• Skyhawk Global Spill Control & Clean Up
    Skyhawk Global

    HydroEater- our unique bioremediation solution

    What Is Bio Remediation? Bio Remediation is a specific process used to treat contaminated media, including water, soil and subsurface material, by altering the environmental conditions to stimulate growth of microorganisms and degrade the target pollutants. In many cases, bioremediation is less expensive and more sustainable than other remediation alternatives.

  • Condorchem Envitech Water
    Condorchem Envitech

    Experts in Wastewater & Air Treatment for 25 years in the Automotive Industry

    From the automotive manufacturing industry there are two main areas of environmental impact:

  • Ecobuild 2018 & BREEAM Awards & Standards
    Ecobuild 2018 & BREEAM

    BREEAM Awards partners with ecobuild 2018

    The 2018 BREEAM Awards, leading awards for sustainability within the global built environment, has joined forces with ecobuild. The awards will also feature the 2018 GRESB awards, rewarding excellence in property investment.

  • Chelsea Technologies Group Water
    Chelsea Technologies Group

    Please vote for CTG's FastBallast to win the "Green4Sea Awards - Technology category"

v ecohouse button

baxi button web

web mossborough spud field copy

Thursday, 27 July 2017 10:06

Golf ball sized device saves water through gentle reminders!

A 'fit and forget' golf ball sized water monitoring device lets you know when 45 litres have been used so those who take long showers can realise the error of their ways!

Product design company 3fD (3form Design) have created a low cost water saving device for the consumer market that ditches a reliance on electronics but instead blends user-friendly design with engineering. The golf ball sized device uses a tiny, inbuilt gearbox that allows consumers to easily control and monitor their domestic water consumption without the need for expensive smart devices or apps.

Ally Le Sueur, operations manager at 3fD commented: "Many water saving devices limit usage by measuring time rather than volume, so people are left with no real understanding of how much water they're actually using. The ones that do measure volume are often expensive devices with integrated electronics and apps. FloSTEM is a much cheaper device that allows everyday consumers to measure and control their domestic water by using the power of product design and engineering rather than electronics."

3fD Design water saverEssentially a 'fit and forget' device, FloSTEM can be easily fitted between a shower-head and shower, or a tap and a hose pipe, and enables consumers to monitor their water usage in 'packets' of 45L. When 45L of water has passed through the device it shuts off until the user presses a button on the side to allow the next packet of 45L of water through. With an average 8-minute shower using 65L and a typical bath 80L, 3fD chose to limit the device at 45L to emphasise FloSTEM's water saving functionality and to give people a realistic insight into their water consumption.

Ally Le Sueur continued, "It was really important to us that the device didn't feel punishing or negative. Instead we wanted to inform and empower consumers by giving them a simple and clear insight into the water usage and giving them the choice of whether to use more or adapt their habits in order to conserve."

Inside the device an impeller rotates as water flows through, driving a specially designed fixed ratio gearbox that triggers the shut off mechanism when 45L has passed through. An extraordinarily high gear ratio was required in order to make the device viable, and the team sought inspiration by looking into 'epicyclic' water mechanisms and even dissecting an egg timer. To add to their design challenge, the device had to be made from plastic and be small enough to fit through a letterbox.

Simon Willis, product designer at 3fD commented, "We chose to use an epicyclic gearbox because they can be made really compact and can reach the very high ratio that we needed to make the device work. The final gearbox has many nuances to make it work especially for FloSTEM and it's certainly the smallest gearbox that we've ever come across."

Last year the team created their first prototypes by 3D printing the tiny gears and parts using their in-house Stratsys Connex Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) machine. This allowed them to test their device and design data before manufacturing started.