A Flat Packed Growbox for in or outdoor use.
The main goal for the prototype was to use as less materials as possible to cut costs and the ease of assembly or dissassembly.
The Growbox was designed for a flat pack assignment at Howest - Industrial Design Center.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- Meranti plywood size 45 x 90 cm (for two; 45 x 45 cm for one): Thickness 8 mm
- High quality Lycra fabric (minimum the same size as the plywood; can be bigger, to tuck away the groundsheet)
- Waterproof groundsheet 100 x 75 cm
- LDPE Climafilm (this will come in bigger sizes than you need)
- A length of synthetic cloth (band ribbon) to stich to the Climafilm
- A length of 4mm Stainless steel rod (approx 3m)
- Acces to a lasercutter
- A Printer
- A Sewing machine & thread
- Clear tape
- A vise
- A rim (preferably not bigger than 16")
- Two clamping screws
- A cutoff wheel (bolt cutters or a saw to cut the stainless steel rod will also be fine)
Step 2: Lasercut the Plywood & Assemble the Baseplate
Download the Zipfile for the lasercut template (I included an .Ai and .dxf file - so you can't miss if the laser software doesn't accept one of either formats.)
If your only going to make one, delete the lines of the second unit beforehand!
First test your laser settings on a leftover piece of plywood.
It took some tries but I ended up with running the laser 2 times on 2/3 of full power in settings for an 8mm piece of birch plywood.
When ready dont forget to gather all your pieces!
You can start by assembling the two bottom halves of the growbox
afterwards attach the piece of Lycra to the baseplate. This is done by reinserting the bars in their slots with the lycra in between. These bars provide ample clamping force and this way we avoid having to use screws.
If you're getting exited to put the bottom half in the baseplate, wait! step back and get a drink first to cool down.
Our plants will want some water too... since the Lycra isn't waterproof we first have to make a cup they can drink out of.
Click for the next step
Step 3: Templates, Templates, Templates...
In order to hold the water we serve, we first have to make a cup for our plants
I included another zipfile with some templates
Get out your scissors, clear tape and go find a printer.
The instructions for the templates are found on the print outs
- Cut out the lower template in the waterproof groundsheet x4
- Cut out the Upper templates in the Climafilm x4
Protip: print out all the templates twice and use the clear tape to stick the second one, in mirror image, to the first one.
Step 4: Putting the Pieces Together
When you're all done cutting out all the - dare i say it? - Templates
It's time to start sewing.
If you don't have experience with a sewing machine or if you're just scared to screw up all your cutting work, you can always ask your mom, grandma, aunt or... you can just man up and do it yourself. It's really easy!
(don't worry) When I made the templates i accounted for some error margin...
(The groundfoil has about 1cm error margin; the climafilm about 6mm give or take. This is needed to sew the pieces together)
- Lay two identical halves of the groundfoil on top of each other (don't sew the top halves to each other!)
- Start by aligning the edge of the groundfoil with the egde of the foot of the sewing machine as shown in the picture. Remember to go back and forth once for about one cm when starting or ending a new seam. This makes sure the seam doesn't unravel.
- First attach two pieces to each other, then do the same for the other two.
- when finished lay the four pieces on top of each other and stitch everything together in one motion.
Now follow the same steps for the Climafilm. Only this time stitch a nice piece of band ribbon around the seam. to cover up the stitching.
When you're done add a nice piece of decorative ribbon on top to remove the cover easily.
The end result should look something like the last picture.
Step 5: Curving the Stainless Rod
When you look at your baseplate you can see 4 little holes, one in every corner.
These are for your Climafilm frame
Use a vise to hold the rim you chose. The diameter doesn't really matter because the stainless rod will expand anyway. We use the rim to get a nice and even bend.
First measure 124.5cm and make a mark on the rod. Then make a new measurement of 125.5cm.
(the difference in length is to account for one rod passing above the other one when crossing the center section).
Clamp one side of the rod down, on top of the rim, using one of the two screw clamps.
Now wind the rod nice and tight around the rim. Do this for the entire length.
Use the second clamp to hold the rod into place when you go and get your cutoff wheel.
Remove the clamps and cut where you marked the rod.
Step 6: Final Assembly
Take the bottom half and put it in the waterproof cup.
Now put the cup and bottom on top of the baseplate
Hold one side of the base plate up and push the bottom half down with a scooping motion.
The edges of the bottom half will nest in the cut-outs of the baseplate.
Insert the two lengths of stainless rod and finally cover it up with the Climafilm.
*Dont forget to add soil and plants