Is it worth to build a Farmbot without buying a kit?


I’m an engineering student from Spain focusing mainly in robotics. I would love to build this fantastic idea as a present for my parents since they like having their fresh vegetables and currently they spend too much time on it. I was disposed to buy a kit until I saw the price. I understand the value of what you did but, unfortunately, I don’t have 2500 € to invest on it. So, I was wondering if I could build my own, buying each part separately/making them/using old ones for the generic parts like skrews or others.

I want to know if anyone did this already, how and what could be the saving of this. Also I’ve seen the documentation and every part is quite self-explanatory, but I wanted to ask if with the documentation (measures of everything, etc.) and the tutorials on how to build the kit it is “easy” to understand how to properly mount/attach everything and configure all the hardware, even if bought from other manufacturers. Maybe you can recommend me some special section on the website that I may have missed that would help me in this process. Another question is what would I need to buy for sure from this company in order to make it work (like the Farmduino, assuming I could never replicate it…).

A lot of questions I know, but summing up: knowing that I should wait a lot of time in order to save enough money to buy a kit, is it even worth going through this challenge? If so, could you help me with the questions above so as to know the starting point and all the places where to look for understanding nice and deeply all the process?

I’m really amazed with this tech, but I’m just poor at the moment :sweat_smile: and sorry for the long post! :slight_smile:

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I share the same sentiments too. I hope this project is more open source friendly for DIYers. At this price the ROI might be 2-3 years? I’m going to spend more time doing a bit more research.

Not sure if a drone would be more simpler or if anyone has considered it?

I did a bit of research on this and it looks like buying all the parts individually would cost a bit more than getting a kit from the Farmbot folks, especially if you factor in the time, effort and incidental costs (such as research, purchasing, shipping and your time)
There are a few folks selling older parts, but the savings are still a bit lean, and I would imagine that you would not get the full support from the company. Since this tech is still in some development, this should be considered seriously. I am going to wait, save and then buy (from Farmbot) whatever they have once I get to $3500 to $4000 mark.

I’ve to disagree, I’ve built my FB from scratch based upon v1.2 (now modded to v1.3) and the whole cost was around 1000EUR.
Took me about a month to research where and what to buy while I was using the official FB shopping list.
Adjusted it to Aliexpress and (Polish E-bay).

If you have any questions pleas ask :slight_smile:
PS. only thing I was unable to cut cost at were v-slot rails :wink:

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For sure it depends where you can buy the parts. In some countries its hard to find local stores or online shops that are selling Openbuilds or similar parts. This affects the price and the time that you need to get the parts. Buying a lot of china based parts via alibaba or ebay can take up to 4 weeks.

Thats what I expected, some other people here in Germany built their bot with ~1000€ thats ~1200$.

How can you cut cost at those? I thought either have v-slot rails or don’t :smile: [quote=“mrcasa, post:2, topic:3534”]
I hope this project is more open source friendly for DIYers.
Its great for DIYers because the documentation about the parts and assembly is great so far.

There have been a few discussions in the forum already, maybe you can find it with the search function.
Assuming you mean a flying drone, it would be really cool in my opinion. Sadly you would need super precise GPS that drones usually don’t have. Also autonomous flying drones are forbidden where I live :frowning:

You can now (just a bit) by ordering via Aliexpress. Two years ago it was only reachable via Openbuilds shops.

Was it worth it? Did you experience any problems caused by low quality or anything like that? I’ve once bought a ballscrew from a chinese reseller (tried to improve z-axis) which dropped all balls within one week because of plastic bearings in the spindle nut :smiley:

Well at that time prices were the same as in my country so… i went and bought it a our local open builds.
BUT i had to buy new vacuum pump cause that one from Ali went bust after 1 year.
Belts were bought via Ali and are still fine.
T-nuts are fine (also via Ali)
V-slot wheels are also fine.

To summarize only thing that went south and was bought via Ali was that pump.

Thanks all of you for the comments!!

So when you say the official FB shopping list, you mean this Bill of materials ( from the documentation? Because I’m thinking about buying metal and plastic parts in local shops of friends that manufacture this kind of pieces and the extrusions are defined by the profile and the length, but for example, i was checking the plates and they don’t have all the measures that they need to create them, so should I extract all of them from each part in the Onshape CAD models or you suggest an easier method? About the electronic staff i guess would be easy buying everything from Aliexpress or similar as you said, but are there things that I should buy from the FB folks like the farmduino to avoid unnecessary troubles?

By the way I’m asking without having done any intense research, just discovered FB and felt in love, but still have to deal with many exams atm. However it seems that this summer I may bother you a bit if you let me @skuter :wink:

When I was doing my research I adjusted the bill of materials.
And all of my plates are made from those PDFs which I’ve downloaded from v1.2

As this is Opensource there is plenty place to adapt to your country while making the FB.

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Where did you get the Gantry Corner Brackets made? I see that Big Blue Saw can reproduce most of the plates needed, but the 90 degree gantry corner bracket is hard to find.

Hello. I was very interested in the fact that you collected a farmbot for 1000EUR. Tell me please, is it possible to use the new 2018 raspberry Pi3 B +, stepper motors without an encoder, if not, what model should I buy on AliExpress? Thank you.

helo sir m also trying to make frambot without buying kit. I need your help can u help me?

Sorry for late response, I’m using my FB without ancoders, RPi 3+ is already supported by FarmbotOS :slight_smile:


Go ahead ask me your questions.

i didnt get about power supply to RPI

Hey, @Anilrai,

Rpi runs on 5V supply (either provided via microUSB or directly to the board), check out this link.

directly to GPIO pin

Either way you need to use a step-down 12v -> 5v converter and plug it in :wink:

thank u so much sir :grinning::grinning::grinning::grinning::grinning: