For some time I really enjoy making usefull working things with 3D printer, like my bike smartphone holder or when I fixed my fridge or even my Ludwik drone. I was quite bored few days ago so I thought let's try to design a working water pump and print it. 3 hours later it was ready for first test. Works amazing, even with small motor from old air refreshener. So I decided to design new turbine and see if it will be even better (It wasn't). So here you will see how to make your own 3D printed water pump, you will see process of building the second version of it but the only difference between them is small detail.
You can ask why? there is a lot of cheap pumps that you can easily buy. Yes but as I said I was bored and curious and as they say curiosity is the mother of invention. So I opened up Fusion 360 (<3 this soft) and after 30 minutes my printer was in the process of printing (actually both of my printers because I wanted to have it ready as soon as possible).
But why pump and not something different?
I am planning to make a very simple and cheap plant watering system and I am searching for cheap pump that can water my flowers.
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Ok, are you ready? I am! Let's make 3D printed water pump, for learning and of course fun purposes, because we can!
Step 1: STL Files
Here are STL files to print all parts. Yo need one of each (there are 2 versions of turbine, first one is better) so you should print base, top and turbine (choose one from the 2 versions). For turbine and base you have to use supports. Best orientation to print the is as shown on the image above. You can also found those files on my thingiverse:
Step 2: Motor
Because a lot of people may think that I used not popular motor and it will be hard to find. Actually it is easy to find in electronic air freshener like the one on the photo above, I think they are also used in some toys. You can also buy one here:
It is cheap DC motor, it's not waterproof but can work underwater. Water can short its lifetime. It is also not suitable to work on 12V but water is around it so it shouldn't overheat, I hope so. It also works good on 6V without any problems, just my 6V battery is dead. You do it on your own responsibility. In the worst case you will destroy this motor, you can always replace it.
Step 3: Printing and Cleaning
Printing time is about 3 hours. As I said you need to use supports. To make them faster I used both of my 3D printers to print that. The first version of turbine works better and is easier to print (has less supports).
After printing you should clean everything up, remove supports and grid it out a little bit. Make sure that turbine is spinning freely.
Printed on my Creality CR10: https://goo.gl/6rfUc8
Step 4: Assembling
Assemble everything as shown above, make sure that turbine is spinning freely but also is tight on the motor shaft. In next step we will glue everything together so if it don't fit perfectly, glue will fix that.
Step 5: Hot Glue Technology
Right now we can use advanced glue technology (just kidding, that's normal hot glue, hot glue is just fun for some ways). We have to seal it. Water should only escape by the nozzle. Don't put too much glue because it will look bad, don't put too little because water will escape through tiny holes. You should also put a little bit of glue around motor to hold it in place and prevent moving up and down. At the end if you put too many glue you can cut it with scissors.
Step 6: Soldering
Just solder 2 cables to motor, not a big thing. Watch out for your fingers.
Step 7: Test
It's time to test our pump, as I said I used 12V battery to power it but 6V also works really good. Don't turn it on outside of water for a longer time because it can overheat. Water stream is quite high, but we neat to measure how many liters per hour can it pump.
Step 8: Flow Measurement
Let's measure flow of our pump. How?
We will just turn it on for a minute point water stream to a bowl and measure how many liters we have in a bowl after a minute then multiply that by 60 and we will know how many liters can it pump in an hour. So for this (second version) of the pump we got 0.75L in a minute so after an hour we will have around 45L quite good result as for a 3D printed pump. But let's check how will it works with the first version of turbine.
Step 9: Flow Measurement of the First Version of the Pump
Ok so here we will measure the flow of the water but with the first version of turbine. After a minute we got a 0.9L so it's about 0.15L more than in the first test. And in an hour we will have 54L so 9L more then in first test (second version of the pump). Are that results good? I don't know I know nothing about water pumps, just designed one because of curiosity.
Step 10: Conclusion
I wanted to know if it is possible to 3D print a working water pump. Yes it is easily possible. And it even works good :)
I hope you like my project don't forget to leave a comment or photo of your pump. You also can (and should :)) subscribe to my YouTube channel because I am posting here a lot more of my projects:
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Thanks for reading, have a nice day!