This is FarmBot Genesis XL

Hi FarmBot community,

Today we announced FarmBot Genesis XL! At double the length and double the width, it’s by far our most productive FarmBot yet. Check out the video to learn all about it, and also see how much our community has grown over the last year!

I was anticipating this to be announced. The Facebook post kind of revealed a monster-sized Farmbot :slight_smile:

So now I’m wondering: You put XL on hold last year, because of commitment to delivering the v1.2, but also because of problems with the rigidity and stability of XL. Can you tell us a bit more what improvements you’ve made and things you have considered to solve these issues and give us XL after all?

We are currently making plans and calculations for our small, passive, solar greenhouse that we want to build next year. It’s a really big investment for us. Next to the aquaponics system we would like to have a FarmBot XL, so we will surely order one much awaited FarmBot XL. It would be really important for us to know what the hard limits of FarmBot XL are. Is there any chance we could extend the tracks from 6m? In the summer, a topic mentioned it expanding do as much as 12m; is that plan still being developed? The reason why this issue is important to us, is that the chances of it being extended (in the foreseeable future, perhaps) would effect the size of our greenhouse. We plan to start the building process in about 3 months.

Hi godavid. Keep in mind I’m not an official Farmbot representative.

I believe the 12 meter track lengths apply to the current Farmbot Genesis v1.2+ design. The current motors should be strong enough to pull the cable carriers for that length. You will need to modify the carriers to be longer obviously.

I’m unsure if the XL is using different motors. If they use the same motors, I think it’s safe to say the same applies. The XL could probably be extended to be 3m * 12m using the motors that come with the kit. Anything longer than that, and you will need stronger motors because the weight of the cable carriers becomes a problem.

Looks awesome, but I sure wish you would put some thought to how you can help out the early backers that paid $3,000 to help get all of this started as well. Some upgrade kits or otherwise would go a really long way to reward those original backers.

Awesome news! I know it’s just been announced, but when do you think the model / parts list will be available?

@mdingena great question! We put XL on hold back at v0.9 to focus on the standard sized bot and not get in over our heads. Ever since then though, we have been keeping it in mind and building towards a device design that does work at this scale. A few notable things allow this design to work:

  • The gantry wheel plates and cross-slide are larger since v0.9 and have a lot more wheels. This provides more stability at these interfaces.
  • Each gantry corner bracket used to be two flat plate components. Changing to a single bent bracket provides significant rigidity to the gantry
  • The device is shorter than what we once had planned back in the v0.9 days. (Its the same height as the standard sized bot)
  • Back in the v0.9 days we were using a flat 5mm plate to join the two gantry main beams together. The new design is an L shaped bracket that provides greater rigidity in the X direction.
  • v0.9 used a single x-axis motor and a driveshaft along the gantry. Newer designs include dual X-axis motors, which are needed to move the XL gantry.
  • We’re going to recommend that toolbays be placed near the tracks because the farther towards the middle of the gantry that the cross-slide moves, the less accuracy the UTM has in the X direction which could cause issues with mounting and dismounting tools.

@godavid, we have not tested any systems larger than 3m x 6m at this time, though we do hope to push the Genesis concept to its limit. The main concerns with even longer tracks are:

  • Thermal expansion/contraction of the extrusions
  • Pulling the additional weight of the X-axis cable carrier and its contents
  • Voltage drop from the power supply

There may be other challenges as well, but we’d have to build prototypes that large to discover them. My guess is that whatever they are, they can be overcome. They just might require more significant modifications and cost. Or, maybe not, and with extra extrusions and cable carrier, it would just work. Nobody as far as I know has tried such a modification yet.

@ivanmayes as mentioned, we’re going to be sending out store credit later this month to all of our original v1.2 backers as a thank-you for being an early adopter and so that you can upgrade your bot.

@brnmsmith we’ll release the CAD model and documentation once the kits start to ship out in May.