Safeguarding 35 million children with a breakthrough solution

Published Friday May 17, 2024

Solving a Real-World Problem

Lead poisoning has long been known to be a serious health hazard, as exposure can build up over months or years to cause severe damage to the brain and central nervous system. Children are at increased risk, as even small amounts can lead to significant cognitive and developmental issues. Yet still today lead contamination in drinking water continues to be a serious issue in the U.S., with an estimated 35 million school-age children at risk every day. 

This serious and hidden problem was shared with us by our partner Blue Focus, whose mission is to ensure that everyone has access to safe drinking water. They asked us to develop a revolutionary new product that would help solve this ongoing health problem.

An industrial designer sketching concepts of the pure spout filter onto a digital tablet.

The Idea 

Lead contamination in drinking water is typically caused by contamination from lead pipes and the solder used to join them. Although these products were banned in 1986, they continue to be prevalent in older water systems and those serving under-resourced communities. Retrofitting that infrastructure is both time-consuming and costly. The solution: create an effective filter that fits on existing drinking fountains that’s easy to install and maintain. 

A multi-color 3D printed prototype of the Pure Spout product is held by a design engineer, with the outer cover removed to show the internal filter.

The Process 

Our interdisciplinary team, including designers, engineers, prototyping, and testing experts, collaborated with Blue Focus to swiftly advance from initial ideas to concept designs. Leveraging both traditional and VR Sketch technology, we transitioned seamlessly to three-dimensional parametric CAD models. By utilizing our in-house full-color 3D printing technology, we accelerated concept evaluation from days to mere hours, embodying our ethos of rapid innovation: “Sketch on Monday, prototype by Friday.”

A photorealistic computer rendering of the Pure Spout Filter as installed on drinking fountain, with a drinking water stream shown.

The Product 

The final design is an approachable, elegant form that meets the standard requirements of a traditional drinking fountain; while also providing children and their parents visual affirmation they are consuming contaminant-free water. With simple installation on new or existing fountains, and easy filter replacement, the Pure Spout Filter is flourishing in the marketplace 

A graphic showing a rendering of the pure spout filter surrounded by logos of international design awards won by the development company Kinetic Vision.

The Impact 

We’re honored that Blue Focus chose us to assist in the development of a product that positively impacts the lives of thousands of people every day. We’re additionally honored that the Pure Spout drinking fountain filtration system has received several prestigious international design awards since being introduced. These awards confirmed that great design is beautiful, functional, and impactful. 

Click here to learn more about our Industrial Design services. 

Have a project in mind? Email us at [email protected] and one of our consultants will quickly reach out to you. 

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