3D Printing Vertical Farms

3D Printing hydroponics sustainability

Developing sustainable cultivation technology is one of the biggest challenges facing Sustainable Living. The minds working in this field have taken this challenge head-on and have come up with some unique solutions.
Hydroponic Cultivation is utilized in several countries to meet the food demands of their populations.
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants without using soil (i.e., soil less). This technique instead uses a mineral nutrient solution in a water solvent, allowing the nutrient uptake process to be more efficient than when using soil.
We will be focusing on how 3D Printing can be used to develop a Passive Hydroponic System called Aeroponics which supplies a mist of nutrient rich water to the roots of the plants.
Generic Aeroponic System
Image Credits: Hydrobuilder.com
World's Advanced Saving Project (WASP) have built an Aeroponic System that utilizes a 3D Printed Tower a Holder for the plants. A WASP 3MT prints the Polypropylene (PP) tower modules.
Image Credits: WASP
PP is one of the most economical food-safe plastics and can be easily sourced. Also the surface finish similar to a lime-cement mixture can be obtained because of the nature of PP material .
Image Credits: WASP
The Polypropylene (PP) tower can accommodate 64 vegetable plants and consists of 4 assembled modules.
Image Credits: WASP
The shape of the tower is designed to provide efficient irrigation to all the plants. A circular feeding system significantly reduces the amount of water required to sustain the plants. These vertical farms can be arranged withing a greenhouse minimizing the amount of space and manpower required to cultivate veggies.
Image Credits: WASP
Certain plants can be grown indoors in a single tower system!
Check out this time lapse video of the crops going through their vegetative cycle.
With Climate change getting worse, droughts and the global population increasing, we are headed for a situation where sustainable farming will be the backbone of the global agricultural industry and Innovations like these can become the foundation to prevent a food shortage crisis.
-Milan

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