3D Printable Hydroponics Tower Support Structure




Introduction: 3D Printable Hydroponics Tower Support Structure

About: I'm a market gardener with an interest in automation and technology. I grow fruit and vegetables and am always looking for new ways to help grow better food.

This is an idea I have been working on for a while. It began as a vertical Gardening experiment so I could learn about hydroponics and now I just want to get it made and start growing. I wanted to make a Hydroponic Tower that uses waterfall effect to disperse water to plants held in the sides of the tower. I wanted to use as much recycled components as I could and try build the support structure from 3D printed parts. Unfortunately I do not own a 3D Printer at the moment but I decided to design the parts I would need anyway. Feel free to download the files or modify them in tinkercad.

Step 1: Tower Feet

The support structure is made from interconnecting poles that slide into each other. The feet are small rounded supports for uneven surfaces.

Step 2: Support Poles

The poles come in two types so far. The first level pole has a support for additional connecting parts to rest on and raise the height of connectors.

Step 3: First Connector

the first connector sits around the pole and rests on the expanded support near the top of the pole.

Step 4: Connector Strip

the connector strip bridges the connector on the outer poles with the central support hub. The strip has a wedge shaped slide connection for the pole connector and two L shaped clip in connections to attach to the hub securely.

Step 5: Central Support Hub

the central support hub connects the tripod together while also providing a resting point for the water cooler bottle. 

Step 6: Second Level Poles and Bottle Support Connector

the second level poles only differ from the first level poles in the position of the connector rest. Other than that they are identical to the rest of the leg poles. The Bottle Support connector slides onto the pole and rests on the expanded edge. The pronged braces support the water cooler bottle and prevent tipping.

Step 7: Prepare Bottle and Assemble

In my case I used a heat gun to make perfect 2 inch holes in the side of the bottle, I then cut the standing base off the bottle and flipped it over to create a bowl. I drilled multiple holes into the bowl near the edge of the circle piece. Check how far your net pots will fit inside the bottle before drilling holes, placement is important. Drill a larger hole in the center of the end piece and connect a pvc pipe, what ever fits your water pump. 

From here its a matter of placing the bottle spout into the central hub support, fixing the bottle into position with the support braces and connecting the central pvc pipe to a water pump in a reservoir under the bottle spout. 

The water should pump to the top bowl , fill and drain through the drip holes, rain down onto the net cups inside the bottle, flow out the spout and back into the reservoir.

Step 8: Modular Design Concept

I designed this so it can be used with one bottle or build up into a mega tower structure with multiple bottles, hubs and connectors. 

All the individual files can be downloaded from media fire here: http://www.mediafire.com/?7y4zci8xhace7te,71bc97ebglce8am,xabtd5kkhv49b2k,qu7ljs7d0icic2u,fz9ukh5m6po6uhr,j2agjql01fetdb4,kw6t2aiaq475g3n,jvnlsb5b7kj0p2c,hhuk96h8rytmopj,r60wm8ds68xioxs,64p14k98henca8l,vbphq4ummcm44ht,cvx3fa1m0qx3j1b,p3190l70ldldk1z,gh0ii6mw6sjv717,erwagvp4ozl1drm,niemr48kt7grerw,xwz9gb6bcjocwx6

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    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I used Tinkercad, https://tinkercad.com/, free browser cad software. very easy to use.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This would also work for as a conical fermenter stand for brewing beer


    9 years ago

    Nicely done!


    Thanks for the comments and ideas, working on a newer version at the moment.