Today, 3D printing technology is used in all walks of life, and British farmer Jonny Leech is beginning to enjoy the benefits of this new technology. On September 6, 2019, Antarctic bears learned from foreign media that Leech is already using 3D printing technology to build accurate corn seed metering systems.
Antarctic bears have also experienced the cultivation of corn. After using the conventional planter to sow corn seeds, it often leads to excessive planting. After the corn seedlings grow out, they need to be unplugged, because the planting too dense will affect the late growth of the corn. Therefore, it is equivalent to a part of the corn seeds wasted.
Design and manufacture of seed metering systems
In order to achieve the best seeding effect, Leech used Solidworks to design a seed metering system, which was then printed on a 3D printer. The corn metering system uses a vacuum to draw the corn seeds into the grooves around the rotating disk. Then, the pitch of the seeding can be adjusted by changing the rotation speed.
Leech said: "The most challenging part of the design of the sorter is to find a way to control the vacuum so that each seed is released along the tube at the exact location. To solve this problem, he placed it on the vacuum manifold. A pressure gauge provides the perfect pressure to pull the seed onto the disc."
It took three months for Leech to print all six rows of parts, and a total of $70 for 3D printing, which saved a lot of money. The off-the-shelf version costs $600 per line.
Combining 3D printed plastic parts with his own chassis and other old equipment on the farm, the entire seeding system ended up costing only $12,000.
3D printing is entering the agricultural field. Previously, additive manufacturing has enabled simplified production of aquaculture automated water sensor systems. The technology also helps rural farms in Myanmar improve agricultural efficiency.
In order to reuse outdated agricultural equipment, UK's online spares supplier, BuyAnyPart, provides farmers with 3D printed parts replacement services. Driving the industry forward, 3D printing has also brought new agricultural practices.