“How to create a 50cm cube with all necessary features and use 3-dimensional space to grow plants.
On June 17, 2019 I published my last Instructables about the Card Scanner. Full of motivation and anticipation I was already thinking about the final concept to bring all three parts (1, 2, 3) together.
But then I came across the GBE: Maker Contest, which started on June 14th. Immediately the Trading Card Machine moved into the far distance. All my thoughts revolved around this topic. There was no room for other ideas or projects. Even in everyday life, everything changed. The subject of Space was everywhere. I saw films and series on this theme and read all kinds of books about it.
In short, I was totally hyped.
The main motivation was:
Such a cool topic
Challenging to learn many new things.
Completely new territory.
Creating a project according to the specifications of others.
But at the same time, it also meant a lot of work. As you can read in this Instructable, there were also some problems and difficulties. In some cases, they could be solved, bypassed by a plan B or unfortunately had to be skipped completely.
Future requirements were on the agenda right from the start. How can the system be automated and robotized? (The End)
A brief explanation of what I’ve built:
My low-pressure fogponics system provides lighting, water, nutrient delivery, and air ventilation to 33 small or 11 mid-size plants. They can grow in XYZ direction. The temperature, humidity, and air around the system is used for photosynthesis. It contains grow lights CRI 85 Ra with 260-1300 mol (PPFD) (theoretical) and a 0.7 l reservoir. Any liquid or technical equipment to ensure this is contained in the 500x500x500mm chamber. Only 230V (at the moment) and potable water are required.
Totally in space fever, a cool name should not be missing. :) One night “HOPE” came to mind and I think it fits quite well. Hydroponic Operated Plant Environment
But now enough of the introductory words.
Here we go…
In this Instructable, I want to show you - How to create a 50cm cube with all necessary features and use 3-dimensional space to grow plants.
One last thing. While still in hype mode, I packed this article with everything that was possible.
If you are only interested in the key aspects, you can find them here:
General and Functional Description
What to do?
What are the requirements for this project:
Adhere to the volumetric constraints (a 50cm cube)
Contain all necessary features for plant growth (light, water, etc.)
Use 3-dimensional space in an inventive and effective manner
For comparison, I also took a closer look at Veggie:
Veggie provides lighting, water and nutrient delivery for plant growth. It utilizes the cabin environment for temperature control and a source of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Veggie contains a large adjustable light emitting diode (LED) light bank and a reservoir that supplies water via capillary action to root pillows contain substrate, nutrients and seeds. Water is administered on-orbit to initiate seed germination and periodically added throughout the growth cycle until the vegetables are harvested.
high growth volume
low mass, power and crew time-requiring
support a variety of experiments (microgravity)
provide real-time psychological benefits
Light Commission 100-500 mol (PPFD) with Red (630 nm), Blue (455 nm) and Green (530 nm)
Cabin Air Fan Settings: Low / High / Off
Baseplate Footprint: 29.2 cm x 36.8 cm
Maximum Height: 47.0 cm empty; 41.9 cm with root mat
The reservoir is designed to hold up to 2 L of water”