Monday, March 3, 2014

Make Fresh Water with 3D Printed Water Distiller

watermaker 3D Printing

Make Fresh Water with 3D Printed Water Distiller

It’s hard not to be taken in by the humble austerity of the WordPress site Make Fresh Water. Under the simple header reads a phrase that might as well have been written by Kurt Vonnegut as the meaning of life: “Help People.”  The site then lays out, in a simple and straightforward manner, how to solve the right to potable drinking water denied to millions of people on the planet: a 3D printable fresh water maker.
parts 3D Printing
I’m not an engineer or even all that good with science, so we’ll need some help from the peanut gallery as to the viability of this project. Cem Schnitzler has provided the .stl files for his Water Maker and outlines how it works. The device consists of a body, a hopper, and a cap, all of which are to be printed in a UV resistant material. Waste water is placed into the base of the device, the body, which must be printed in black so as to absorb light from the sun. The hopper, printed in a transparent material, is placed over the waste water and sealed with the cap.
steam 3D Printing
Placed in the sun, the Water Maker heats up to 85°C, until steam begins to form, condensing along the inside of the device’s hopper.  The condensed water, with nowhere else to go, streams along the sides of the funnel and into a reservoir lining the edge of the device.  And, as Cem puts it, “That’s it; we have distilled water. But the water needs a little bit of salt because distilled water has no minerals.
water 3D Printing
Finally, there’s a link to a dropbox folder where you can download the files for the Water Maker yourself, accompanied with an impassioned plea: “Now I need your help. Please share this blog with your friends and family. Maybe there is someone how can made this Water Maker and give it to the people in the third world or without access to clean water. I don’t wanna make money with this project ! I do this only with the goal to help people!
According to the UN’s website, “Water scarcity already affects every continent. Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world’s population, live in areas of physical scarcity, and 500 million people are approaching this situation. Another 1.6 billion people, or almost one quarter of the world’s population, face economic water shortage (where countries lack the necessary infrastructure to take water from rivers and aquifers).” This problem, whichdisproportionately affects developing nations, will soon hit wealthy countries harder as climate change begins to limit access to drinking water with record droughts occurring worldwide. The UN’s site goes on to say, “Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough freshwater on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed.
All of the above shows that water scarcity is a real problem, but that it is one that can be solved, if we focus our efforts on solving it. Now, Cem has left it up to the world to do something with his design. I’m not sure if it will work, but the blog’s title is instruction enough for those who come across it. Whether his design is the solution or just a solution to the potable water crisis throughout the world, his message is clear: Make Fresh Water.

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