The 3D Printed Humidifier That Uses No Electricity
The Print Clay Humidifier is a 3D printed product capable of operating while consuming no energy. The innovative device, made by designer Jiaming Liu, is inspired by the way trees work. In addition to being the first of its kind, this humidifier has a strikingly unique shape and operation, both of which are only possible through the use of additive manufacturing.
An Electricity-Free 3D Printed Humidifier
Jiaming Liu created the 3D printed humidifier as a graduate project at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. It stems from a near-perfect exercise in intelligent, environmentally friendly design that brings value to the user through low-cost traditional materials and high-tech manufacturing techniques. In fact, the device works because of this precise combination.
The humidifier is inspired by the way trees function in nature: “The bottom water storage part is like the ground and soil. The extension curves (which are inside the water container) are like the roots of a tree absorbing water. The main part carries the water upward and extends, like tree trunks and branches,” the designer explained. This evaporation process is the same one which earthenware water containers use to cool their contents, a natural process that thus eliminates the need for electricity .
The Creation of the Product
Jiaming Liu created the Print Clay Humidifier by 3D printing using an FDM clay printer. Specifically recycled ceramic powder was added to the clay in a 1:3 ratio. This material not only makes it possible to improve the strength and water absorption of the device but, once the product’s life cycle is over, it will also be easily recyclable and reusable as clinker.
The uniqueness of the 3D printed shape is critical to the humidifier’s operation. According to the designer it would be nearly impossible to make by hand or other injection molding production methods. “Compared to other humidifiers on the market, its unique printing structure allows it to better absorb and evaporate water. In addition, the clay’s micropores are much more effective in releasing water into the atmosphere: the evaporation rate is significantly higher, absorbing more water and evaporating faster,” added Jiaming Liu.
The creator molded the three parts in one piece. The water storage part is a container capable of holding 500ml of water. It is enameled on the outside so that the liquid can be stored without spilling. The roots and upper trunk, on the other hand, are not enameled. They must be in direct contact with water and air for optimal function.
In the midst of an energy and environmental crisis, this simple, smart invention based on the use of traditional materials and techniques brings us a new way to design and produce end-use parts that are readily available and usable by consumers. All made possible by 3D printing technologies! Similar projects involving art and design in 3D printing have included the creation of benches in Italy and even shoes. You can find more information on the humidifier HERE.
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*All Photo credits: jiamingliu.design