The "Print Clay" humidifier is a 3D printed product capable of operating without consuming any energy. This innovative device, made by designer Jiaming Liu, is inspired by how trees work. As well as being the first of its kind, this humidifier has a strikingly unique shape and function, both only possible through the use of additive manufacturing .
Jiaming Liu created this 3D printed humidor as part of a graduate project at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. It's a near-perfect exercise in smart, eco-friendly design that delivers value to the user through inexpensive traditional materials and high-tech manufacturing techniques. In fact, the device works thanks to this precise combination.
The humidifier is inspired by the functioning of trees in nature: “ The lower part of the water tank is like the ground and the earth. The extension curves (which are inside the water tank) are like the roots of a tree that absorbs water. The main part carries water upwards and expands, like the trunk and branches of a tree ,” explains the designer. This evaporation process is the same that earthenware water containers use to cool their contents, a natural process which therefore eliminates the need for electricity
The creation of the 3D printed humidifier
Jiaming Liu created the Print Clay humidifier by 3D printing using an FDM printer capable of extruding clay. Specifically recycled ceramic powder was added to the clay in a ratio of 1:3. This material not only improves the resistance and water absorption of the device but also, once the life cycle of the product is over, to be easily recyclable and reusable as clinker, a constituent of cement. .
The uniqueness of the 3D printed form is essential to the functioning of the humidifier. According to the designer, it would be almost impossible to achieve by hand or other injection molding production methods. “ Compared to other humidifiers on the market, its unique printing structure allows it to better absorb and evaporate water. Also, the clay's micropores are much more efficient at releasing water into the atmosphere: the evaporation rate is significantly higher, absorbing more water and evaporating faster ," added Jiaming Liu.
The creator molded the three parts in one piece. The water storage room is a container capable of holding 500ml of water. It is enameled on the outside so liquid can be stored without spilling. The roots and the upper trunk, on the other hand, are not glazed. They must be in direct contact with water and air for optimal operation.
In the midst of an energy and environmental crisis, this simple and smart invention, based on the use of traditional materials and techniques, brings us a new way of designing and producing end-use parts that are readily available and usable by consumers. All of this is made possible by 3D printing technologies ! You can find more information about the humidifier HERE .