TOMATO BUCKET - PART 1: PROTOTYPING

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The reason we started MineeForm is to build a green sustainable future that's affordable for everyone. And I do mean everyone. Not just upper-middle-class people in America. But rather, a truly green planetary civilization.

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Flashes of this Solarpunk Future always contained elements of futuristic greenery woven into the architecture itself. So we tried our hands at growing our own food. Unfortunately, the results of such enterprises had been unfruitful (literally).

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Since we were too busy to maintain a consistent watering schedule & too broke to install a drip system, we decided to wing it & see if we could innovate our way out of this one. Prototype 1 was 3D modeled in a single afternoon & then put into the print farm to print overnight. While we were waiting for the print to be completed, a pack of 4-inch Rockwool was ordered from Amazon to arrive the next day.

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A tomato plant was picked up at a local hardware store & the first working prototype was completed within 24 hours of the first conception of the idea. Here at MineeForm, we don't just sit around & talk about our ideas. We build it first & then get all emotional about it later (if we have free time). 

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In a few short weeks, the tomato plant poked through the Rockwool. 

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The leaves looked healthy & there were no signs of root rot.

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Once the roots hit the water bucket, the rate of growth really sped up! 

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And grew into a small tree in just a few short weeks!

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Now that we knew the general idea worked, we wanted Prototype 2 to be more refined & ergonomic.

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Prototype 2 was modeled parametrically in case we wanted to make rapid changes to it later or if we wanted to send off the STEP file for actual manufacturing.  

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Here was Prototype 3. Subtle refinements were made (such as adding ribbing to the brim & adding a more dramatic taper to the bottom to fit all bucket diameters). 

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And here were the plants 1 month later with just 1 watering! As expected, the overall idea worked. Watering consisted of moistening the soil & filling the bucket with water. We expect that small plants only need watering once a month & giant plants only need watering once a week.

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Now that we were sure this technology worked, the next step was to make it accessible & affordable to everyone. This meant 1) funding the fabrication of a steel mold asset for mass production via Kickstarter & 2) using that mold asset to get millions of copies into Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, & other stores at the lowest price point possible without going bankrupt. 

"If you want the future to be good, then you must make it so." -- Elon Musk