Utilizing 3D Printing to Solve Hygiene Problems in Lebanon – Oxfam, MyMiniFactory, And Volunteer 3D Designers

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Back in May, we reported on an incredible initiative that MyMiniFactory and Oxfan had teamed up for. They had decided to utilize the benefits of 3D printing to bring humanitarian aid to those in need. The first humanitarian aid project that was announced was in Labanon, where there have been major concerns over the safety of the water that is being used by Syrian refugees when washing their hands. Due to the unsanitary conditions, many infectious diseases are spreading around like wildfire.

MyMiniFactory set up a campaign to recruit designers to design new hand washing devices that would hopefully solve the water hygiene issues in Lebanon. They were to submit their creations in the form of 3D renderings, which engineers will be reviewing. The engineers will be selecting the design(s) they think will work best, and then 3D printing these design on site in Lebanon, using 3D printers they have on hand.

The submission period ended on May 27th, and MyMiniFactory has posted these designs on their website, for everyone to view.

Here are some of the designs which have been submitted:

The Elephant – By Sorin Popa

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This clever idea allows users to wash their hands with clean soapy water, without any contamination of the publicly available water supply. Water is pumped through the top, then it trickles down onto a bar of hand soap and then down the reservoir, allowing the user to wash his/her hands without contamination of the device or public water supply.

Water Cap and Flex Tap – By Peter Krige

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This ingenious idea utilizes a bicycle pump to pump water, which is stored in a tank, up and out of a tube. It utilizes a ‘flex tap’ that creates a kink in the tube, which controls and/or stops the water from flowing, depending on how much the user flexes the handle.

Water Tap – By Joe Palmer

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This is a water dispensing tap which includes an integrated soap holder. What makes this appealing is the fact that it can be printed with muliple colors, making it fun to use (for children), and it is small enough to be transported as needed.

Waterlock – By Onno Van Der Neut

This design allows for people to wash their hands by simply lifting a bar of soap. The soap is attached to a string, and when lifted, opens a valve to allow water to flow down on their hands. It can be added to a simple bottle of water or a larger tank. No water is wasted in the process since only water that is needed is used.

Wahakit – By Sergio S. Ferreira

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This system is made up of only plastic parts, including a tap, a pamphlet holder, a basin, and a soft PVC tube. It utilizes a pedal-like device to open the valve and allow water to flow into the hand washing area.

Tippy Can – By Rob Delaney

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This unique design utilizes a common aluminum drinking can, like those you would drink a can of soda or beer from. The can is placed in a 3D printed ‘cradle’. When the can is flat, water will not flow, but when the cradle is tipped, the can will slide to the end, where water will flow through holes and allow a person to wash their hands.

Plastic Tap – By Sandino Torres

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This is a generic tap, but with a friendly looking design that features a happy face. It can be attached to a water bottle to allow people to turn on, wash their hands, and then quickly turn off, before the next person comes to repeat these steps. While it isn’t as unique of a design, it appears to be something that could easily be 3D printed and then implemented in Lebanon.

Water Blocks – By David Greenen

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This design has more uses than just one. These are water blocks, that store enough water inside of them for a single hand washing. They include a cap that is made out of a bar of soap. Once the water block has been used, children can take multiple blocks and build a cricket bat out of them. This allows the used blocks to go to a good cause.

These are just several of the many designs that have been uploaded. Feel free to check out all of the designs at MyMiniFactory.com. What they are doing along with Oxfam, could become more commonplace in humanitarian efforts, as 3D printing becomes more widespread. What 3D printing will allow them to do is test out products, make changes on the fly, and then print out a revised iteration. Once a perfected iteration is found, they can then use traditional manufacturing techniques to create these on a large scale. It should be interesting to see what types of projects MyMiniFactory and Oxfam team up on next.

Discuss this project, and let us know which designs you like best in the Oxfam / MyMiniFactory thread on 3DPB.com.

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