Designing and Printing a Water Saving Clip

And so in the studio, we have these 2 automatic-press type taps. Which is all great because there isn’t any way to accidentally leave the tap running and unnoticed. However, the major downside is that when fully pressed, they take really long to spring back up, giving almost 3-4 seconds worth of running water (almost a regular cup’s worth!).

Hence, something needed to be done about this and the idea of creating custom sized water limiting clips arose. Very simply, we just needed something sized appropriately to slide over the middle part of the tap and restrict the extent to which the tap can be pressed down.

So first things first – time to whip out the trusty ol’ vernier calipers to measure the width of the middle portion. 25mm width in this case.

Next, a quick 3d modelling done up with that dimension. Typically, we crank out the first model very quickly as its much more efficient to test things out and see if there are any changes needed through this rapid prototyping process. It’s going to be a small piece so our expectation is that is will be a very quick 3d print in any case.

From the 3d model file, we quickly run it through the slicer program (Simplify3D in our case)…


.. and then on to the the 3d printing part of things! As expected it was a quick print taking around 15 minutes.Which is great because we can very quickly print out more if they get lost or broken!

Then on to the moment of truth – testing out the piece on the tap. Frankly, we did this twice because the first version was too short vertically and provided almost no vertical “restriction”. The second version was 10mm tall.

Here we go, a nice snug fitting clip which doesn’t fall off.

And the final test – how much water flows from the tap with and without the clip. We tested this and the cup on the left was the before scenario (~270 ml of water) v.s. the after scenario (~20ml of water). More than 10x reduction of water used. =)

Yup, and in the spirit of sharing (this admittedly very simply piece) – here’s the model file on Thingiverse too –!

As always, happy 3d printing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *