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Vertical Garden

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My name is Gemma Amendola Normington. I recently started working as an art/graphic arts teacher in Waterville, Washington. There are some crazy wild fires in Washington and the air pollution at certain times of the year can be quite terrible. I am currently working with the students to 3D print vertical gardens to help clean the air! There are some great ideas and designs to play with and we would like to work with the Agriculture department here to figure out the best plants to use. Those students would like to work with the elementary kids to help grow the plants from seeds. The vertical garden will be flexible when it comes to the design on the front and we could design the back so that it fits a hydroponic system. The students have started to learn all about the engineering and the biology involved in this type of project. We would also like to incorporate recycled plastic and research sustainable alternatives. Waterville is rural community and we have just started an Agriculture program at the school. This is going to tie in very well to their program as well. I have worked with Ultimaker in the past and I know they are a great company. I started working with them to make this a more global project and they were really helpful! We got the Ultimaker 2Go in the mail last week and we have started playing with some designs. We would like to make a hydroponic garden using a system of gutters. The Ultimaker 2Go is small so we have to do the planter parts in pieces but the printer does a nice job keeping things smooth so the pieces fit together really well. Here are some of the initial ideas we designed using Blender 3D software. We are currently working to polish up the design and get all the parts working together. I will keep you posted on the progress. Once we have the design down, we will share it for others to use. Any ideas or input you all have to help us improve the process would be welcome!

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plant idea 1a.jpg

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Depending on the amount you need, you might also consider casting them. First design and print an original, or a mould, and then cast as much as you need. Or a combination of both 3D-printing and casting. When casting, you could use other materials too like gypsum or concrete, which can be a bit porous for water and air. Depending on the application, this might be an advantage (allows irrigation, or removal of excess water), or a disadvantage (might leak).

 

Casting is a very educative process too for kids and teenagers, most like it. (Search on Youtube for lots of good mould making and casting videos.)

 

If it is a prototype system anyway, you might try as much different materails as possible, 3D-printed and casted, to see which works best.

 

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