Organic Fountain – Top 5 Specifications and Constraints

Top 5 Specifications and Constraints  


  1. Organic Aesthetic

The first and arguably most important specification for my project is achieving the Organic Aesthetic. As seen in the figure below I believe I achieve this with my Topology Optimization output of the Fountain Head as seen below:

Figure. 1 Topology Output Bottom Isometric View


  1. Rotating Fountain Head

Another important specification in my project is that the fountain head has to rotate. A dynamic element is required in this project and including a bearing in the counter bored hole in the figure above will allow for this.

  1. Battery Powered System

A specification that I decided on throughout the course of the project is that I wanted this system to be battery powered. A lot of pumps like this can be USB powered but I want to be able to put this pump anywhere.

  1. Pressure Head

One of the technical specifications for this project is the pressure head of the system. While when selecting components, I was able to get in the ballpark I decided to implement a potentiometer in the system to dial it in.

  1. Pump

The last specification is the pump for the system. There are certain size and power specifications that needed to be in place to ensure a functional system.


  1. 3-D Printing

3-D Printing is a large factor constraining my project. While this is the only feasible way of manufacturing the fountain head each print can take upward of 24 hours and needs a lot of support material as seen in on of my many failed prints below:

Figure. 2 Failed Fountain Head 3-D Print


  1. Space

One of the other major constraints I am facing in this project is the space in the fountain base. I didn’t initially design in enough room for the tubing to be routed without kinking. I am currently working on a solution for this but have attached an image below:

Figure. 3 Electronics and Tubing of Fountain System


  1. Time

Time is a large constraint for this project because of everything else going on during second semester of senior year. I am spending a lot of time for senior projects deliverables and fell as if I am running out of time for other courses.

  1. Material

Another constraint is the materials for various components of the system. I was limited to plastics for the fountain head since it was being 3-D printed. The poor surface quality forced me to get a PLA sealant. And the hosing I am currently using are very prone to kinking as seen in Figure 3.

  1. Available Tools

I only have a couple of battery powered hand tools at my small apartment. This limited how well I could fabricate the wooden structure and the surface finishes I was able to achieve.




Picture 1: Original Content

Picture 2: Original Content

Picture 3: Original Content


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • Hey Michael, it seems like you have a really solid handle on your design at this point! I was happy to read through the constraints and not find anything that sounds like it’s going to be a potential deal breaker for your project. I was wondering, what have you been 3D printing your iterations on? Do you have your own printer/are you using one of the school’s and what material are you using?

    • Michael Burns
      April 13, 2021 10:20 am

      Hey Maya, thanks for the comment! I am using one of my friends Ender 3 to print the iteration of my Topology Fountain Head. I am also just using standard PLA to keep things simple.

  • Branden Tangney
    April 7, 2021 11:26 am

    Hi Michael!

    I have been following along with the progression of this project and I see you continually reiterated the importance of the organic aesthetic. Have you been able to find some sort of paint or adhesive material that will help you achieve this awesome aesthetic? Another question with the battery aspect of the project is how you plan to remove dead batteries or charge them? I know you mentioned in your post that you could implement USB but that you wanted to pump it anywhere, so I was curious how you planned to do so! Anyway these are just questions for thought. I love the direction this project is moving!

    • Michael Burns
      April 13, 2021 10:25 am

      Hi Branden, thanks for the comment and your repeated support! The organic aesthetics is by far the most important thing to me in this project. I had been playing around with the Topology Optimization tool for a long time and really wanted to do something artistic with it. I am working through options for paint but don’t know what would match the organic aesthetic the best. I have rechargeable battery that I plan on taking out of the system to recharge and then put them back in afterwards.


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