STEP 1: Download digital files
If you have a 3D printer, you can download the digital files for the key components (drip nozzle, conduit and silencer) directly from our website.
Don’t have a 3D printer? That’s okay! All of our digital files can be found on 3D Hubs, makexyz, or CG Trader. These companies will connect you to a local 3D printer who will be able to print the parts for you. Alternately, you can order the 3Dponics starter kit from us!
STEP 2: Gather all other parts
Besides the 3D-printable parts, you’ll also need:
- Four empty plastic bottles (1-L or 2-L bottles recommended)
- Hagen Marina 200 Quiet Aquarium Air Pump (or equivalent)
- 10 feet of rubber tubing
- 20 zip ties
- 2 bamboo sticks
- Support structure with a top hook (e.g. a coat stand)
- Growth medium (e.g. gravel)
- Four small plant of choice (e.g. tomatoes, peppers, herbs)
- 8 L reservoir
You should also have these tools on hand:
- Hole punch
STEP 3: Print the parts
It’s now time to print the digital files you downloaded in Step 1. For best results, we suggest using the following settings (if you’re working with a Makerbot 3D printer):
- Medium quality
- 10% fill
- 2 shells
STEP 4: Build your support column
Grab your bamboo sticks and fasten them together with zip ties to create a 6-foot pole. Attach the conduit to the bottom of the bamboo pole with more zip ties.
Note: The end of the conduit should stick out slightly from the bottom of the bamboo stick. This ensures stronger suction.
STEP 5: Prepare your plastic bottles
Cut the bottoms off the plastic bottles. Punch four holes along the edges of each bottle, making sure that they’re lined up nicely with each other (they should be an equal distance apart and directly across from one another).
STEP 6: Connect the conduit
Measure and cut about 8 feet of tubing. Although you probably won’t use all of it, it’s good to have extra so that you have no problems connecting it to the silencer.
Using zip ties, secure the tubing to the bamboo pole. Cut the tubing at the bottom of the pole, where it connects to the conduit. Insert the middle point of the conduit as far as possible into the tubing; and connect the other two points to the air pump with more tubing.
STEP 7: Attach your bottles
Screw the drip nozzles onto the plastic bottles like you would a bottle cap. Flip the bottles over so that the nozzles are pointing down.
Fill each bottle halfway with the pre-soaked growth medium, carefully add the plants, and cover with more growth medium. (The plants should be able to stand up on their own without toppling over.)
Next, use four zip ties to attach the first bottle to the hook at the top of your support column.
STEP 8: Prepare the reservoir
Fill your reservoir with water. Place it on the floor, underneath the bottles. Turn on the air pump and carefully submerge the conduit, rubber tubing, and bamboo sticks into the reservoir.
Time to grow with 3Dponics!
There you have it–your own 3D-printed hydroponics system! Now you’re ready to grow fresh, healthy produce at home or at school for less than a penny per day. What’s more, you’ll be a part of something more meaningful: a community that’s building a brighter and healthier future with sustainable technologies.
Remember to join our online community and share your growing experience!