3D Printed Faucets from DXV by American Standard
3D printing was originally known as rapid prototyping. Remember that term? If a company needed to experiment with a component design change, it was a lot faster and significantly cheaper to make the part via rapid prototyping than it was to mold it or even machine it. 3D was used in numerous industries for original product development and to make running changes to existing products. While cheaper in the long run than other manufacturing methods, 3D still wasn’t cheap by any means.
Fast forward about 25 years and two big changes have occurred. One of the changes that has created all of the buzz is the major drop in cost, which has enabled regular consumers to get their hands on this technology. It was a big deal the first time one of these machines cost under $10,000 (according to 3D Printing Industry that was around 2007; not that long ago). Now you can get them for a $1,000 and can buy a little desktop unit for $350. The second big change that hasn’t gotten as much attention yet is that 3D are now being used for final products and not just prototyping.
American Standard is the first company to offer a commercially-available faucet manufactured via 3D printing, which is also known as additive manufacturing. These faucets are available under American Standard’s high-end DXV brand. These are not printed plastic prototypes, but are metal and ready for real use.
Currently, three faucets are offered. Two of the faucets essentially mask the path of the water and create the illusion of the water appearing right at the aerator. Basically, the water travels via a series of small, separate tubes and then converges. American Standard states that the high strength of the allows used allows this design to work.
On the third faucet, the design team used Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) technology to adjust each of the 19 waterways to achieve the proper effect of water traveling over rocks in a streambed.
American Standard expects the facucets to be available through a network of select showrooms within approximately a year. The 3D-printed faucets are estimated to retail from $12,000 to $20,000.