Introduction: Extendable Home Garden Solution
The idea behind the design is to create a watering system for a home garden. The system can be customized to the space and needs of the user. This vertical garden is a space-saving solution for indoors and outdoors. It can be nailed against the wall or hung freely. The extendable rubber pots can be used for different sizes of plants. When the plant has grown there is no need to change the pot anymore! The rubber bag is going to stretch and become bigger under the weight of the plant and when more soil is added.
The sketches are made in Autodesk Sketchbook Designer. The 3d model is made in Autodesk 3ds max.
The first step is creating a wireframe basis for the clay model for the form of the pot. The wireframe is hung by a cord slightly lower than its highest point (you will see later why).
Use clay to create the mold around the wireframe. There are some differences in clays. You can buy one for making molds, but those usually have small stones inside. Make sure you keep it smooth in the end. The shape of the clay model should be slightly smaller than you want your actual model to become.
Painting with rubber
After the mold is finished it is painted with silicone rubber. The rubber is made from a 2 component (silicone) rubber mixture that you can easily order online. The two components should be mixed with a special thickener to make the mixture is paintable.
Let it dry
After painting the mold with the rubber mixture it should be left to dry (the time depends on the type of the rubber you used).
Take it off
While the model is still on the mold, a circle should be cut for the opening for the plants. The wireframe that sticks out of the mold at the top should be within the cut out circle. That allows the rubber shape of the flower pot to be taken off the clay form. For smoother surface the rubber shape can be turned inside out (depending on how good you made the clay model). After you remove the remaining rubber from the mold the mold can be used for the next rubber pot.
Connecting the system
The following step is to connect the flexible plastic pipe to the rubber shape. For that purpose a set of plastic funnels can be used. They can be painted in the color of the rubber, but it is not necessary as the funnels will be hidden inside the form. First a funnel should be placed inside the rubber bag, which will allow the plastic pipe to tighten on it, leaving the rubber ending squeezed between the funnel and the plastic pipe. To place the pipe tightly, its ending should be heated till it expands. That plastic pipe will be used to pass the water to the next flower pot, so make sure that the soil will not make it stuck. You can use a filter for that purpose, e.g. a coffee filter is good enough (depending on the size). To hang the pot on the wall you can nail through the rubber and the funnel at its top part.
The finished system can be hung on the wall and filled with soil. You can add a funnel at the very top of your system, so it’s easier to pour water. It is then ready to grow and nurture a house garden. It can expand and you can extend it anytime by adding a new pot with a connection pipe !