 5 gallon (20 liter) painter bucket. If successful, I will share it with you. Thank you.

I have 5 gallon wine buckets that I used for this. They came with lids so I printed the module adapte, then cut out a hole in the bucket lid and glued the module adapter into the lid. That's almost certainly easier than trying to print a whole new lid.

I did the same! If the lid is strong enough it's easier this way.

Good luck with your printer! I look forward to your designs.
I attached the STEP file for the IKEA Muskot Pot.

Hi,

Thank you for the design. am confused on the reservoir setup, can you share an Ikea link which links to what you have used.

Thank you

wow, Thank you @boundarycondition, that was fast. I see an adapter module in the files, do I need print 4 of them to cover the vase?

-Rakesh

That's right, you need 4 of the pot adapter to make a full circle and 1 module adapter to be glued in the center. There's a picture detailing the assembly procedure, check it out.
You will also need screws to hold the 4 parts together. They can be glued as well if you have no access to screws. It's completely up to you.

Thank you I have started printing the first internal_dispenser and should be good in a couple of days. I will post pictures here.

Love the design, wifey will love it too, started printing first parts, moving to a house in a month so preparing already.Havent gone through all comments, maybe someone had same idea but 1 thing that came into my mind was if you could (since im in tinkercad level in designing) implement some kind of filtration chamber for one of the spacer parts, so you could put some kind of course filter material so you don get plant material etc. into water tank and eventually clog up pump, and you could easily change filter after every harvest.

Thank you, have fun with it! I certainly am.
I don't have any specific idea in mind for filtration but I'll upload a modified spacer module that can hold an internal ring.
My system has been up and running for 10 days and right now I only see small debris that wouldn't interfere with the water pump.

Edit: it seems like the spacer modules are already good for holding a filtration ring. What's left is a mesh holder.

Edit 2: filtration mesh holder uploaded!

Thanks mate! Will try out the filtration later on when i have moved and got everything setup, i asked brother to put his prusa clone to the test :) most parts printed in petg (a 3kg spool had some issues with color shifting, got 3 new kg from manufacturer so had some over), black thou so maybe best to spray em white so wont get too hot for roots in the sun?

Yeah, I would definitely spray the outside white to reflect sunlight.
PETG is a good choice, I used it too, it resists water and UV-light in the long run. PLA is also good for years but it eventually decomposes.

Yeah since i got pretty much 3 kg of free PETG i thought it was best to print with that. I noticed that i had some LDPE tubing for hydro/garden watering, kinda stiff/hard plastic for making custom dripper or mister setups, but the ID is 13mm ("half inch"), not to be a pain in the ass could u add a 13mm connection to the internal/externaldripper module?
Cant really measure the OD of the tubing i have but the 18mm u made should be plenty enough.
Haha getting really into this modular design with a good designer behind it (of course creds to original designer).

There's an easier way to solve the tubing problem. The connector has a 12 mm diameter bump on its end to keep a soft tube falling off. LDPE won't allow much deformation anyway. So just put a few rounds of electrical tape on the connector's end and slide the tube on it. Keep adding tape until the tube stays in place.
The guiding rings have 20 mm clearance, this is the absolute maximum OD. I wrote 18 mm to give a small wiggle room.

Yeah i also thought about it, solution with electrical tape. But the experience ive had with that solution is that the tape will ALWAYS become loose,adhesion makesa goo and slide off. So a better solution i think is using that white thread "sealant" , it doesnt have any adhesive crap.
But if u are bored someday, make a option connector for 13mm on parts with hose connectors.
Anyways im thankful for everything u done, keep it up, will update with pics later when i have it growing.

Try this attached adapter. It's a thin walled pipe (0.4 mm) that slides on the connector and its outer diameter is 13 mm. With lots of epoxy glue it should be a good alternative.

aah no worries mate, i rather use that white threading sealant, its gonna make the connector thick enough to seal.
edit. gonna try to find what i mean,...thread tape? PTFE tape

Hi, unfortunately i don't know use freecad or other software.......i have the ideas but i can't realised them.
But thanks again for your jobs !!!

Hi , perfect,idea a wave-breaker, i think it's miss something ,some light........for it perfect is it possible to use the small holes on the side of module 3 ways or others to create fixation for led bar ?
i know it's difficult but i think with what it will be perfect !!!!
Another idea if you use a "spray 360" on the last module , a spray like that :
https://www.gardena.com/fr/outils-jardin/arrosage/goutte-a-goutte/micro-asperseur-360deg/900911001/ ?

Those mounting holes on the planting modules can be used for anything. LED lighting is a perfect idea, along with plant tagging. These were my two main ideas. You or anyone else are welcome to design such a LED-holder and post as a remix. I can't do it right now.
The spray is not needed in most situations but who knows.

Hi, in first thanks for your great job !!!!
i have a question, have you got or could you do make plugs/ caps for the module with 3 holes ?
thanks

They are meant to be left open but I figure out something. I want to do another part too, a wave-breaker, in the dispenser module that reduces water splashing.

Can you check your STLfiles for the modules without the bottom holes. I’ve printed 3 of the modules and all three shiffed at the same area. Near the top. Has anyone have the same problems?

The planting module looks good to me. There's a small layer shift at the same height every time I print. I think my z-axis doesn't feel so good.
In your case the printer head positioning goes nuts at that height somehow.

Picture is so sexy. Better then mine. I know roots will grow whereever they want. I just hope they will go directly where they are direct and not tangle up. With or with out I think we will still have to cut the roots off at a certain point.

STL files are good. This is strange. I have the same problem around the same height, no matter what I print. The shift is not this severe but noticeable. This is probably a printer-related problem. What printer do you have? Have you ever printed models this high?
I'm going to print these modules in the next days and report back.

I hate those dame layer shift. I had no problem printing archipelagourbanfarms modules. No later shift. Only had problems with your modules. I had problems with other higher prints as well but I thought I fixed it with archipelagourbanfarms modules because they came out perfect. I’m using Cr10s pro. The printer had no problems printing your filing module, no layer shifts but had problems printing the modules....

It's probably the slicer then.

I just finish printing a few of the section and I like how they fit snuggly. Twist lock snug.

Q1: What Are the three holes on the filling module for? The extension cord from the pump don’t fit coming out of it.

Those holes were meant to be wiring exits for 12V water pumps. Unfortunately large extension cord connectors don't come through. What about the larger filling hole? That should be big enough.

This looks great! I was looking for a hydroponic tower system to print and I really appreciate the 1, 2, and 3 plant options in the modules!

Thank you! I recently uploaded new planting modules that have no bottoms. I would advise printing those. This way roots have more freedom.

Fantastic! I've also done a light remix (need to print it to see if it works) of the water cap to no design in order to have the option to close off a plant node if there's no plant in it.

Good idea, I'll make one too!
It will work, the locking mechanism is the same for pots and the water cap.

Hi boundarycondition,

I was wondering if your locking mechanism is interchangeable with "Modular Hydroponic System by archipelagourbanfarms" I would like to use some parts on yours and mix and match with his like your "dispenser_module_internal". also do you have a base that would fit a 5 gallon bucket in once piece or a locking mechanism that would fit a standard 5 gallon bucket lid? we could just cut a hole in the lid and lock it in place and cut out a hole for the electric cable.

Also Would you be able to design a separate vertical tower. One set without the tiny holes in the modules except for the "dipsenser_moduel_interal"? the holes would lead to root clogging up the holes. with out the holes the modules would have no bottom and the roots would dangle and grow without obstructions.

New planting modules are uploaded!

Hello, the modules are not interchangeable with archipelagourbanfarms' modules. I re-designed the whole system and the dimensions are slightly different.

I have no such base designed for a 5 gallon bucket but there is a workaround. The model called "Module Adapter" could fit into an arbitrary hole (117 mm in diameter). I specifically designed it to be glued into any sufficiently large lid. On the first picture you can see the barrel lid is original and it has this adapter glued into it. On the other hand the "Filling Module" has holes for electric wires so you don't have to cut holes somewhere else. Of course if they are not big enough you have to make way.

I never thought about root clogging to be a problem but now I began to worry. My basic assumption was that these levels hold the roots in place and the little holes dispense the water evenly at every module. Sure enough the roots would cover the holes but not all of them. I'll try to make another modules without the bottom but I'll keep the center ring there to guide the tubing.

Thanks for your comment!

I'm kinda new to this, so I need a bit of clarification in some ways.
Do I need soil?
What tubing size is best?
What tank can I use? I can't find any of the sort.
How much water should I put in?

No soil is needed. Hydroponic systems use other grow medium. This particular system can be used with Jiffy-pellets or small clay pebbles.
Tubing size is generally arbitrary. I designed the connectors in this system to be used with 10 mm ID tube.
Tank: whatever you prefer. I used a 20L (5 gallon) bidon barrel because the cap had just the right size to put a module adapter in it, but I think IKEA Muskot Pots look nicer with this system. Take a look at the recent make of this system.
Whatever tank you use it should be near full. Don't go too small with the size of the tank, 20L is a minimum.

I saw in the updates that you were abandoning this project. Please don't, this is one of the best designs out there. You've done some really stellar work and it would be a shame if this design wasn't finalized.

Agreed. Wonder if anyone else would join me pitching in with 'tip designer' to help get him going again.

Thank you guys for your support! I try to print the Jiffy pots so I can upload a decent picture of the system.
After this there's not much I can do. If there's a request for another modules or adapters I'll try to design one.

I was wondering if you could maybe post an edit on the hexagonal holes? Want to print this, and don't have a whole lot of CAD experience to edit it. This looks awesome, and definitely want to make one myself.

Planting modules are updated, check it out!

System is almost put together, will have a grow tent and LED to top it off, will post as soon as I'm complete. There's a newer smaller design that has more likes than this, and to be fair to it, I get it especially for smaller printers. This is by far and large my favorite project that I've done with my printer though, props to you.

I'm glad that you like this project. I can't wait for the pictures! Most of the credit goes to archipelagourbanfarms, though. :)
I'm still stuck at the pots, it wasn't a good idea to print them without holes.
Thank you for the tip earlier!

Sorry to hear you're stuck on the pots, why not just buy some on amazon? There are plenty with 2" diameters, but I cant find any with 100 mm depth, should still work though, right?

I designed the planting modules to accept custom pots primarily but you can put anything in it as long as it fits. 100 mm depth is the maximum, should work with shorter pots too.

Too cool man, thank you, I'll be starting the prints this week.

I'll probably ditch the hexagonal approach and just put a cylindrical hole in there.

Comments deleted.

Omg, that was a fast response, if you do and post it I'd be very grateful for it. Thanks man, what happened to your printer? What kind do you have? If I can help I'll try to find a way.

I have an Anycubic i3 Mega. It keeps me surprising!
At first a few loose sensor screws then loose belts. These were easy to fix. Now that belts are tight they are shredding like crazy, pulleys are misaligned.
I had to replace the z-axis rigid couplings with flexible ones because outer surface was zebra-striped (8 mm intervals). Now it's perfect but at a fixed height there is a small wobbling.
Hotend replaced, the screwing at the heat break became loose and filament clogged everywhere.
It randomly under extrudes the filament, probably the spring is weak at the feeder motor and the grinding flattens the filament which in turn doesn't want to travel along the tubing.
Now I have a hotend temperature sensor fault which stopped filament extrusion but stepper motors continued to move the printer head like there was nothing wrong. At least it didn't waste filament this time.
I hear strange electric buzzing since the temperature sensor fault. Heating up is okay, though.
There's no help here, this is China quality.

I have the same printer. How long have you got this printer?
Thanks for this great project, anyway.

I bought it 1 year ago. Overall it's a good printer for its price but with time it needs constant attention. I'm sure some faults are on me but poor component choices in the first place are inevitable.

Comments deleted.

This may be a stupid question but what is the purpose of the 3 protruding holes on the bottom section?

To increase air ventilation. The little holes are probably enough for this but I wanted to make sure no air is stuck in one place.

Comments deleted.

Dear boundarycondition,

can you please make archipelagourbanfarms's file for IKEA pot MUSKOT 7. 1/2' vaselid_v5 (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2403922/files) upgrade to be compatible with you model lock mechanism? Im finishing printing your nice model and would like to use it with alredy bouth MUSKOT. Thank you.

Modular Hydroponic System
Comments deleted.

IKEA Muskot Pot 7 1/2" Adapter is up!
Make sure the first print fits good then print the other 3.
For assembly instructions and BOM list I attached another picture.

thank you, printing on the go :)

YES! Great job, time to start printing!

one more question, is it 350 GPH 12V Submersible Mini Electric Water Pump okey for your prototype of 6 parts of 1/2/3 Planting Modules? not to much power?:)

I'll try to design another adapter in the coming days for the IKEA pot that you linked.
This particular water pump can handle probably 10 planting modules using full power. I tried with 5 modules and had to slow down the pump with a ~70% PWM signal to avoid splashing. I like if there is overhead in the design. 6 parts is definitely okay.
I designed a hose adapter for this water pump which converts its original 19 mm connector to 10 mm. I'll upload this too in case it's needed.
Unfortunately my printer is acting strange and screws up the modules so I can't finish this system.
Hopefully you and others upload pictures of your makes.

at this moment my progress is on photo:) im going to go print 2-3 more 2/3 Planting Modules in other color and then Jiffypots and caps.

Comments deleted.

thank you, then ill stop printing this remix https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3093004.

the author of original system used 80 GPH (300L/H, 4W) Water Pump for 3-4 parts, how i understand, I Never had before something like this, but i realy want to try :) maybe 8W = ~158 GPH would be enought for 6 parts i? can you help me with this?

Thank you, but i cant find the same water pomp in my country, so, ill make my own converter, when ill get my new water pump, but before i need to buy it :)

archipelagourbanfarms's water pump:
https://www.amazon.com/Homasy-Upgraded-Submersible-Water-Burning/dp/B078XQ3FCL/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1534013502&sr=8-15&keywords=hydroponic+pump

Remix of Modular Hydroponic System

100-200 GPH should be fine as long as the lift height (1.8m) is greater than the height of the tower. And as I can see you can lower the flow rate if it's too much. It's a win-win. I'd say go with 8W.

Comparing your meshes to the original I see you've done a lot of work and made some cunning improvements to the original geometry. Would you be willing to share the STEP (or similar vector format) files?

I can recreate but it takes a ridiculous amount of time. The problem is these are slightly too large for my Lulzbot Mini and I'd like to remix into a more compact size that anybody can print.

Looks great! Can't wait to see updated photos! All hail the 3d-printed free food revolution!

Thanks, your project really inspired me last year! I'm currently out of filament and money but I will print the whole system in this year. Until now I just printed the revised locking mechanisms to see if tolerances are good.

Awesome. You should try printing with PLA+. It almost looks injection molded. Cheers.

I have been in love with these towers for a few years, to be able to print one is exciting!! THANK YOU!!

Same here.

Never had the space but we just bought a new place so I dedicated a room to this that has some truly awesome natural light. Really jazzed to give it a try.

Same here! I'm proud to share excitement!