Advances in 3D printing have already changed many industries and we believe it will change many more, even ones that do not seem like a natural fit for the tech. Take plumbing devices, for instance. Who would have thought 3D printing will actually be a good fit for making faucets, as American Standard Brands have done with their upcoming line of DXV faucets.
What’s so special about 3D-printed faucets? For one, the unique manufacturing allowed them to fabricate faucets with the kind of geometries that are next-to-impossible to produce using traditional casting techniques, creating models that add an air of mystique to an erstwhile banal, everyday object.
Naturally, they don’t use simple 3D printers to make the DXV line. Instead, the metal faucets are created using a selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer, which melts layer after layer of metal powder on the build area, then recasts each one into a very thin layer of the design. Like other 3D printed objects, there is no need for support structures in the build, giving designers the freedom to fashion previously-unexplored geometries and shapes.
A total of three models are included in the inaugural line: one with 19 waterways that simulate water trickling down a riverbed and two with concealed waterways that make it look like the water is appearing out of nowhere. Each faucet takes around 24 hours to print completely, after which it is hand-finished to create a more polished final product.
American Standard Brands’ DXV faucets is slated to debut within the year.