Prototype Progress

This week was an incredibly productive week for our project. In class we were basically given time to work on our projects with an emphasis on beginning to print parts of our prototypes if needed. Luckily my group already had a good amount of the top half of our vertical garden done so all we had to do was add some holes to screw the top piece so that we could mount the top to support beams. In a matter of minutes, we were able to upload that segment of our design and uploaded it into Cura where we decided to print a half size prototype due to the fact that a full-size version of just the top half of the vertical garden would be over a day and a half to print. The print itself started off rough as the material would not stick to the platform for the drainage holes we had in our design and it got messy. Fortunately, after a couple of layers the plastic started forming the circles good enough so that we let the print continue. Our other big issue we had with this print was that we did not scale our design properly and our screw holes ended up looking like ovals. Obviously, we will fix this in the final design but for now we will use washers to attach it to the rest of the prototype.

Picture of Arduino setup

I also had a lot of time to work on the electronics for our vertical garden and figured out how to hook up both soil moisture sensors to the Arduino and was able to get them to send their signals to the serial monitor at the same time. I then got to work on setting up the logic required that dictates when the sensor will print or send a signal to the Arduino only when the moisture level gets to a certain point. I was able to use simple logic to create an if statement that prints the moisture level if it hits a certain point but ran into some issues as I tried to add that logic to the second sensor. From my research on the problem it looks like I can’t have both sensors active at the same time and that I will have to program it so that they operate one at a time. Even after finding out this potential solution I still ran into some issues but I know that it is all code based and that the hardware works as planned. I have also figured out a way to connect the light sensors to the Arduino and will be working on that as soon as the soil moisture sensors are working properly. After that I will focus on using these sensors to send a text message to the user.


2 thoughts on “Prototype Progress”

  1. Your Arduino set-up looks like it is coming along nicely. My group is also developing a hydroponic system. We altered our original design to use an extra water sensor from the FabLab. After we build ours in the FabLab tomorrow we can hopefully compare the two designs. Collaborating could help both of us improve.

  2. Hi Norman-

    It sounds like you had an awesome week in terms of your BADM 395 project! I’m very impressed that you were able to connect the soil moisture sensors to your Arduino, it sounds like the product will be something that people would love to use!

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