Student develops new 3D-printed water filter to save lives

A University of Canterbury student is developing 3D-printed water filters with a potential to improve water quality in developing countries.

UC Master of Engineering student Benjamin Houlton is researching how filters can be 3D-printed to remove trace metals from wastewater streams and other polluted waterways.
UC Master of Engineering student Benjamin Houlton is researching how filters can be 3D-printed to remove trace metals from wastewater streams and other polluted waterways.

UC Master of Engineering student Benjamin Houlton from the University of Canterbury is developing 3D-printed water filters that can enhance water quality in developing countries. He is searching for how filters can be 3D-printed to remove trace metals from wastewater streams and other polluted waterways.

His main focus is using computer simulations of water flowing through filters to determine the most effective structure.

He reported that modern 3D-printing technologies enable the creation of finer structures, which challenge the performance of randomly ordered models of the filter.

He said, “The benefits of 3D-printing mean we can simulate and predict the different flow characteristics before the filters are made. It also means we can recreate the same filter over and over.”

“If it is successful it might change a whole range of packed-bed technologies.”

Benjamin won the Biomolecular Interaction Centre scholarship to pursue his Master’s degree in Chemical and Process Engineering at UC and also received a prestigious William Georgetti scholarship which he will use to complete a doctorate overseas once his Master’s is complete, enabling him to pursue his research passions.