Organics Inspired Desk Water Fountain

Organics Inspired Desk Water Fountain

For my final project I wanted to experiment with a process I have played around with the past. This process is the Topology Optimization tool in SOLIDWORKS which maximizes the stiffness to weight ratio of a given component. Basically, Topology Optimization strategically takes away material from the part while attempting to maintain maximum resistance to a load.

The outcome of these simulation are very organic looking parts that are striking for viewers. To test this tool, I thought to benchmark it against a common loading case such as a cantilever beam as shown in the figure below:

Figure. 1 Cantilever Beam Load Case

Along with the common knowledge that the strongest shape is a triangle, the outcome of these simulation off ten show triangles. The image below shows the outcome of a Topology Optimization simulation of a cantilever beam:

Figure. 2 3-D Printed Cantilever Beam Topology Optimization Output

I ended up 3-D printing the outcome of the simulation as shown above because I really like the shapes and now use it as a bookmark. While the image above shows a 2-D load case, the same process can be done with 3-D models. Following the idea of triangles, I made a Triangular Prism in SOLIDWORK and added various load to it. The 3-D printed outcome is shown below:

Figure. 3 3-D Printed Triangular Prism Topology Optimization Output

I chose this as the key feature for my final project because of its organic roots. Organic pieces of art are inspired by nature and have many often time chaotic curve that when viewed as a whole offer a sense of harmony. The nature inspiration for my final project is standing at the base of a tree and looking upward. In times like these I encourage everyone to get out and do this themselves but have also attached an image below:

Figure. 4 Upward View of a Tree

I also wanted to show another example of art inspired by organics and nature. Nature almost always follows the path of least resistance. This is what determines which direction tree limbs grow and even how pain spreads on canvas. With this commonality one can often look like another as shown in the art by Sana Shaw below:

Figure. 5 Sana Shaw “The Essence of Plants”

I have yet to decide exactly how I am going to incorporate these ideals into my final project. However, I know I want to make a Water Fountain that can sit on my desk. An example of a Desktop Water Fountain is shown below:

Figure. 6 Desktop Water Fountain

The flowing water in these fountains will act as the dynamic aspect of my project. Although I would still like there to be more movement. Ideally, I will have the water flow in a certain way to case the piece to rotate.


Picture 1:

Picture 2: Original Content

Picture 3: Original Content

Picture 4:

Picture 5:×8.5.jpg

Picture 6:,0,300,300_PT0_SX300_V1___.jpg


Previous Post
Open Workspace
Next Post
Cryptex Lock

4 Comments. Leave new

  • Natalie Jagelski
    March 7, 2021 2:03 pm

    I really like the idea of creating a water fountain for your desk. With this natural/organic inspiration it might add a bit of zen to your workspace. I’m curious about how big you want the fountain to be and how you plan on pumping the water through the system.

    I also really like the 3D printed and artistic examples you provided. It’ll be fun to see what these initial ideas ultimately turn into by the end of the semester.

    • Michael Burns
      March 8, 2021 11:40 am

      Thanks for your comment Natalie! The current CAD Models I am working with for the main part of the fountain is 4″ across and 6″ tall. This came from a balance of wanting it big but not taking a long time to print. I have purchased some small 3-5V pumps to move the water around. It seems like just enough to work. In my next post I plan on showing some of these preliminary models, stay tuned!

  • When I saw you were doing to make your own water fountain, I was kinda jealous of the idea. I don’t what it is about water fountains and water features, but they are very calming and nice things to have around the house or the yard. I like the idea to incorporate organic elements, the only thing I will say is that those get really complicated to fabricate since they don’t lend themselves well to parallelism and geomtry. Not trying to deter you, just wanted to bring it up since it is something I have encountered and it becomes a pain depending on how you’re trying to fabricate them. If you’re 3D printing tho you should be fine, that makes it significantly easier.

    • Michael Burns
      March 8, 2021 11:45 am

      Hi Ben, thanks for the comment! I have always liked small water fountains for all the reason you mentioned in your comment. Luckily I do plan on 3D printing these organic components. While the support material will be a pain to take out, the printings is just a click of a button.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.