Nov.24, 2014

In developing countries, four fifths of all illnesses are caused by water-borne diseases. Many areas in these countries remain plagued by lack of access to safe drinking water. One solution is to install a water purification system, but to determine which systems are needed and reliable, local researchers need to have an effective method for water-quality testing. Unfortunately most commercial testers are very expensive, difficult to use and also not portable.

To help to solve these issues, Joshua M. Pearce and his research group from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the Michigan Technological Institute designed a new open source 3D printed water testing platform.

Their platform was designed in OpenSCAD and was made from open source electronics and 3D printable components. The electronics consists of an Arduino, microcontroller and LED display shield. The microcontroller contains flash memory to store a program for performing the measurement.

The Arduino's internal counter units measures the frequency from several TSL235R light-to-frequency converters. Its two counter input pins are connected to different sensors. One sensor measures the intensity of the LED as a baseline reference. The other sensor measures the transmitted/reflected light intensities. The turbidity of the water is calculated from the brightness values and then the result is displayed on a character LCD screen.

The case was printed with a RepRap 3D printer with black PLA to minimize stray light inside the detection area. Their tester is accurate, portable and easy to use, but costs between 7.5 and 15 times less than current commercially available tools. You can find more details about this tester, including BOM, OpenSCAD, instructions, and results here in a extensive academic paper.


Source: hackaday

Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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