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13. Applications and implications

Hello there, welcome to the first week where we get to fully focus on our final project. In my case, I will be concentrating on the Smart Backyard Garden I proposed in the very first week of this year’s Fabacademy course.On this page I’ll answer the questions required for our weekly assignment.


  • Propose a final project masterpiece that integrates the range of units covered, answering:

  • What will it do?

  • Who’s done what beforehand?

  • What will you design?

  • What materials and components will be used?

  • Where will come from?

  • How much will they cost?

  • What parts and systems will be made?

  • What processes will be used?

  • What questions need to be answered?

  • How will it be evaluated?

  • Note : Your project should incorporate 2D and 3D design, additive and subtractive fabrication processes, electronics design and production, embedded microcontroller interfacing and programming, system integration and packaging.

My Masterpiece

This idea came when I stayed in a big city for some months. the thought of a smart greenhouse for urban settlers. So this is basically a greenhouse that is going to be controlled using a microcontroller, some sensors, light bulbs, water pump and a ventilation fan to cool down the greenhouse. These will measure and collect the data from the various sensors like the temperature sensors, moisture sensors, photo sensors. Which will then be used to produce the necessary weather conditions for healty plant growth.

What will it do?

For my final project I’m aiming to create:

A Smart Backyard Garden that will controll the neccesary elements for plant growth.

Many people in the urban cities have close to little or no space/land to grow some vegetables for their consumption and they seem busy enough to forget to water their little gardens.

So I’m creating/building a closed system that will monitor the temperature, humidity, light intensity and soil moisture content to keep the plants hydrated and cooled for optimum growth.

The Design

I kinda have been obsessed with the 8-sided polygon shape, so the cabin is an octagonal tube, with slot-shape cut through holes to allow sun light reach the plants and two circular holes on each end for ventilation.

There will be a bed where the pots or soil bed for the plants will be placed with irrigation tubes will run along them. Beneath this bed, there will be the water reservior and a submersible water pump responsible for the irrigation.

Who’s done what beforehand?

As part of the assignment, I had to make research on people who had done same or similar projects to mine across the Fabacademy network over the years. I came across the following pages and ideas:

  • There are systems inspired in Farmbot >> They are so “machine” concepts, I need something lighter for my users. _ Farming Machine, MTM, FabLab Egypt 2017

  • Systems that only manage data through sensors >> I want actions that I can control remotely, which are the real main problem. Claudio Pecere, FabAcademy15

  • Irrigation systems using water pumps >> I would like to avoid using this type of watering system, I have defined a water tank by gravity, and maybe (in the future) pick up rainwater (healthier for the plants). Lina Monaco,FabAcademy_2015

  • I like the one from Josefina Petrini, but it is only designed for a plant and I do not see it feasible for outdoor use. Or Luis Belmiro, FabAcademy 2015, Personal FabFarm, but it is based on raspberry pi and I would like to do my own PCB. _ I do not like farms based in hidrophonics systems like Maria Boavida, FabAcademy 2015: It needs to be always working by water movement. Or all-plants-toghether irrigation system as Suhas Labade, FabAcademy 2015. _ I find interesting the idea to charge the battery by sunlight.

What will you design?

2D and 3D DESIGN Computer aided design to: computer controlled cutting, machining and 3D printing:

  • The 2D and 3D designs for: Main structure, the electronics components housing, mini flower-pots .

  • If I could, design the water tank, too.

ELECTRONICS, INPUTS AND OUTPUTS Electronis design and production:

  • Two PCBs, one is the house the Inputs (Humidity and Temperature sensors, soil moisture sensor and photo resistor), the second PCB is my Output board (fan for ventilation, 12v water pump and a 16x2 I2C lcd screen)

PROGRAMMING Embedded, interface and Aplication programming:

  • For controlling all inputs, outputs and actions

What materials and components will be used?

Materials we have at the Lab for the main structure:

  • 1.5cm thick plywood will be used

for the electronic component housing:

  • PLA filament for 3D printing

for the electronic components output: - 12v dc fan

  • 12v submersible water pump

  • 16x2 I2C LCD screen


  • DHT22 temperature & humidity sensor

  • soil moisture sensor

  • photo resistor

  • PCB - work in progress

Where Will come from?

The plywood was purchased locally but the electronics where purchased on Amazon

How much will they cost?

material cost
plywood - 18$
12V dc fan - 2$
12V water pump - 4$
16x2 I2C LCD screen - 2$
DHT22 temperature & humidity sensor - 1.5$
soil moisture sensor - 1$
photo resistor - 0.5$


All the designed parts will be made in the lab except the pumps , the fans , the pipes , the electronics sensors and the standard items needed for the assembly.



In order to achieve the project goals some questions need to be answered:

  • Light quantity and duration.
  • Water quantity and period.
  • Soil mixture composition.
  • Ventilation and air quality.


The schedule will be divided into three parts: - The Design - The Production - The Assembly and Testing


First I need to finalize the design and set the exact dimensions of the structure with all the different parts. Then in parallel , I can design the 3D printed parts : the electronic housing , the ventilation duct , the water tank base. Once all the dimensions of the parts are clear , I can start designing the PCB Board.


Production of the Tray. Production of the 3D printed parts. Production of the PCB Board.


Assembly of the parts. Programming and testing. Installing the plants.


Prior to the execution of my project I will be setting some criteria in order to self evaluate the success or the failure of my project:

The project should meet the original purpose that was created for : Self Taking care of the plants and making them thrive. Simple and Minimalist Design : Focusing on the accessibility of the plants. Easy and Low maintenance system. The Idea itself: Will the people love the idea and willing to buy the product?

Last update: July 8, 2022