Feb.2, 2015 | By Simon

It comes with little surprise that among those who have adopted 3D printing into their day to day life have been coming from those who are already in some way or another self-reliant...including those who prefer to harvest their own food.  Among others, Natural News - a natural health and self-reliance website - recently announced their 3D printing farm which will be used for creating inventions centered around growing food.   

3Dponics, a startup focused on 3D printable hydroponics systems, has been doing something similarly in the realm of a customizable plant-growing ecosystem that uses 3D printed parts.  The plant growing method, which utilizes nutrients in water rather than traditional soil, has been a hot topic recently due to its ability to produce food indoors in controlled environments.   

Today, 3Dponics announced that through utilizing MakerBot’s MakerBot-Ready application platform, they have successfully created their own Customizer app that allows users to design and 3D print their own custom hydroponic garden systems using the 3Dponics design library.   

The application seems like a perfect fit for the MakerBot-Ready application platform, which focuses on helping develop apps that make it easy for users to create 3D content that can be printed on their 3D printer.  Other applications include cookie cutters and smartphone cases, among others.  

With the 3Dponics Customizer App, an existing 3Dponics user will be able to change the shape, size and orientation of their 3Dponics system parts.  For new users, the app will help them become more familiar with the system as well as how hyrdoponic systems work in general.  

“When you build this open-source system, whether you print the original parts or design your own, you take on a project that doesn’t require existing skill or experience in 3D printing,” said 3Dponics in their announcement.  “You learn lessons in sustainability, science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and even 3D design.”

To use the app, a user simply downloads it to the device of their choice (iOS, OS X, Windows, Windows Phone, and Android).  Once it is installed, an intuitive interface allows for the user to modify the original designs for the 3Dponics parts (the conduit, silencer and drip nozzles) to their liking.  Because the part dimensions have already been pre-determined, a user doesn’t have to worry about the final part fitting to their 3Dponics system.  Once the user has finished their part, they simply save the file, launch the MakerBot-Ready Apps portal and hit print.    

In creating a 3D printable hydroponics system, 3Dponics aims to be an eco-friendly, energy efficient company that helps users create their own customizable hydroponics growing system indoors.  Thanks to their new partnership with MakerBot, they anticipate more MakerBot users will build 3Dponics and learn new skills that they hope will help shape tomorrow’s gardens and workforce of STEM-trained professionals.     

To try the 3Dponics Customizer App for yourself, head over to 3Dponics.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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