I don’t know about you but as another year draws to a close, I can’t help but take a look at the past year and review my to do list. I noticed that while I was able to complete a lot of projects, I still didn’t have enough time to do everything that I wanted to do. You see, I’ve become a bit of a perfectionist.
I wasn’t always like this but I’ve found that being around engineers pretty much 24/7 some of your tendencies have rubbed off on me. You take a look at a product and you immediately see ways of improving it. My husband who is both an engineer and a cyclist is forever “redesigning” components which he buys for his bike. So now I’ve started doing the same as a natural part of my daily life. For example, my decision-making process when buying things has changed. Case in point - when I was buying a faucet for our kitchen sink six years ago in San Francisco my purchase criteria were
- it had to have a cool/funky design and
- it had to be shiny (as I’m a bit of a magpie)
That’s it… all form and no function. The fact that the design was impractical for washing big items in the sink was not even considered.
But now I’m a different person altogether. When we were remodelling our kitchen last year, my requirement list was slightly longer. Firstly, we had to find a faucet from a company which used CFD as a part of their design process. This way I was sure that the product would be fit for purpose. Secondly, “function” was more important than form. It had to have all sorts of features including a pull out spout to help make it easier to wash big items, it had to be easy to operate (in other words, one lever that can be activated with your elbow in case you’ve got dirty hands) and lastly it had to be shiny… ok I haven’t been able to kick the magpie tendencies.
You’re probably wondering what’s all the big fuss about faucets and kitchen taps … after all they are there to do a basic job. But they are a bit more complicated than we all give them credit. Take the products from Grohe for example. Grohe is a leading manufacturer of bathroom and kitchen taps. They routinely analyze their products and if I’m not mistaken the flow in their Grohtherm thermostats was determined in advance with CFD simulation. Here are a couple of examples of how CFD helped them:
If you are designing a faucet or anything with valves, then it might make sense to take a look at how CFD can help you too. Please feel free to take a look at the resources on Pressure Drop and Mixing on our site. Hopefully you can learn a few new tricks to tackle these tough design challenges in your products.
Going back to my purchasing dilemma, much to my annoyance I couldn’t find what I called a proper kitchen faucet in the local hardware stores. But I’m pleased to say that I was able to find the perfect tap online.
May you find perfection (whatever it means to you) everywhere you look in 2011 – and if you don’t find it, then go on and design it!
All the best to you and yours,