This week’s selection is the 3D Printed Vacuum Cleaner by Reddit contributor pyrohmstr.
Although this design is not finished, it is so interesting we decided after some discussion to anoint it as Design of the Week. It is just as described: a vacuum cleaner that’s mostly made from 3D printed components.
As you can see in this video, the system actually works:
But according to designer pyrohmstr, it’s not a complete design:
“I also couldn’t find much to go on so I eyeballed it and it happened to work. Maybe someday I’ll do simulations on it to improve it but this whole project was kind of a joke.”
“I have the software for the sim but too much effort. Honestly if you spun a block fast enough it would probably work. If you’re not concerned with efficiency or prolonging your hearing I’d bet that nearly anything would work ok.”
Sure, this is not a perfect design, but it is an interesting design. If you think about it, a vacuum cleaner is just about the most fascinating item to iteratively design. You must design a device that is highly efficient, is able to scoop up debris and do that with a minimum of noise. These factors must be balanced to achieve the best design.
As pyrohmstr says, even a “block” could work, so you can imagine a huge spectrum of potential designs ranging from a simple block all the way to a highly efficient radical design. The idea here is that 3D printing technology allows you to traverse that spectrum by iteratively designing, building and testing new versions.
Eventually you will reach the point where the design meets the requirements or tops out on efficiency.
The variations would center around the design of the impeller and structure inside the vacuum chamber. These would require some knowledge of airflow, even with a simulation tool that would show you how well a given design could work.
But what design would you simulate? You’d have to explore the aerodynamics of impellers and fluid motion to devise an ingenious geometry to achieve the most efficient flow.
Designer pyrohmstr has also just dropped the files for this item on Thingiverse, and my hope is that their presence will inspire others to explore this particular problem. A lot could be learned by attempting the design of an efficient vacuum cleaner.
And we’d end up with a ton of vacuum cleaner 3D models on Thingiverse, too.