The Hansgrohe InnoLab used EOS equipment and powder to additively manufacture the Furly, a canine shower head. This process required Hansgrohe’s and EOS’s teams to certify the new shower head for connection with the public drinking water network. This successful process shows that the plastic material, PA 2200, used to create the Furly is safe to use for applications connect with the public water system.
Hansgrohe’s ambition with this product was to create a minimum sellable product capable of facilitating dog grooming and cleaning. A minimum sellable product’s notable feature is its high profit margin. The company’s aim is to product a high-quality product with minimum wasted resources and effort.
Additive manufacturing to the rescue: the budding technology allowed Furly engineers to quickly prototype and manufacture the shower head.
The legal obstacle, the safety of the public water network, stood in the way because 3D-printed plastics had never been used for this application.
Hansgrohe and EOS collaborated to this end. EOS submitted samples of the power-based material (PA 2200) and the relevant extracts of the patented recipe created by EOS to several laboratories. Each lab confirmed compatibility with drinking water regulations. The import of these results is that PA 2200 is safe for use in sanitary fittings.
Once this regulatory obstacle was cleared, the Furly entered production full-swing: a batch of 5,000 units was printed using the EOS P 396 printer.
The Furly proper is created using a material processing approach. A standard O-ring seal was installed at the interfaces between components. This required the surface of the dog shower to be printed very smoothly to avoid the necessity of laborious mechanical post-processing. The feel and durability of the shower head also needed to meet Hansgrohe’s high standards.