By Alec | 3ders.org
While more and more medical applications of 3D printing technology seem to appear on a daily basis, one Canadian hydrophonics business is reminding us that it doesn’t all have to be surgical models and titanium implants. For 3Dphonics Inc has just launched what is believed to be the world’s first 3D printable and fully modular and customizable medical marijuana garden. It is expected that this will make weed cultivation a lot easier, while it will doubtlessly turn the focus of the growing number of marijuana startups towards 3D printing as well.
While we here in the 3D printing community might not be fully aware of it, a lot is happening in the marijuana world, as 3Dphonics’ CEO Michael Golubev explains. ‘The stigma surrounding marijuana is disappearing now that more and more governments, including Canada and the U.S., are recognizing that cannabis is a major contributor to palliative care, helping people who suffer from a wide variety of illnesses manage their symptoms and lead normal, productive and fulfilling lives. With our latest system, we are trying to give those people the tools they need to have cheap, open access to medical marijuana,’ he says.
This is also reflected in a growing industry in need of innovative design tools. In the US alone, the legal cannabis industry has grown by 74 percent from 2013 to 2014 (from $1.5 billion to $2.7 billion). It is no wonder that so many weed startups are popping up all over the place, and many of them will doubtlessly turn their heads in wonder at what 3D printing is doing for 3Dponics. This Ottawa-based company previously made headlines with a line of 3D printable hydrophonic systems and garden supplies, but their latest invention should make 3D printed weed cultivation easier than ever.
Their 3D printed medical marijuana garden is a very simple, but ingenious concept and revolves around just three parts: the pot, the planter, and the lid. All can be customized, 3D printed as many times as you want and assembled in such a way that it suits the limited space available to you. A perfect option for people who only have a balcony, but not a complete garden, for instance. ‘One of our main goals with this new system is to give city dwellers an easy, compact and inexpensive way to grow their own weed,’ the Canadian developers write on their website.
And with the addition of the company’s drip hydrophonics system, watering is automatically taken care of – providing a slow but steady drip of water for optimal growth. All the three parts of this 3D printed garden environment can be freely downloaded from the 3Dphonics website here. ‘Much like Legos, the components snap into place together, allowing you to make your garden as big or as little as you want it. All you have to do is top up the reservoir with water (or nutrient solution) every week or so,’ they explain.
However, it will be well worth to keep an eye on their website for a while, as they are planning to release a set of upgraded parts in the next few months. These are the result of a recent partnership with General Hydrophonics, one of the top manufacturers in the field of DIY hydrophonic systems. It is definitely looking like 3D printing will make the cultivation of medical marijuana easier than ever before.
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