While this manufacturing technique has been used to create plastic faucet models and concepts for years, the Vibrato, Trope, and Shadowbrook 3D faucets from DXV by American Standard are the first ready-for-market working residential faucets to be printed in metal. This 3D printing process opens up exciting possibilities for the design and function of faucets, enabling avant-garde ways to present water and completely redefining the user experience.
Three Extraordinary Designs
The Vibrato and Trope faucets are the dazzling result of a quest to reinvent the way water is brought to the user. The incredibly durable strength of the stainless steel used in the 3D process supports the fine structures of concealed waterways that converge into one piece to deliver a strong stream of water from the faucet spouts.
Characterized by an eye-catching mesh of delicate latticework, the Vibrato faucet serves as a striking focal point in contemporary luxury settings. The very delicacy of its design makes a vivid and unforgettable statement of flowing water.
The waterways of the Trope faucet are separated into four slender sections, taking classic design lines and creating elegance through symmetry. The graceful curves of the Trope’s narrow waterways are echoed on the handles of this widespread faucet for a subtle, contemplative effect.
Delivering a near-magical experience with each use, the Vibrato and Trope faucets bring mystery and drama to an otherwise mundane moment. Water flows from what appears to be a hollow spout, enchanting and beguiling the user.
Shadowbrook, the third faucet design, celebrates the natural experience of water. As water flows from the faucet, it is presented to the user as a stream bouncing on rocks in a riverbed. The poetic effect of this organic water flow was achieved through the meticulous adjustment of each of its 19 waterways, a significant triumph of Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) technology. The rest of the faucet styling is extremely pure and simple, to keep the spotlight on the play of the water.
The Additive Manufacturing Process
Additive manufacturing, another name for 3D printing, is the process of synthesizing a three-dimensional object by laying down successive layers of material, usually using a computer-controlled apparatus. There are different types of additive manufacturing. The technique for printing these DXV metal faucets is Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), and occurs as follows:
- A computer-guided laser beam fuses, or sinters, powdered metal into the shape of the faucet with high heat and pressure.
- A solid metal block arises out of powder, hinting at the sculpted masterpiece-to-be.
- The block requires hand-finishing to smooth extraneous metal and reveal the faucet design.
- The actual printing — the laser sintering — takes approximately 24 hours.
In a revival of the tradition of bespoke craftsmanship, the DXV 3D printed faucets then receive an artisan-inspired butler finish, which lends a rich, fine patina and feel that mimics the texture found on antique silver pieces.
DXV Pop undercounter lavatories beautifully align with the esthetic architecture of these elegant 3D faucets, providing a selection of round, oval, square and rectangular configurations to complement any space.
All three DXV 3D faucets meet the stringent high performance and water efficiency standards for WaterSense-certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They use 45 percent less water than standard bathroom faucet models, with a flow rate of 1.2 gallons per minute (gpm). They have received NSF certification for meeting public health and safety standard and are ‘lead free’ as defined under applicable federal and state laws.
These new 3D printed faucets from DXV by American Standard will be available in select showrooms in the first half of 2016. The Vibrato faucet is priced at $19,500, the Trope at $17,000, and the Shadowbrook at $18,000.
The Impact of 3D Printing
“3D printing will have a major disruptive effect on the design and construction industry. DXV by American Standard has chosen not to be a bystander, but rather to be a leader in this paradigm shift,” stated Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, vice president of design at LIXIL Water Technology Americas, American Standard and DXV.
A driving force behind the Company’s quest into this new technology, L’Henaff expanded on how the process of 3D printing will democratize design and decentralize manufacturing. “We believe this technique will eventually upend the design and construction industry, along with many others. A new, more efficient business model for bespoke design could be on the horizon. This would reduce the inventory pressures that arise from mass production of personalized products, while opening up a new world for both design and construction,” he explained.
For more information, visit www.dxv.com or call 800-227-2734.
ABOUT AMERICAN STANDARD BRANDS
American Standard Brands make life healthier, safer and more beautiful at home, at work, in the community and throughout the world. Offering total project solutions for residential and commercial customers around the world with respected brands such as American Standard®, DXV®, Safety Tubs®, Crane Plumbing®, Eljer®, Fiat® and Decorative Panels International®. American Standard Brands is owned by LIXIL Corporation (TSE Code 5938), and is part of LIXIL Water Technology business, which operates across 150 countries. The LIXIL Water Technology brands include: LIXIL, INAX, GROHE, American Standard, and JAXSON. Learn more at www.americanstandard.com, or follow us at twitter.com/AmStandard, https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandardPlumbing.
Pop® is a registered trademark of American Standard Brands.
Shadowbrook™, Trope™ and Vibrato™ are trademarks of American Standard Brands.
WaterSense® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).