Grow Your Own Produce Indoors with Avooq’s 3D Printable Aquaponics System

Being a native New Yorker, the ideas of farming and sustainable living were foreign concepts for a long time. Over the past few years, however, I have seen an increase in urban farming and sustainable living projects. Now, Australia-based design company Avooq has released Casaqua, a free 3D printable aquaponics system. Now, anyone with a 3D printer can begin to grow a variety of produce in the comfort of their home.

Avooq’s 3D Printable Aquaponics System two views

For those who don’t know, aquaponics is an ancient system that dates back as far as the Aztec civilization. It combines aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (growing plants in water). According to Avooq, “The patent pending CascaquaTM – Cascading Aquaponics System is a closed loop ecologically balanced system that combines the cultivation of plants without soil and the cultivation of fish (hydroponics and aquaculture).  It is essentially a mini ecological system where the plants care for the fish and the fish care for the plants symbiotically.”

details of Avooq’s 3D Printable Aquaponics System

The closed loop system works in 8 steps:

  1. Feed the fish.
  2. The fish excrete waste in the form of ammonia.
  3. Bacteria converts the ammonia, first into nitrites, and, then, into nitrates (nutrients).
  4. The nutrient rich water is then pumped to the top of the cascade grow bed system.
  5. The nutrient rich water trickles down through the cascade grow bed system.
  6. As the water trickles down, some of the water passes through the plant roots.
  7. The roots take up the nutrients, filtering the water.
  8. Clean water trickles back into the water, oxygenating the water for the fish.

Avooq’s 3D Printable Aquaponics System 3d views

Once it is set up, Casaqua requires very little maintenance. The water only needs to be topped as it evaporates. A variety of plants, herbs, and vegetables can be grown in an Aquaponics system, though herbs and leafy greens tend to grow the best. According to Avooq, this is the most natural method of growing organic produce, as it doesn’t require chemicals. It is also an effective filtration method of filtration for a fish tank.

Avooq’s 3D Printable Aquaponics System from aboveThe entire Casaqua system consists of 10 3D printable parts and non three non-printable parts that include: preferably, a 270 mm fish bowl, a 300L/hr submersible pump, and an 8mm O.D. flexible tube. The cascading tower of grow beds is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Avooq recommends that the Casaqua system be printed in ABS plastic with a layer height of .15mm and supports at 10 degrees. Total print time should take about 8 hours.

The Casaqua looks like a unique and useful project. I love to cook and have always wanted to try my hand at growing my own herbs; now, this gives me a new, practical 3D printing project. In addition to the Casaqua, Avooq has a number of beautifully designed and functional projects on their website and I highly recommend checking them out.