Introduction: IDC Planter 01


The required demands :


We have chosen MDF with water resistance and coated in waterproof paint for extra protection against accidental splashes.

Simple interface

Only interaction will be the on-off button and the maintenance for the plants itself, no other interactions are required. So, it is boiled down to the bare minimum.

As much as possible automatic

Same reasoning as the previous statement, everything is automatic expect for the power and the plant maintenance itself.

Promote plant growth

By making the days inside the planter go faster, the plants will grow faster than on the normal hours of the day.


3D printer

Provided STL’s

A lot of time

A lot of filament

Hole saw Ø80mm

Mounting screws

Ø4mm – 16mm x9

Ø3mm – 25mm x6


DIN625-6001-2RS-C3 x4


Cement glue

Laser cutter

Acrylic plate

Sheet of PP

Waterresistant MDF

We bought a sheet of 244 x 122

Insulated copper wire


Power strip


Foot switch

Step 1: Design

As designers it is very important to us that we explain some of the steps on how we got here.

To start with we used keywords divided into smaller ones to aid us and used points & colour to decide how important one is.

Each of these keywords had influence on our project, we did this by using every word to sketch some ideas and give the words within the group.

This way nobody was stuck on a single subject and we got feedback.

Based on these sketches we each build our own version of the planter in CAD before we decided on a final design.

Until we got our final overall design on the planter.

Step 2: Frame Assembly

The frame itself in build of 7 MDF plates, 4 sides, 2 sloping and one final top slate.

Using a tablesaw we cut the plates to the correct dimensions.

In one of the pictures we are holding them together to get a rough idea of the final look.

The original MDF slab is 244 x 122.

By cutting out pieces as seen in the pictures, we get a planter with the following dimentions:

Depth of 53 cm

Width of 84 cm

Height of 52 cm

All the panels were glued together and nailed in place.

Now we got the basis on the box, we can go ahead and screw on the hinge for the door. By simply putting 12 screws you can make a strong highe to support the door and so it can rest on top of the planter. That way you don’t have to hold it open or rely on any other mechanism to support it.

This will give the user easy acces to the plants inside.

Step 3: LÄMP Mounting and Rotation


3D printer

Provided STL’s

A lot of time

Hole saw Ø80mm

Mounting screws

Ø4mm – 16mm x9

Ø3mm – 25mm x6


DIN625-6001-2RS-C3 x4


Step 4: Printing and Preparations

The entire mechanism is 3D printed so you might want to start the prints

as soon as possible.


Bull Gear Stack x1

Drive Gear Stack x1

Drive Gear Attachment x1

Lamp Holder x2

Lamp Axis Extension x2

Spacer x1

So, start up your printer and we will move on to the preparations.

The first thing to do is drill the holes for the Lamp Holders.

Use the 80mm hole saw and drill holes in the side plates, preferably in the centre and 15cm down measured from the top of the plate.

For the next step we have to take end plates of the lamp. The screws they used are security torx T10. You can keep the end plates, but we won’t be needing them anymore.

Step 5: LÄMP Assembly

Now that the prints are ready, we can start the assembly.

Firstly, we will assemble the lamp axes.

The Lamp Axis Extension part has a cut-out for the cable. It is very important that this cut-out is positioned facing the diffusion panel. This is important for later.

These parts can be screwed down using the long M3 screws.

Next up are the Lamp Holders. These have a large hole in the middle. Insert one of the bearings in this hole. This way the lamp can turn smoothly.

Now that the lamp and the holders are ready, we can insert them into the frame.

1. Put the lamp in the holes.

2. Slide the holders onto the Axis Extensions. The round power connector should be able to fit trough the bearing hole.

3. Push the holders in the large holes we drilled.

4. Before you start predrilling the screw holes make sure the flat side on the back is levelled on the top of the lamp. These flat sides hold the lamp cap for the “night time”.

5. Now you can screw in the screws.

In our version we couldn’t do this since we borrowed the lamp. But you might want to shorten the cable so the round power plug spins alongside the lamp. This way the cable won’t be torqued as much.

Step 6: Gears for Years

The gear assembly requires some attention and explanation.

The way these gears work is quite simple. Both gears have two layers. These layers consist of a small and a large gear.

Normally a setup like this will rip itself apart but in this case our Bull Gear has cut-outs. This way we get a variable speed transmission. This makes our “night” shorter by moving faster.

Now we can move on to the assembly.

Before we place the Bull Gear, we have to place the Spacer on the Lamp Axis.

After the spacer we can place the bull gear on the Axis. This is where the positioning of the Lamp Axis Extension comes into play. The Bull Gear has a position lock that matches up with the cut-out in the Lamp Axis Extension. The fit-up might be a little tight depending on your print accuracy.

The next step consists of inserting the two remaining bearings in the drive gear. This will allow it to rotate freely with minimal play.

Now we can place the Drive Gear on the Drive Gear Attachment. In this case we don’t need the spacer since it was already modelled in.

Now we can attach it directly below the Bull Gear. It is important to make sure the teeth mesh. The cut outs in the Drive Gear are there so you can drive in the screws while the gears are meshing.

Due to time constraints and the current COVID-19 pandemic we weren’t able to test with motors, speed adjustments and transmission gears.

Step 7: Plantbed



Provided STL’s

A lot of time

A lot of filament

Cement glue

Laser cutter

Provided Illustrator files

Acrylic plate

Plate of PP

Step 8: Print

All of the plant bed legs are printed so this is the best thing to begin with.

You need to print 4 legs per bed. We needed 2 beds, so we printed 8

The print was also done with a 1mm nozzle because you can print faster, and it is stronger. You will need some cleanup on the slots because it was printed without support.

Step 9: LAZOAR Cutting

We are going to cut the acrylic into shape and cut holes in them with the laser cutter.

We made the plates in CAD first and then exported them to a DXF so we could
edit them in Adobe Illustrator.

The top panel needs to be cut twice, once in acrylic and the other on PP these are the two top layers.

The bottom panel has a different hole structure then the top 2 panels this improves the root adhesion. This file also needs to be cut out of an acrylic plate.

Step 10: Plantbed Assembly

Now we are going to glue the bottom plate to the legs. Make sure this is the correct plate. (some glues are harder to remove than others.)

U can use any glue you want. We used contact cement because regular superglue doesn't stick to pla very well.

Step 11: Root Adhesion, the Spaghett

We are going to take some extruded PLA that we recycled from Failed prints and tangled spools and heat it up with a heat gun, so it becomes mouldable, then mould it until it fits in between the two acrylic plates.

Please make sure there is enough space in between the strands to let the roots grow through it.

Step 12: Final Countdown

Now put the 2nd layer on then the substrate layer and then the pp toplayer. Before we are ready to place it in the tub we have to place the mistmaker in the water. Now you can place the plantbeds in the tub.

Please note that the water should barely reach abobe the bottom acrylic layer.

Step 13: AC/DC But It's All DC


Insulated copper wire


Power strip


Foot switch


To deliver the power to your planter, you’ll need a source.

A power strip is great way to distribute energy to multiple planters, because of their low power consumption the fuse wouldn’t have a problem.

The start on the cable is provided together with the lamp, and it has a transformer on it to change the 230V AC into 12V DC.

Step 15: In Control

While your hands are busy with the plants, you still want easy access to the controls, or should I say control, because there is only one. An on-off switch on the floor. This way you can control the power with a tap of the foot and so your wet hands don’t come in contact with a switch.

Procedure is simple, you open the switch and follow the cavities for the cables, the L1 goes into the switch itself so it can be interrupted.

Step 16: Let There Be Light!

Of course, every plant needs its sunlight, what better way to give it then through mix of white and UV LED’s?

In a previous step we put together
the assembly for the lamp so now we only need to plug it in.

Step 17: The Motor

Due to time constraints and the current COVID-19 pandemic we weren’t able to test with motors, speed adjustments and transmission gears.

Does this mean failure? No, think of it as a challenge to test and see what you can come up with. For now, we have provided you with the stl of a hand crank to test out our gears.

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