How to build a vertical farm ๐ŸŒฑ

This design document outlines how we will build a simple vertical hydroponic farm from scratch using 3D printing and a few tools. The total cost for this project will be <$150

Things you need


  1. PETG/PLA/Tough PLA Filament for 3D printed parts
  2. 3D Printer
  3. Vertical Tower Modules (3D printed)
  4. Water Reservoir (5-gallon bucket)
  5. Submersible Water Pump 160GPH+
  6. Pump Timer (Optional)
  7. Tubing Clear 3/8ths inch
  8. Hydroponic Nutrients (Masterblend Tomato/Lettuce Formulae + Epsom Salts + Calcium Nitrate) read more below on how to mix.
  9. pH Test Kit
  10. pH Up and Down Buffer Solutions
  11. TDS Meter (optional)
  12. Water (distilled or purified)
  13. Rockwool or other Suitable Growing Medium (only if growing from seeds)
  14. Seeds or Seedlings

3D Printed Items

We will require the following 3D printed items to fully assemble the tower:

E2E Automation system

In progress

Assembly Instructions

  1. Prepare the 3D Printed Modules:
    • Ensure that you have your planting modules, jiffy cups, dispenser, and lid.
    • Optionally make sure you have a bucket lid printed. Or you can use a holesaw to drill a hole in a normal bucket lid to screw in the tower.
    • Assemble the planter modules together.
  2. Set Up the Water Reservoir:
    • Place the 5-gallon bucket at the base of the tower.
    • Place the submersible water pump at the bottom of the bucket and attach the clear tubing to it.
  3. Build the Tower:
    • Run the clear tubing through the assembled planter modules ensuring any excess tubing is inside the bucket.
    • Screw/attach the planting module tower to the bucket lid.
    • Attach the top end of the tubing to the dispenser and make sure itโ€™s a snug fit.
    • Screw on the cap above the dispenser to prevent splashing when the pump is running.
    • Plug in the pump and youโ€™re done!

Mixing Nutrients

Read more

IMPORTANT! Do not mix the 3 components together! Doing so will cause nutrient lockout and all the nutrients will not be available to your plants. You can mix the MasterBlend and Epsom Salts together, but not the Calcium Nitrate! Ideally, you should mix each component separately in your water until thoroughly dissolved before mixing the next component. DO NOT BUY KITS THAT ARE PREMIXED!

It is recommended to use this product with Calcium Nitrate and Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) in the following recipes. Please note using a scale is the most accurate way to measure, and volume measurements are only approximations.

5 Gallon Recipe: Add 12 grams MasterBlend (approx 2 tsp) and dissolve completely. Add 6 grams (approx 1.5-2tsp) Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) and dissolve in water. LAST, add 12 grams (approx 2 tsp) Calcium Nitrate to 5 gallons of water and dissolve completely. Adjust your solution pH to the desired value.

Maintenance Guide


If you need more help, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @hud_zah.