Germinate Seeds With The Help Of 3D Printing

Microgreens, also known as vegetable confetti, are all the rage in fancy restaurants around the globe. Raised from a variety of different vegetable seeds, they’re harvested just past the sprout period, but before they would qualify as baby greens – usually 10-14 days after planting. There’s a variety of ways to grow microgreens, and [Mr Ben] has developed a 3D printed rig to help.

The rig consists of two parts – a seed tray and a water tray underneath. The seed tray consists of a grid to house the broccoli seeds to be grown, with small holes in each grid pocket to allow drainage. They’re sized just under the minimum seed size to avoid the seeds falling through, and also provide a path for root growth. Beneath the seed tray, the water tray provides the required hydration for plant growth, and helps train the roots downward.

[Mr Ben] notes there are some possible improvements to the design. He suggests PETG would be the ideal filament to use for the prints, as it is foodsafe unlike PLA and ABS. Additionally, precautions could be taken to better seal the water tray to avoid it becoming a breeding ground for insects.

Overall, it’s a tidy project that makes growing these otherwise delicate and expensive greens much neater and tidier. There’s also plenty of scope out there to automate plant care, too. Video after the break.


13 thoughts on “Germinate Seeds With The Help Of 3D Printing

  1. theres something similar in the wild already – named “växxar” and it comes to your favorite nordic supplier of household items. includes rack and lighting if you fancy.

    1. #define life

      when do you draw this line you are talking about ?
      Is a virus alive ? and a microvirus ? and a bacteria, is it alive, or just a complex biological robot ?
      what is the ratio human cells / “alien” (bacteria, fungi, parasites) cells in a human body ?
      what about the influence of those “aliens” on the *behavior* of their host ?
      and the mass of all humans ? is it a live entity, or mere a disease for the planet ?

      You don´t have to fear much about Computer technology replacing human life I think, humans are efficiently stupid enough to auto-destruct by transforming their environment into one that threatens their survival !
      That, and ff the ever computers survive, they could be then considered as an evolutionary success, based on intelligent design…

    1. Don´t be so mean, it´s space-illusioned jargon: after all it´s a promising technology that for sure will enable humans living on Mars. NASA should have a look at that. Well, you have to time precisely bringing the first seeds, then after four days the happy marsionauts would have their first meal. Well, if they ever land alive…

  2. Horribly space inefficient.
    Microgreens are still getting all their nutrients from the seed when they’re harvested. A couple cm of soil, rockwool, or vermiculite in a standard 10/20 nursery tray are more than sufficient. All you need to do is keep the sprouts watered.

    1. What you described is already the optimum way. You can even reuse the soil/growing medium. Drives me a little crazy when people try to “improve” in an area where they have no experience and have not even attempted to see how those who do it everyday do things.

  3. ” Beneath the seed tray, the water tray provides the required hydration for plant growth, and helps train the roots downward.” Priceless !!!

    What happens if:
    – you just water the seeds instead of providing these the required hydration ?
    – if you put the water on top of the plants, can you train the root upward ?

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