Know How...

Sep 7th 2016

Know How... 242

AquaVase Part II

DIY hydroponic vase completed!

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Category: Help & How To

We finish part II of our hydroponic vase using LEDs and a 3D printed stand.

Project Overview

We're adding decorative LED lights to our AquaVase Parts List

* These parts aren't necessary for the operation of HydroVase, but they ARE cool and geeky! :)

  1. WS2812 SMD Strips
  2. Arduino
  3. Voltage Regulator
  4. 26-30 AWG Silicone Wire
  5. Heat Shrink Tubing

Tools List

  1. 3D Printer
  2. Soldering Kit
  3. Hot Glue Gun
  4. Screwdrivers
  5. Pliers

** All of the STL files can be found at:

Segment Summary

We're designing a 3D object that can hold our 5" Vase and the electronics to illuminate the bottom.

Interesting Design Features of the AquaVase_Base

  1. The bottom panel is 2MM thick and the shell is between 2-3mm
  2. The stands for the aluminum square tubes are 2-3mm thick and are supported by the bottom panel & their connection to the lower vase ring
  3. There are curved buildouts on either side of the lower vase ring that will hold the WS2812 LEDs
  4. There is a port towards the read of the base for providing power to the Arduino and WS2812s


  1. Import a1_Hollow_BottomShell.stl
  2. Use the "Inspector" to turn the a1 into a "Hole"
  3. Import a2_Solid_BottomShell.stl
  4. Import a3_UpperVaseSupportRing.stl
  5. Import a4_VaseHollow.stl
  6. Use the "Inspector" to turn a4 into a "Hole"
  7. Export as "Shell A"

Delete All Objects from the Build Platform

  1. Import b1_BottomShell_Platform.stl
  2. Import b2_Base_Hole.stl (Turn it into a "Hole")
  3. Import b3_VaseSupportRing.stl
  4. Import b4_RiserHollow.stl
  5. Raise b4 by 2mm
  6. Use the "Inspector" to turn b4 into a "Hole"


  1. Import "Shell_A"
  2. Export Base

Integration - Part II (Base)


  1. Cut your LED strips to match the LED holders in the Base Frame
  2. Measure/Cut/Strip/Tin your wires to connect the LED strips to the Arduino controller
  3. Solder your strips to the controller
    • Pin 3 to Strip 1 DIN
    • Strip 1 DOUT to Strip 2 DIN
    • GND to Strip 1 GND
    • Strip 1 GND to Strip 2 GND
    • 5V to Strip 1 VIN
    • Strip 1 VIN to Strip 2 VIN
  4. Solder the Voltage Regulator to the Arduino
    • 5V to VIN
    • GND to GND
  5. Load code to Arduino
  6. Attach LED Strips to LED Supports
  7. Run power out the access port
  8. Connect all power leads to the 4 channel Remote
    • Cut one of the power wired to the pump and run it through Channel A (A-B)
    • 12 Volt GND to the GND leads of the Remote, Grow LEDs, Full Spectrum LEDs, and Arduino VoltReg
    • 5V Power to Remote, Chan B-B, Chan C-B, Chan D-B
    • Arduino 5V to Chan B-A
    • Grow LED 5V to Chan C-A
    • Full Spectrum LED 5V to Chan D-A

<p><b>Connect with us!</b></p><ul><li>Don't forget to check out our large library of projects at <a href=""></a>.</li… our <a href="; target="_blank">Google+ Community</a>.</li><li>Tweet at us at <a href="; target="_blank">@PadreSJ</a>, <a href="; target="_blank">@Cranky_Hippo</a>, and <a href="; target="_blank">@Anelf3</a>.</li></ul><p>Thanks to <a href="; target="_blank">CacheFly</a> for the bandwidth for this show.</p>