3D printing of a centrifugal water pump
Once upon a time, 3D printing was all about producing tiny Yodas and Pikachus, but nowadays useful things are 3D printed on a regular basis as well. A good example is this centrifugal water pump that can really deliver juice, courtesy of [Connor].
The pump housings and impeller are all 3D printed in PLA, as well as the inlet which is designed for a 2L screw-on soda bottle. The gaskets are printed in soft TPU to help seal the cases. There are a few ball bearings inside to keep the wheel spinning nicely, too, with hex head fasteners used to hold everything together and a long bolt used as the main shaft of the wheel. Notably, no shaft seal is included so the pump does leak a bit, but that’s not a major concern assuming you’re just pumping water and don’t mind spilling a little excess. Turned with a drill at 1800 rpm, the pump is capable of reaching a flow rate of 13 liters per minute, or a maximum height of 1.2 meters. The design is on Onshape, for the curious.
This is a great example of how 3D printing can enable the creation of machines with complex geometry without the need for advanced machining skills. Instead, all of the hard work is done on the CAD side. We have already seen 3D printed pumps already implemented, like this fertilizer spreader. Video after the break.