I added Version 3 with small spacers at the bottom to keep distance between bottom of the planter and the tray. In the V2 design water has a difficulty to reach the soil if the planter has holes only on the very bottom. But, I live V2 there because it can make sense if your plant doesn't need that much water. I guess. But I'm bad at plants.
I am a very bad plant mom, and I was planning to build a closed loop soil watering system, but that is still on my to-do list!
I remembered the trick my grandma used to provide fresh water for her chickens with an inverted bottle, and thought to do the same for our plants.
The bottle cap comes from dpruim, which worked for me flawlessly! Thank you.
Use a thick PET bottle (best are the 0.5 liter multi-use versions) which can tolerate a slight vacuum. If your country lacks the luxury of reusable bottles, try glass. You will have to experiment with the thread a little bit then. You should only print the cap until you dial in a good fit. If it leaks, try some PTFE tape.
For reference, my bottle is a half-liter reusable (Mehrweg) sparkling water bottle from Germany. The thread should be the same on most bottles tho. The bottle is unmodified.
In OpenSCAD you can tweak the diameter and the height of tray, also the pipe diameter, which will determine how high the water level is in the tray. Beware that very thin pipes won't work, I'd say 6mm diameter is the minimum! Also the longer the distance between the bottle and the tray, the bigger the minimum diameter should be.
(Customizer is broken, so you should download the file and open it in OpenSCAD.)
The plant itself is not part of the model, and must be bought IRL. :/
It is a Zamioculcas, if you're into that.
If you enjoyed this design of mine, please consider supporting me with a few coins: https://ko-fi.com/zoe1337 <83
New Splendid (?) PLA
Prints easily. I sliced with PrusaSlicer and used 3 perimeters. A bit of overextrusion makes sure it's watertight.
The top fill pattern is Archimedean Chords, bottom fill pattern is Octagram Spiral, looks very cool in light. 5 solid bottom and top layers (each).
Seam position is set to random.
Fill the bottle full with water. Use a thick walled one; the thin bottles can't withstand the vacuum an the autowaterer tray will not work as intended.
Turn the tray upside down and screw in the bottle. Do not overtighten; if it leaks, use PTFE tape on the bottle screw instead of breaking the print.
With the bottle installed, turn the tray upright. Water will flow into the tray as air bubbles enter the bottle through the horizontal pipe, until the opening of the pipe is covered with water. The water level should stop rising.
Place the plant into the tray. You don't need to wait until the water stops flowing, you can flip and forget.
The planter must have holes on the bottom, of course.
When the bottle is empty (1-2 weeks depending on the humidity and temperature), simply unscrew it, remove the plant, and repeat the process.