The present article contains a study about utilizing the Digital Twins concept in the field of contemporary agricultural production. Through this study, an exemplary architecture has been developed regarding the conversion of a conventional greenhouse to a digital greenhouse. A digital greenhouse modus operandi features a great number of advantages compared with the traditional workflow in a conventional greenhouse. The purpose of the work is to propose tools for assisting the possible reduction of the consumption of the used resources for the crops. This requires the application of automation of tools for cultivation such as Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). The article shows that the Digital Twins concept can immensely contribute towards controlling the agricultural environment and at the same time improve performance and quality while reducing the consumption of resources for a variety of crops. The proposed workflow starts by identifying the parameters that need to be taken into account and finally proposes several cyber and physical tools for setting up a Digital Twin for the case of a greenhouse. The objective of this study was the development of a DT architecture that would be able to optimize productivity in the context of CEA applications.
In the last decade, additive manufacturing techniques, commonly known under the term "3d printing" have seen constantly increasing use in various scientific fields. The nature of these fabrication techniques that operate under a layer-by-layer material deposition principle features several de facto advantages, compared to traditional manufacturing techniques. These advantages range from the precise attribution of pre-designed complex shapes to the use of a variety of materials as raw materials in the process. However, its major strong point is the ability to fabricate custom shapes with interconnected lattices, and porous interiors that traditional manufacturing techniques cannot properly attribute. This potential is being largely exploited in the biomedical field in sectors like bio-printing, where such structures are being used for direct implantation into the human body. To meet the strict requirements that such procedures dictate, the fabricated items need to be made out of biomaterials exhibiting properties like biocompatibility, bioresorbability, biodegradability, and appropriate mechanical properties. This review aims not only to list the most important biomaterials used in these techniques but also to bring up their pros and cons in meeting the aforementioned characteristics that are vital in their use.