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Faircap's goal is to provide clean water for everyone, in that vein we are making filtration tools that remove bacteria and viruses. Our aim is to make a $1 water filter, we're hoping to run a crowdfunding campaign to bring the cost down and create a single unit that can filter both chemicals and bacteria and screw onto any standard sized bottle cap.

For researching and learning we came up with a 3d printed version of the Faircap filter. With this project you can fill a bottle full of sludge from a pond, screw the OS3DPWF onto a large plastic bottle, combine it with an ultrafiltration cartridge or leave the filtered water under the sun for 4 hours so that the UV light destroys the DNA from viruses and bacteria, and start pouring your family clean and safe cups of drinking water!

750 million people globally don't have access to clean water and every year the problem worsens. Faircap is developing a variety of open source water filters to provide clean water access for the bottom of the pyramid and to address the needs of the many.

Faircap is sharing the design files and information needed of this 100% open source version to discover and excite a global group of people to collectively work on a multifaceted global problem. Download the files, print your own Faircap, and be a part of the solution. Collaborate with the project at http://www.faircap.org with your own ideas, the more designers we have creating modifications and variations, the faster we'll be able to bring clean water to everyone, openly.

Step 1: Understand the process

To make your own safe drinking water, you need to understand how to filter the two main classes of contaminants:

  1. Stuff: Particles and chemicals
  2. Pathogens: Bacteria and viruses

First we'll learn to clear the water of floating matter and chemicals since these affect the taste and can have harmful physiological effects. This is accomplished using activated charcoal. Activated carbon is simply charcoal (which you can gather from an extinguished campfire) that has been mixed with salt (25% solution), left to soak overnight, and rinsed. This is the way to make DIY activated carbon. You can see the activated carbon in our cap in the center image.

Second, we need to clear pathogens. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Boil the filtered, clear and good tasting water for a full minute
  • Leave the filtered water in direct sunlight for four hours. This is called SODIS (Solar Disinfection). The UV rays can penetrate the transparent water and break the DNA inside the little critters - killing them.
  • Use ultrafiltration (UF) plastic filter cartridges to block passage of pathogens.

In this project we use an ultrafiltration (UF) cartridge with pores so small that pathogens can't penetrate, but water flows through. You can see the UF plastic filter on the left of the photo. We're looking for ways to make our own ultrafiltration filters or portable UV light systems to reduce the filter's cost, and to keep the entire project simple and open source.

As you can see, filtering water is a pretty simple process and doesn't require expensive equipment. You just need to understand the two basic components. There's lots more information at the Center For Disease Control.

Lastly, as long as we're here, download the STL files on this page as we'll need them shortly.

<p>Interesting idea but I don't get it. You need a lot of (presumably clean) water and salt to produce the activated carbon, which you can produce clean water. But if you don't have clean water to start with, what do you do? Is this an effective way of creating more clean water?</p>
<p>Is this method effective for the agricultural chemicals like pesticides ?</p>
<p>Can you tell us which UF filter you are using in the photo?</p><p>Great work, thanks!!</p>
super lovely application for venturing! a must have for hiker! maybe a columbia bottle compatible nozzle!
This is really cool, you should enter this into the contest on thingiverse
i'm posting a link to some work done on filtering water using sapwood. instead of singing it's praises i'll just post up and let you be the judge. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0089934 <br>
<p>Thanks a lot for the link! yes, nature uses membranes to filter out chemicals and bacteria, for the future I think it will be a source of inspiration. Since I traveled thru the Amazon there is a plant that you can cut and drink clear water out of it, its called Soga Maravilla. More scientific research should be done with these plants. Also the Moringa seeds kill bacteria and settle down sediments, has been traditional used in the Amazon rainforest by native communities</p>
<p>Saw it at the POC21 near Paris and it's pretty amazing ! Thanks for the instructables.</p>
<p>GREAT PROJECT!!! Thanks for sharing! Wish you all the best!</p>
<p>How long does your charcoal/swab filter last before it needs replacing ?</p><p>How can you tell it needs replacing ?</p>
<p>It really depends on the how dirty the water is, there is no set rule, but in general if you see that the resulting water is not transparent anymore it needs replacing. Also many chemicals are transparent, but not tasteless, if you try the water and it tastes funny then it also needs replacement. Some chemicals and minerals might not be harmful but make the water taste strange, it's always better to be on the safe side. You don't need to drink the water to taste it, if it doesn't taste right in your mouth just spit it and replace the charcoal.</p>
<p>For the micropore filter, a guy named Tony Flynn came up with a method using clay, coffee grounds and cow manure: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s1381331.htm</p>
<p>Thanks Gary for the link! I will check it out</p>
<p>Great project! Thanks for sharing!</p>

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