Introduction: IDC-PLANTER: Indoor Hydroponic Box


We are a group of industrial design engineering students from Belgium. For our engineering course, we had to make an open-ended-design low-end test rig so you can test different variables.

Our test rig is with spinach but you can also use arugula or corn salad. We will explain in a few steps how we made our hydroponic test rig.

Step 1: Tools and Materials


- 2x concrete plywood 500x300x18 mm

- 2x concrete plywood 300x350x18 mm

- Screws M3x12

- Wood glue

- Solder

- Nail clips diameter 7mm

- PMMA 286x380x3 mm

- Rivet 4 mm

- Rivet 2,5 mm

- Steel sheet (back) 500x286x2 mm

- Steel sheet (top) 420x286x2 mm

- 4x piano hinges

- Arduino UNO

- 8x wood dowel pins

- Relay shield Quatro

- Full-spectrum grow light

- Mini aquarium pump

- 2x fan DC

- plastic box 315x200 mm

- 12v battery

- Sensor DHT11

- cups

- cocos tabs

- spinach, arugula or corn salad seeds


- Soldering iron

- Clamp screw

- Drill

- Drill bits diameter 4 , 2,5 mm and 8 mm

- Rivet gun

- Counter sink bit

- Screw driver

- Universal pliers

- Side cutters

- Folding gauge

- Masonry drill bit diameter 40 mm

Step 2: Preparing the Wood

In this step, you need to drill holes for the wood dowel pins. You can see in the drawings where they should come. (drill bit D 4mm and masonry drill bit D 40 mm)

Step 3: Assembling the Wooden Pieces

You have to put the wood dowel pins into the holes in the concrete plywood. Then you attach the top and the bottom on the other wooden pieces. Don't forget to put wood glue on the sides (where the holes are) of the bottom and top pieces.

Step 4: Preparing the Steel Sheet

Drill holes in the steel sheet with the drill bit D 2,5 mm and one in the left corner of the backplate with a drill bit of D 8 mm.

Bend the steel sheet, with the measurements 420x286 mm, like in the drawing.

Step 5: Attaching the Steel

Take the backplate and attach it with screws on the wood. Now take the bent steel sheet and connect the piano hinges with the rivets. Then you connect the other side of the hinge at the backplate.

Step 6: PMMA

Drill holes in the PMMA with the drill bit of D2,5 mm. After that, you fasten the piano hinges with the rivets on the PMMA. Now screw the other side of the hinge onto the wood at the bottom.

Step 7: Electricity

First, you take the electrical wire and insert it through the hole at the bottom left of the metal sheet. Then through the hole above it. After that, you take the wire into the junction box. Take the wire of the power strip through the junction box and connect the 2 wires

Step 8: the Lamp

Put the lamp holder through the hole in the top wood plate and secure it. Now you can screw in the lamp. Plug the socket in the power strip.

Step 9: the Pump

Now we can take the pump. Put it with the other electronics take the tube en put it through the same hole where the electrical wire comes out.

Step 10: the Rest of the Electronics on Top

Put the 12v battery on the left side, this is for the fans. Place one fan at the top left and the other one on the right. Now you have to connect the battery with the fans.

Place the Relay shield 4 Quattro on the right side and connect it with the lamp and the pump. You also have to program the Relay shield 4 Quattro. (the file is the Arduino code)

To keep the wires en tubes in place u have to use the nail clips D 7 mm.

Step 11: Final Touch

For the final step, you have to take the plastic box. Fill it with water and put the tube from the pump in the water. After that, you have to take the little cups and place them in the holes. Put the cocos tabs in the cups and put your seeds in each one of the cocos tabs.