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+aquarium air bubbler cylinder 02 3d printed External Render

Not a Photo

External Render
+aquarium air bubbler cylinder 02 3d printed External Render
+aquarium air bubbler cylinder 02 3d printed External Render

Not a Photo

+aquarium air bubbler cylinder 02 3d printed
+aquarium air bubbler cylinder 02 3d printed

Not a Photo

+aquarium air bubbler cylinder 02

  Will arrive by Dec 23 in this material. Details
  • 3D printed in White Strong & Flexible: White nylon plastic with a matte finish and slight grainy feel.
  • Be the first to try. Learn more
  • This product is intended for mature audiences.

This product is in development. Buy in Beta to support this designer and share feedback.

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Product Description

This is a prototype design for an aquarium bubbler. The safety of using 3D printed materials in aquariums with living creatures is debatable, so if you have doubts plan on using 3D printed parts in a decorative aquarium containing only plants, snails, and other robust creatures. The product is presently limited to production using the regular white strong and flexible plastic material to minimize the possible introduction of other contaminants into the tank environment.

The (144) bubbler holes in the cylindrical shell will be smaller after manufacture than they are drawn, being barely visible in the test prints I have received so far. As a result the bubbler appears to be similar to an air stone in operation. The holes may be carefully drilled out with micro-drills if desired but you'll need to be careful since it can change the behavior of the bubbler. (Too many large holes can result in just a few holes emitting bubbles, as I found after drilling out holes with a drill bit that was too large.) A tie down loop at the end of the bubbler allows it to be held in place with a hook or cord connected to a weight or other fixed objects in the tank.

If you want to try this bubbler here are other issues to think about:
1) There will likely be some nylon powder remaining inside the bubbler that needs to be removed before use. I managed to do this in a pan of water, with a tooth pick to loosen up powder inside the shell, running water from a faucet for rinsing, and a lot of shaking the bubbler with water inside for further rinsing. This style of bubbler is much easier to clean since it has no long tube for connection to an air hose, but what you get depends on how well the good folks at Shapeways manage to remove powder before shipping.
2) Not all holes will be of uniform size so some holes locations may emit more air than others. In general the bubble pattern is a function of holes sizes, total area of all hole sizes, and air pump pressure. If you drill out holes to enlarge them the bubble pattern may change.
3) I have no idea how long a bubbler like this will last. The holes may enlarge over time or seal up from loosened nylon powder.
4) The bubbler plastic will have some roughness and surface porosity which can provide a foothold for the growth of bacteria and algae, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. If this is a problem such nylon parts can be sterilized by soaking in a diluted alcohol solution and then thoroughly rinsed in water before use.
5) The attachment zone of this bubbler is designed to be used with an in-line air hose splicer to connect it to an air hose. You can probably get a good press fit connection if you carefully enlarge the bubbler attachment hole with a small round file or you can simply glue it on with aquarium safe epoxy. I have also used the plastic fitting from an old air stone and epoxied it in place over the hole. Old air stones can be easily broken apart with a pair of pliers to release the plastic end piece.

This is just a fun experimental design. If anyone has suggestions or would like anything customized I'd be happy to hear from you.


What's in the Box
^aquarium air bubbler cylinder 02
White Strong & Flexible
1.8 cm
2.1 cm
1.8 cm
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