I’ve never thought of faucets as particularly attractive things, but in the hands of the right designers, they can be turned into stunning works of art. I have a pretty deep admiration for people who can make bathrooms beautiful, and American Standard has done that repeatedly – especially since they discovered 3D printing. Last year, the company introduced a new line of 3D printed faucets – the first-ever metal 3D printed faucets, as a matter of fact. The gorgeous, sculptural fixtures got a lot of attention when they hit the market, and quickly began grabbing up design awards.
The attractiveness of American Standard’s 3D printed faucets, which are marketed under their DXV luxury brand, goes beyond just appearance, too. They’re also highly water-efficient and eco-friendly, drawing the attention of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which recently presented the company with the 2016 WaterSense Excellence in Innovation and Research Award.
The WaterSense program was created in 2006 in an effort to get Americans to conserve water through more efficient personal practices as well as water-saving products. To earn the WaterSense product label, a product or service needs to be proven to be at least 20% more efficient than equivalent products, without sacrificing performance. American Standard’s faucets use 45% less water than other models, going way beyond the EPA’s standards.
“This dazzling reinvention of the way water is delivered to the user could not be crafted using conventional manufacturing methods; only this first-of-its-kind 3D metal printing process can achieve these stunning results,” said Maha El Kharbotly, chief marketing officer for LIXIL Water Technology Americas, the division under which American Standard and their luxury brand DXV operate.
All three of the 3D printed DXV faucet models – the Vibrato, Trope, and Shadowbrook – have a flow rate of 1.2 gallons per minute (GPM). The federal standard is no more than 2.5 GPM for kitchen faucets and 2.2 GPM for bathroom faucets. The WaterSense product-labeling program, according to the EPA, has helped Americans to save 1.5 trillion gallons of water and $32.6 billion in water and energy bills since 2006 – not to mention 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
“American Standard is continually striving to raise the standard in the industry by developing groundbreaking innovations that impact everyday water use while exceeding the expectations of our customers in terms of style and performance,” said El Kharbotly. “We are very dedicated to promoting the mission of the WaterSense program and it is a true honor to receive this meaningful recognition from the EPA.”
Beyond their faucet design, American Standard has worked closely with the WaterSense program through research. C.J. Lagan, American Standard Senior Manager of Testing and Compliance for Fixtures, was awarded the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) 2015 Industry Person of the Year Award for his work on a recent study of drain line carry, part of a research collaboration between American Standard and the Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC). Discuss further in the 3D Printed Faucets forum over at 3DPB.com.