I developed this product mainly because my 3 year old son is too small to reach and push the shower button after a swimming lesson, and out of frustration from when i was touring in my caravan after been on long walks and wanted a shower without the disruption of the shower cutting out every few seconds.
I realize the reason they are built this way is to avoid water wastage but on the other hand it does save the valves on the showers from wearing as they wouldn’t need to be pressed as much meaning the would last at least twice as long.
Our attachment will only works on showers with a push button shower, a bespoke attachment will need to be designed for any variants. We do have spacers available meaning our attachment will work on any length of shower fitment shown in the video above.
The attachment we have designed is the most common size.
This project was started out by designing and 3d printingthe shower attachementsbut i found this method to be no use as the plastic overtime would break and it would cost too much to produce so to decrease the cost to customers and increase production Optiprint created a mould using silicone. (see below)
To decrease the cost and increase production OptiPrint created a mould using silicone.
This was the first batch of adaptors created using silicone moulds from OptiPrint.
Shane from Optiprint advised me to the method ofmoulding the shower attachments myself and make them using polyurethane plastic.
The strength and quality rivals high end 3D printers, the time it takes to mould a shower attachment is a fraction of the time it takes to 3D print.
I simplified the colour palette and started learning how to mould the shower attachments.
As the time went on I learned more of what works in the way of materials and what needed changing or simplifying. Starting with the colours which i decided on full colours rather than mixed.
Unfortunately OptiPrint ceased trading so I had to go it alone and learn how to make my own moulds to create the shower attachments with the help and advise from Shane along the way.
Shane let me borrow his vacuum chamber which removes the air from the silicone moulds.
To increase the volume of adaptors I need to productise making the moulds and design jigs to hold the two part silicone mould, in hindsight I should have started with a simpler part.
The master part needs to be fixed to the polycarbonate sheet to produce a good silicone mould. I tried inserts with a thread but I found these pulled out over time leaving a gap between the sheet and the part. This produced bad moulds due to leakage around the part.
This above sketch was an idea to embed square M3 nuts into the 3D printed part. These wouldn’t pull out unlike the inserts. I refined the concept using Solidworks and found a supplier to make the new master.
The part was designed to be 3D printed on a Markforged Onyx printer, I use these printers at work and normally they produce excellent prints. Unfortunately the suppliers printer had water in the nylon which produced a poor surface finish. No amount of sanding would make this part good enough to mould.
You can’t polish a turd…
I had to come up with another way to fix the part to the poly… to be continued