In this blogpost we will overview the project in its entirety, what went wrong, what went well and what we learned as team during this project.
For us, the biggest obstacle during this project was clearly defining our goal and the process to achieve this. The outlines of the assignment “creating visual water effects with fountains for home use” were too vague for us to directly start working on a prototype. Because of this we started with experimenting with different kind of fountains. During this process we switched from idea quite frequently. However, this was not the only factor which slowed down our progress. 3D printing takes quite a long time, and as our progress was very depending on the outcome of our tests, we spent quite a long time waiting for prints to finish before we could continue . Also we had no private 3D printers available which meant sometimes we had to wait several days before we could print.
Fortunately not all was misery. We managed to have a test set up (a tap, a garden hose and a backyard) very early in the process which gave us the ability to test all our freshly printed fountains. The large number of prints we executed gave us a lot of insight. It taught us about the capabilities and limitations of 3D printing. On top of that, the fact that we were working with water(pressure) forced us to take in account an extra set of limitations. We came up with a working design for the tubes within the printable ornaments and figured out that the basic settings for printing with the ultimaker 2 did not guarantee the print to be watertight. We fixed this by increasing the wall thickness of the tubes.
The end result were different pokemons with built in fountains. It was great to see so many excitement about the prints and the effects.