Introduction: Growing Beyond Earth; Food Cube
This is a scale model of a space cube, 50cm, by 50 cm, by 50cm, used to grow plants.
It is completely 3D modeled and all work is an original by me.
I did this design in Tinkercad, an Autodesk 3d modeling software.
overall, I hope you like this design, and I hope it is useful for astronauts in the future.
mostly metals, electronics, and gasses that are hard to obtain by just a regular guy like me.
the moral: It's going to be expensive to make yo
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Step 1: Step 1 the Cube
make a steel cube, 45 cm by 45cm, by 45 cm.
easy as that, I think.
Step 2: Step 2: the Drum
make a black drum that is capable of spinning a complete 360-degree turn with ease. This allows astronauts easy access to the plants.
The drum needs to have rails on it because...
Step 3: Step 3; the Drawers
...you have to make drawers. Each drawer should fit on the rails and there should be four of them. This makes life easy when trying to access plants.
They need to be rounded on the bottom and contain dirt.
I added a NASA drawer handle to it because this is for NASA and It looks cool.
There needs to be a glass cover over the dirt, which leads us to step 4.
Step 4: Step 4; Glass Cover
The glass cover should fit snugly over the top of the drawer and should holes in the top for the plants to grow through, preferably one to one-half cm. apart.
Step 5: Step 5; Insert the Drawers
pretty self-explanatory just follow the picture.
Step 6: Step 6; H2o
Add the screw on the water containers to the four corners of the cube. These are easy to take out and put in so that they can be refiled. This is the main water source, so watch the water level carefully, but we will get to that later.
P.S. put water in them first.
Step 7: Step 7; Water System and Backup Batteries
Just in case you wanted to know how the water system works.
It is operated by a timer to water the plants through a soaker hose at the bottom of the drawers. it connects to the back so as not to conflict with the movement of the drum.
The batteries are not the main power source, it must be plugged in. The batteries are to keep the light, which we will get to, going during a power shortage or some other inconvenience. The estimated battery life is 3 hours.
Step 8: Step 8; Co2
Otherwise known as carbon dioxide. These tubes are replaceable, but trying to refill them in space is a pain, so they are not the main system for co2 but rather a backup source, or to cause a plant to experience photosynthesis during a co2 shortage. the lids screw on and off so that the whole thing doesn't have to be removed every time a refill is needed.
LET ME REPEAT; THIS IS NOT THE MAIN SOURCE OF CO2, THAT MUST COME FROM ELSEWHERE.
Step 9: Step 9; Oxygen
Its the same concept as co2, except it is not co2, it is oxygen. Both the oxygen and the co2 containers vent straight into the drum without needing to be connected to anything but the back wall. This prevents them from interfering with the drum's ability to spin.
AGAIN I MUST REPEAT, THIS IS NOT THE MAIN SOURCE OF OXYGEN. HOWEVER, IT SHOULD LAST AT LEAST A FEW DAYS IF NOT AN ENTIRE WEEK.
Step 10: Step 10; the Uv Light
Since plants need uv light I put a uv light in with them. Since it is in the middle all the plants will grow to the middle. Easy enough.
Step 11: Step11; the Door and Water Meter
The water meter tells you how much water is in the h2o containers. If it is low refill them.
If you recall we made the cube only 45 inches on each side, this was to allow for the batteries and water pipes in the back, and also for the door.
The door has tracks on the sides and operates like a small handheld garage door. This saves a lot of space since you would need double the space to have clearance for a door that opens. Making the door airtight is a good plan because if something went wrong and the place where the cube was depressurized, the plants would still have oxygen and water and would not die.
Again I put the NASA symbol on because its cool.
Step 12: Step 12; Plant the Plants
I mean it would defeat the whole purpose if you didn't put any plants in it. plant something reasonably small, because if you plant something too big, you won't have any room, duh, but if someone considered planting pumpkins in it they would be in for a big surprise, so I thought I would include that last statement anyway.
Step 13: Step 13; Take It to Space
Hope you liked it, and I hope someday it makes it to space to help out those brave astronauts who risk their lives for science instead of sitting at a computer making designs and Instructables all day, like me!
Runner Up in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest