Microgreens like radishes, broccoli and basil are crucial components of many a meal. They’re all the rage in fancy restaurants as both garnish and ingredient. Being such small plants, enterprising growers are coming up with new solutions, allowing chefs to grow them indoors by themselves. One such solution comes from a user on Hackaday, providing a neat and tidy way to grow them using a 3D printed microgreen rig. The rig allows, not just for a better contained setup, but also for better seed germination.
The rig is a deceptively simple set-up, consisting of two parts: a seed tray and a water tray underneath. The seed tray is just a square grid to house the seeds, in this case broccoli. Utilizing small holes in each square pocket, it allows for draining out the water as well.
Users would have to measure the size of the seeds they want to grow to appropriately make the grid as the size of the grids needs to be just under the minimum seed size to avoid the seeds falling through. At the same time it should also provide a path for the roots to grow out. Then there’s the water tray, which lays just beneath, providing the required hydration for plant growth, while also allowing the roots to grow downwards.
Going (Micro) Green
The rig is great for growing a lot of smaller sorts of plants and garnish elements that one can have in a small pot. The difference is that this the 3D printed microgreen rig is far more organised, allowing for higher yield than a standard supermarket pot. It also makes the entire process more efficient as most of these plants are rather delicate.
Ben’s process for making your own 3D printed microgreen rig has just 4 steps. Measure the seed size, design the grid container in a slicing software, design the water container underneath and germinate the seeds. His recommendations are also quite helpful, citing the need for better materials (PETG instead of PLA) and warning users that a less accurate printer will require more than a few tries to get the right print.
All in all, these sorts of minimalist hacks show off what 3D printing can do for the average person. With a little ingenuity, you can grow your own food ingredients and save quite a bit on shopping.
Featured image courtesy of Ben, retrieved via Hackaday.