Jun 6, 2015 | By Simon

Although we’ve heard about a number of developments being made towards creating a future of 3D printed houses that will ultimately revolutionize the design and construction industry, we’re still yet to see just how much of an impact creating the 3D printed structures might have.  According to a recent panel of experts, the near future will certainly contain the 3D printed houses due their ability to be constructed for relatively low cost and with available materials that are in a given area - it’s just a matter of the technology catching up.

In the meantime, a number of companies that develop the hardware and products that go inside of a house have been developing their own 3D printed products.  Among others is American Standard Brands, who most will recognize as the designer and engineer of commercially-available faucets.  

Of all of the company’s various brands, DXV by American Standard is considered to have some of their most innovative and meticulously crafted fixtures and faucets.  It should come with little surprise then that the brand is responsible for the company’s first-ever lineup of 3D printed faucets.  

“We are proud to announce the launch of the first ever commercially-available faucets created with additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing,” says the company on their Facebook page.   

“We have created three designs for the launch: Two faucets are focused on reinventing of the way water is brought to the user while the third design is focused on designing the experience of water … We look forward to beginning a dialog about the endless possibilities that come with 3D manufacturing.”

Thanks to the possibilities of 3D printing, the company has been able to look at new ways of approaching the design and function of the faucets in ways that have never been available in the history of manufacturing.  

To focus on reinventing the way that water is brought to the user - which two of the three designs are focused on - the designers used high-strength alloy which enables fine structures of concealed waterways that converge at the top, shortly before reaching the aerator.  Due to the unique construction of the faucet, this gives users the impression that water is magically appearing out of the faucet.  While one of these designs has a mesh structure of delicate latticework, the other has the waterways separated into four thin sections that give the faucet more of a traditional appearance.    

As for the third faucet, the design was centered around the experience of using water itself.  To do this, the designers constructed the faucet design so that the water is presented to the user as a stream bouncing on rocks in a riverbed.  To achieve what they describe as a “poetic effect” on the water, the designers and engineers incorporated Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) technology to adjust each of the 19 waterways in order to make the water look like it was bouncing off of the rocks in a stream.  As for the rest of the faucet design, it is focused on being simple so as to not distract from the experience of the water flow.  

While each of the three faucet designs tell their own story through design, they are all fabricated through the use of a selective laser sintering (SLS) process and each takes approximately 24 hours to be printed.  Once the faucets have been printed, they undergo a hand-finishing process that mimics the texture found on silver pieces after years of being hand buffed and polished.  

While many companies use the SLS process to develop prototypes of products that are to be manufactured using more traditional techniques, the designers have optimized the process to ensure that the faucets are ready to be used immediately after the finishing process.  Most importantly, all three of the DXV faucets have received NSF certification and have passed all low-lead code approvals. Additionally, the faucets meet the water-saving standards of the WaterSense® label.  

Within the next 12 months, the company is planning on launching  their DXV faucets through an exclusive network of showrooms and the estimated price for each faucet will be between $12,000 and $20,000.  

“3D printing will have a major disruptive effect on the design and construction industry, and DXV by American Standard is the first plumbing manufacturer to introduce a product for commercialization,” says the company.  

“The process democratizes design and decentralizes manufacturing, which will eventually upend the design and construction industry, along with many others. A new, more efficient business model for bespoke design could be on the horizon. This would reduce the inventory pressures that arise from mass production of personalized products, while opening up a new world for both design and construction.”



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Kim wrote at 9/23/2016 12:43:27 AM:

Where can I buy this scooter? Please let me know, Kim @ 702-233-8809 I know a little dog that hasn't walked and needs to fell free, she was rescued. Kim Knickerbocker

Wim wrote at 6/10/2015 2:27:25 PM:

Looks nice but it will be a horrible job to clean your bathroom

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