My inspiration for this product was the puzzle bowls that are used to slow the feeding rates of dogs. I thought this would work, as it would slow the rate at which resources are distributed, as well as allow for more than one plant to be placed within the same containment unit without having to worry about their roots strangling each other.
- 3D printer
- Blueprints for a maze
- Plant pillows
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Step 1: Designing the Maze
The idea for the maze came for several different reasons. The first being that it would slow the rate at which plants got their resources. The second being that it would help control the direction of the growth of the roots, as well as allowing for multiple plants to be within the same holder without the risk of roots strangling each other.
The first step of designing the maze would be measuring the diameter of the plants' roots. This would allow for the width and height of the maze's walls to be customized to each plant to ensure the best growth for them. Next, a maze would be constructed in a circular pattern. Across the whole bottom of the maze would be NASA's plant pillows that are an agar that allows for the slow release of nutrients to a plant over a long period of time. Once the dirt and the plant were placed in, along with water. A membrane would be placed on top of the dirt and secured to ensure that nothing escaped from the containment unit. The unit itself would fit the standards.
Step 2: The Light
Each unit would have walls built around the maze. At the top of the walls would be a light that best suits the particular plant. Warm red lights for flowering plants, and cool blue for vegetative growth. The reason for each unit to have its own light, would be so that the plants do not grow into each other, but instead maintain an upward trajectory, so that they would not get entangled with each other, as they would in an open system.
This is an entry in the
Growing Beyond Earth Maker Contest