Farmshelf – Custom Parts for Urban Farm Hydroponics System

Case Study

//Farmshelf – Custom Parts for Urban Farm Hydroponics System
Farmshelf – Custom Parts for Urban Farm Hydroponics System2018-12-07T15:35:40+00:00

Quick and cost effective custom parts for urban farm hydroponics system

Ultimaker 3D printers made it possible for Farmshelf to install and maintain functioning beta units of their automated hydroponics systems in public view at Grand Central Station (New York City)

Download the Full Story as a PDF
Farmshelf 3d printing ultimaker 3dgbire
Andrew Shearer, CEO / Co-Founder, Farmshelf

“Professional desktop 3D printers are so cost effective now that you don’t need to look at the cost per part beyond the cost for filament. And it is affordable to build small production batch runs with printed parts, something that five years ago was impossible.”

Andrew Shearer, CEO / Co-Founder, Farmshelf

Farmshelf - Introduction Locally grown food is better for our health and for the environment, though most of it travels over 1,500 miles between farm and consumption. To cut back on transportation time, the Farmshelf team is creating a way for individuals to grow their own food where they live, work and commune: a fully-autonomous, highly productive urban tech farming solution. Cultivating produce worthy of a farm-to-table restaurant—within a footprint the size of a freestanding bookcase—was achievable once they sought a solution to common production problems. Using Ultimaker 2+ professional desktop 3D printers, Farmshelf iterate designs and harvest entire sets of hundreds of functional custom parts, which would not have been easy or affordable to produce using any other fabrication technologies. “Professional desktop 3D printers are so cost effective now that you don’t need to look at the cost per part beyond the cost for filament. And it is affordable to build small production batch runs with printed parts, something that five years ago was impossible.” — Andrew Shearer, CEO / Co-Founder, Farmshelf Company Farmshelf Industry

Farmshelf – Introduction

Locally grown food is better for our health and for the environment, though most of it travels over 1,500 miles between farm and consumption. To cut back on transportation time, the Farmshelf team is creating a way for individuals to grow their own food where they live, work and commune: a fully-autonomous, highly productive urban tech farming solution. Cultivating produce worthy of a farm-to-table restaurant—within a footprint the size of a freestanding bookcase—was achievable once they sought a solution to common production problems. Using Ultimaker 2+ professional desktop 3D printers, Farmshelf iterate designs and harvest entire sets of hundreds of functional custom parts, which would not have been easy or affordable to produce using any other fabrication technologies.

Challenge

Traditional custom parts and low-quantity manufacturing methods require initial setup costs for each individual design. Materials and service costs for meeting production needs on new Farmshelf units, along with requirements to plan ahead and anticipate future supply demands, all required considerable upfront investment in parts. Additionally, common manufacturing solutions for producing sets of custom parts were not an option until product development was complete and full production scale had begun.

Producing inexpensive desktop 3D printed custom parts permits immediate testing for entire growth cycles — to validate a design pathway based on real-world data
Having on-site part design and production in the same facility eliminates the delays associated with traditional manufacturing and parts sourcing

Solution

Ultimaker professional desktop 3D printers allowed Farmshelf to continue evolving custom part designs, while also meeting short-run production needs for early adopter units already installed in full public view. Incorporating Ultimaker into their processes provided a cost-friendly solution that streamlined the testing and prototyping stages of production.

Results

The Farmshelf team were able to produce tough, functional prototypes suited to their long growing cycle tests, while enjoying a more affordable way to iterate custom parts. Ultimaker desktop 3D printers met their low-volume production needs as they continued to build and deploy more beta units to highly visible public sites. Without access to professional desktop 3D printing, the unique opportunities presented by this innovative product may never have seen the light of day

3D printing sidesteps obstacles that restrict the form and function of traditionally manufactured products, encouraging teams to use their design freedom to tackle tough real-world problems.

Talk to an Expert

We’re here to answer your questions

Implementing a new technology can be a painful experience, slowing down your core business and not returning results immediately.  Let our team take your headaches away, our knowledge of integrating 3D printing into different industries and applications is second to none. We’d love to hear about your project and help you find the right solution.

Call one of our friendly team and find out how 3D printing can revolutionise your business.

0800 7720 257

Phone
Email
Chat

3D Printing Applications in Product Design

Functional Prototyping

The smartest and most cost effective way to design.  3D printing has revolutionised prototyping decreasing the time of production to hours and the costs of prototypes to fractions.

Read More

Parts Production

Removing the costs of tooling for small-volume, highly accurate, customised parts is now a possibility with 3D printing. A world of materials and finishes that rival injection moulding…

Read More

Concept Models

The future is now. Designing and producing concept models can take a matter of hours, at minimal costs and with and almost Labour-free experience. 3DGBIRE’s foundations are in…

Read More

Moulds & Castings

3D printing patterns and molds is a highly accurate method that doesn’t have the associated costs of traditional mould making. Investment casting, injection molding and production parts are…

Read More

Tooling

Machining tools, jigs or fixtures in metal is a thing of the past. Cost, weight and storage problems are something you live with or you just cope without that part. 3D printing gives you the freedom…

Read More

Manufacturing

Whether to test the market or to allow your customers into the design process earlier 3D printing allows a quicker, cost saving method of delivering a beautifully crafted product.

Read More