While the creators of 3Dponics are looking for about $2,500, it isn’t really to start a business, they just want to start a community around their product. 3Dponics is completely open source and all of the 3D printable parts are available on Thingiverse for free. The real goal of their Kickstarter campaign is to help spread the word about their easy to use eco-friendly hydroponics system.
The concept of 3Dponics starts with an easy to use and open sourced hydroponics system that will allow you to turn almost any small space into a simple home garden using 3D printable parts and recycled materials. It can be used to grow fruits, veggies and even flowers. Because you’re using gravity and a small air pump, a 3Dponics system will cost you less than .01 cent a day to run, and should only cost you about $20 to build. You can learn more from their kickstarter video here:
If you’d like to set up your own hydroponic system your first step is to join the 3Dponics online community. Then simply download the 3D printable parts from Thingiverse and print them. If you don’t have access to a 3D printer you can either buy the parts directly from them, or contract someone from 3DHubs to print them for you.
Once you have your 3D printed parts, simply get a few empty 2 liter soda bottles, some zip ties, some clear air pump tubing and a fish aquarium air pump. If you have any problems setting the system up the 3Dponics community that you joined is full of people who have already built their systems and would be a wonderful resource to help you if you get stuck.
To get an idea of what the they will look like once they are assembled here is a brief video of several 3Dponics systems in place on an open air balcony:
Once you start growing food if you find that you have an excess amount of something the 3Dponics community will let you sell it at an online marketplace to local members of the community, or you can trade for or purchase their excess produce as well. The creators of 3Dponics also encourage their users to customize, improve or modify their designs and share them with the rest of the community. The system is currently optimised for growing crops like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuces, micro greens and herbs, but they hope that users will experiment with customizing the system for different types of crops.
Having never set up a hydroponics system I find myself very interested in trying this. It seems pretty easy to do, and because it waters itself I won’t have to remember to do it. Once I get my system set up and in place I will make sure that I post an update on how the system worked. I’d also love to hear from anyone who has tried the 3Dponics system, feel free to tweet me @sjgrunewald and share your experiences.
If you want to join the 3Dponics community you can go to their website and sign up. If you’d like to support their Kickstarter campaign they are still a few hundred dollars away from their goal and could use your help. And if you’d like to know more about 3dprintler you can visit them on their website.