This was my final project for my Human-Centered Design Class. My group identified that students were often unable to fill their water bottles fully at sinks and water fountains due to the shallow base of sinks, low water pressure at both sinks and fountains, as well as the inconvenient shape/length of the bottle.
Roughly 4 iterations of designs were built and tested before the Fountain Flex was chosen. At each stage, the designs were evaluated against the user and performance requirements specified by the team in order to guide decisions about which concepts to use.
The final product is the Fountain Flex, and consists of a light, low profile sleeve and funnel that allows users to easily fill water bottles at any sink or fountain. The Fountain Flex affords easy storage, portability and accessibility through the pocket in the sleeve. When a user comes across a fountain where they cannot fully fill their water bottle, the funnel can be quickly removed and attached to the bottle to allow for easy filling, and then quickly stored again (Figure 2). The device is made from a dishwasher safe material, ensuring that the device can easily be kept sanitary.
The funnel is made from a flexible silicone and consists of a lip that allows it to attach to the rim of the bottle, and a curved surface to direct the flow of water. The lip is designed to be an interference fit (using a Nalgene 32oz bottle as reference) in order maintain a secure connection with the rim of the bottle. The silicon can deform enough to accommodate for variations in rim thickness. The device is also flexible enough that it can attach to a wide range of water bottle opening diameters, and can be efficiently attached and detached. Along with providing a secure connection, the lip also prevents water from leaking out when a water bottle is held at horizontal or negative angles. Shown in Figure 3 is the device attached to a bottle with a 1.5” diameter and 2.3” diameter opening.