Marketplace

  • Cirrus Research Health & safety
    Cirrus Research

    THE LAKES ARE ALIVE WITH THE SOUND OF MUSIC!

    THE VENUE: LAKES ALIVE FESTIVAL, KENDAL.
    THE CLIENT: CHRIS SELKIRK, OF SUSTAINABLE FESTIVALS.
    THE KIT: OPTIMUS GREEN ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND LEVEL METER

  • Cirrus Research Awards & Standards
    Cirrus Research

    Leading the way - Cirrus Research now a UKAS accredited laboratory for calibration services

    Noise monitoring instrument suppliers and manufacturers, Cirrus Research, have taken a further step in cementing their position as one of the world's leading noise experts, as they have received UKAS accreditation for the calibration of sound level meters, acoustic calibrators and octave band filters.

  • North Wiltshire Sustainable Business Conference Trade Shows & Conferences
    North Wiltshire Sustainable Business Conference

    A packed weekend of sustainability events in North Wiltshire

    Chippenham will play host to a series of sustainable business events, conference, seminars and exhibition on Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October. 

  • Green Motion Transport
    Green Motion

    Green Motion wins Green World Environment Award

    Green Motion International has won a Green World Environment Award in the international campaign to find the world's greenest countries, companies and communities.

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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.

www.3formdesign.com

WWEM 2018

AQE 1018