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printing a greenhouse

Posted by Autarkyboy 
printing a greenhouse
March 24, 2010 12:32PM
Hello, is it possible or economic to print isolating panels for greenhouses with a reprap? I ask cause they are usually made of glass, polycarbonate, acrylic or other plastics.

They should let the light pass through while at the same time they should thermally isolate the greenhouse and they must have a lifespan years. Usually their performance are measured in R-value, % of the light that can pass and years of lifespan.

Usually they have various "walls", I think that these walls are made to trap air inside to have a better thermal insulation and I think that normally they are extruded, cause the have an extrusion like form.

Is it possible, using a 3d printer, to print them in a different way to have a better thermal insulation? Maybe by trapping air in a different way?

Is it economic to buy the plastic and to print them or does it cost less to buy mass manufactured items instead of printing them ourselves?

Here are a couple of links that I found with prices for greenhouse panels


What about the structure? Is it possible to print a structure that can hold the panels together and not collapse?

I asked all these questions because I have in mind to buy a greenhouse cause I want to grow what I eat, but a weird idea popped in my mind, what about making a printable greenhouse part of a bigger replicator? A completely automated printed greenhouse can transform air, water and light and some nutrients (food scraps and human excrements can be transformed in plants nutrients by composting, so we don't need to buy them) into plants. Plants can be transformed into plastic but I don't know if it is feasible at home.
Re: printing a greenhouse
December 06, 2010 08:58PM
I think printing really large items tends to be very slow as well as using a good amount of filament up. I think nophead had an extruder that printed larger diameter filament which could speed up the printing of larger objects. You would have to modify the 3D structure of the panels to be able to print them without a support material.
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