Feb. 23, 2015 | Kira

22-year old Filip Sjöö, an engineering student in Obrero, Sweden, has 3D printed a functional dishwashing device that is propelled by water from the tap, making one of the most mundane and dreaded house chores considerably more fun.

Although the dishwasher is more of an engineering experiment than a way to replace your rubber gloves forever, the idea behind it required both technical know-how and creativity.

The dishwasher has one of Sjöö’s first projects. After receiving a Prusa i3 (which he described to us as “probably the best Christmas gift ever”), the young maker became determined to create a tool that would be propelled by alternative energy. “I could have used an electric engine instead, but that would not have been as challenging,” he said.

The first thing he had to do was find a way to attach the device to the sink using the threats on the water taps. “After I had measured the threads, I started searching the internet for some standard CAD files that would fit. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any with the right measurements,” Sjöö told us. “So, I did what I had to do: I made my own threads in Solidworks.”

The extra work turned out to be worthwhile, since he realized afterwards that even if he had found a standard CAD file, normal threads measure 60 degrees, whereas the maximum angle he can 3D print without supports is 45 degrees. "Because of this I had to make a custom design. "I was not sure that I would succed in printing functional threads, the pitch was only 1 mm, but supprisingly it worked very well after some failiures," Sjöö said.

With his custom design in hand, he was able to successfully print the threads. Next up was the turbine. Originally, the engineering student intended to build an energy-efficient internal water turbine. “To do this it is important that there is no leaks,” explained the engineering student. “After a lot of experimenting, I concluded that it was very hard to make it tight without using seals, because of the high pressure of the water. I’m sure it’s possible though, if you use the principle used in caps for ordinary plastic bottles.”

Because of the difficulties in making the threads water tight, he opted instead to make an external turbine. "An external turbine would also be pretty cool I thought, becuase it is visible," he said. “The rest of the CAD modeling was done in just a couple of hours. The gear ratios on the dishwasher were based on well-grounded guesses about the flow-rate of the water and some basic calculations. My goal was to make the brush go back and forth one time every second or so.”

"The print went pretty good, some faliures first, but then it turned out really well. Because of some shrinking I had to sand a bit for things to slide smoothly, though."

As you can see in the ‘epic’ video above, the device functions by channeling the water from the sink’s tap onto the turbine wheel, causing it to rotate and to move the attached scrubbing brush back and forth. It obviously uses a lot of water and isn’t very effective when it comes to stuck-on food, but lukcily Sjöö has no intentions of commercializing it. “The 3D printed dishwaser is not meant to be at hing you should use for actual dishwashing, as you might have guessed,” he told 3ders.org. “It’s just a funny little project I had to do.”

Aside from 3D printing, experimenting, and studying, Sjöö is a designer at Headface, a company he co-founded in the early 2000s. Currently, he is working on several 3D print projects, including copies of his house key and printing moving gadgets without supports. He also intends to create more devices that are propelled using alternative energy, such as a walking spider with a wind-up ‘engine.’

3D printing has already improved our lives in so many ways, bringing things that seemed impossible suddenly well within our reach. However, as the 3D printed dishwasher proves, not all creations fall into the ‘life-changing’ category. Sometimes, it’s more about experimenting with new designs and having a little fun along the way.




Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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