LaserCut Application and Implications

Description of the project

Every day, every one of us eats genetically modify food, for these reasons there's a lot of people around the world looking for a “clean” alternative or technology to get healthy food. This specific and personal interest makes that most of the people with that vision wants to grow their own food, cause that's allow you to know every process around what you're eating.
These visions it calls now clean food movement and shows up in different ways: - urban farming groups - community garden clubs - organizations promoting local food - farmer markets. - show up in slow food community.

Technical Information

Fab Academy Barcelona Class No.17
Assignament: Application and Implications
By Robert Garita

    What will it do?

    The main idea for the FabAcademy final project is to design a mechanical system based on the “CoreXY” philosophy and theory. This system will be interactive using electronic devices which controls the movemets of the two axis system (X and Y). This system can optimize the functionality of my project, using less motors and providing a simple but optimum and integrate pulling mechanism.
    The idea of the mechanism is to be implemented and attached to a “passive hydroponics system” which is an easy and a cheap way to start a small farming project. This mechanism provides to the “user” the possibility to localize the position of each plant into the hydroponic system and regulate by a timer when the mechanism changes from one point to another.
    This FabAcademy final project is the first stage for a more complex idea that pretend to introduce several outputs like water supply, light + sound + humidity sensors and what of the most important things a PMM nutrient dispenser.

    Who's done what beforehand?

    There's three good examples about how to improve a hydroponic system using different mechanics, devices and electronics. I chosethe best three projects related with the hydroponic topic and idea and also part of the main references of my personal research, most of these “solutions” means a huge investment or even worst impossible to afford it for somebody who ones to start joint the slow food movement.
    1.) The first one is “Windowfarms” How Does it work?
    Nutrient -spiked water is pumped up from a reservoir at the base of the system and trickles down from planter to planter, wetting the roots along the way. Roots sit, not in the soil, but in a “Root Nest” made of coconut hair, rice hulls. Is a very interesting system but limited in the way that you can just use it in one column, so if you have a lot of plants in different columns you have to provide each one with a water pump suppliers, that makes the project not efficient and expensive at the same time – one column price: 200 USD – 4 columns price: 400 USD.
    2.) The second one is a hydroponic kit named open garden “Open Garden” that provides to the “users” the possibility to evaluate the behavior of their hydroponic system It has a general controller and several sensors making the system responsive but again expensive because you need those sensors in every single plant, so if you want to start your local and small “farm” project you need to start also with a big investment, each kit cost around 432 Euros.
    3.) And the final one, my favorite, is the open source system “Farmbot” too complex and expensive again the do it your self concept and again no adaptable for for a homemade system.

    What materials and components will be required?
    What processes will be used?
    Where will they come from??

    The process of my project is the first thing to talk about it. The process or tecniques implemenetd in my project will be: Electronics + 3D Printing + Machine Mechanism, for those process I need to design the shields for my electronics based on the fabduino and the hellostepper with the propose of manipulate and move two PAP bipolar 24V 600MA stepper motors whichs will be the responsables of the interaction of the all system and mechanism. For these mechanism every pulling piece will be desing with Rhino and then printing every single piece with the Makersbot 3D Printer and using PLA plastic.
    The passive hydroponic system I will do it using recycled materials.
    Most of the materials are provided for the Fab Lab Barcelona inventory.

    How much will it cost?

    Right now my budget is around 60-70 Euros including all the preview materials that I described. Now I am still fixing some pieces and improving the amount of material and pieces to make the all the system works.

    What parts and systems will be made?

    My system is bades in 3 techiques, electronics, and a integrate pulling system.
    For every single pices my goal is to desing every single pieces, staritng for the 3d moldes of the pulling system using Rhino as a proncipal system and then using tge 3d printer a will 3d print eveything. All the shields for the electroncis are based in the assgmanets of output devices, input devices and so far son mi gonna mix most of the to provides the interaction motion to my system. I will use arduino for programing.

    What tasks need to be completed?

    For my final project the main task is to control the mechanism and make the localization system to each plant and the timer for it, given the posibility of get a chep, easy and multiscale system.

    What questions need to be answered?

    f somebody wants to start with a simple (passive) hydroponic system, cheap and easy to do it, but at the same time one of the problems is the time you must devote to the system (especially if you have aspecific work, trip, etc.) to be successful and get the expected results, my project provides a simple, fast and cheap system that you can attached to a homemade hydroponic system getting the possibility to improve your local environment through the control and timing of every single plant.

    How will it be evaluated?

    It will be evaluated as the first stage of a simple and cheap solution of a mechanism but with a lot of potential to be developed forward, and how you can attach and use it in different scales to improve your local hydroponic system depending of what do you want to produce.