Through a combination of 3D printed parts and recycled bottles, 3Dponics is offering an open source, wirelessly controlled hydroponics system for home gardeners.
For less than a penny a day, you can grow your own fresh, organic foods. As an added bonus, Michael Golubev, the inventor of the system, says you'll be helping out the environment by recycling plastic bottles and reducing food waste.
Golubev is the founder and CEO of 3Dprintler Inc., an Ottawa-based 3D printing company, and he loves "trying out new technologies and thinking of innovative applications for them."
Based on a set of simple components which are 3D printed or easily sourced locally (like an aquarium air pump and air pump tubing), the parts add up to an "Internet-Enabled Hydroponics System," and that's pretty cool. Working off an Odroid-U3 setup, Golubev says gardeners will be able to monitor their plants via live video streaming, turn the 3Dponics system on or off via an Android or iOS app, monitor nutrient levels in real time, and review all of the data in an easy-to-read and meaningful format.
And how about this? The developer says the setup is also fully capable of monitoring local weather forecasts to schedule the watering system accordingly.
Golubev says he and his team have spent almost two years conceptualizing and testing the 3Dponics system, and they've set up a Kickstarter campaign to take the system to the marketplace.
But it's not all about the money. Golubev notes that his 3Dprintler Inc. team has their own web development, social media, content and marketing team.
"What we need most (even more than money) is social backing, which is why we thought Kickstarter would be the perfect way to launch our idea," Golubev says.
As part of the package, Golubev says 3DPonics has partnered with 3D Hubs (the world's largest network of 3D printers) to output the necessary parts for those without a 3D printer. 3D Hubs boasts more than 2,500 printing locations across 80 countries, so it's pretty likely that one of them will be near you.
For a pledge of roughly $465, you'll get the complete 3Dponics kit, access to an online 3D printing course and "a special, 3D-printed gift." The estimated delivery date for the systems is September, 2014.
You can see a live feed of the system here.