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Compact 3D-printed incubator helps plants get a strong start in life

Why it matters to you

Growing plants can be a losing game in cities but this little incubator will make your thumbs greener.

The first stages of life are precious for living things everywhere. Infants need shelter, nutrition, and playtime to develop into healthy toddlers. Seeds need the right light, water, and soil conditions to sprout into seedlings.

Gardeners without green thumbs know this all too well. Growing plants from seeds can be a losing game, especially in cities where space and sunlight are in short supply. But there is a new Kickstarter campaign here to help.

LumiLamp is a 3D-printed incubator designed to grow seedlings indoors and throughout the year.

“The idea originated when a friend gave me plant trimmings to propagate,” Travis Koss, Chicago-based furniture designer and LumiLamp creator, told Digital Trends. “During my research via YouTube, I noticed a lot of people were using clamp lights in attempt to mount lights above their plants.”

Pulling from this YouTube inspiration and his background in industrial design, Koss created the minimal, functional incubator, which consists of a 3D-printed pot, container, and lid with a 5-watt LED grow light that fits snuggly on top. No, it’s not revolutionary. It’s a compact grow kit in pretty packing.

The container itself is 10.5 inches tall and six inches wide, so don’t expect to grow anything bigger than a seedling, but this small size makes it ideal for countertop horticulture.

Koss said he’s been able to propagate a number of herbs with the simple system. “So far I have has great success growing oregano, cilantro, and chives,” he said. “I’m still researching growing basil and mint but I assume both seeds will grow fine. You can also enhance the growth of succulents and other smaller plants that need a lot of light, especially in the winter.”

The campaign was launched as part of Kickstarter’s Make/100 initiative, which encourages creators to make limited releases of their product. As such, Koss only offers 100 complete 3D-printed LumiLamps available for pledges of $60. But, for those of us lucky enough to have access to a 3D printer, he is offering the STL files for as little as $1.