Super-Slippery 3D-Printed Toilet Could Save Water and Make Cleaning a Breeze

super slippery 3d printed toilet could save water and make cleaning a breeze.jpg Science

Imagine a world where the unpleasant task of scrubbing stubborn stains off toilet bowls is a thing of the past. Scientists at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China have developed a new 3D-printed toilet design that may soon revolutionize our bathrooms— and it all hinges on a remarkably slippery surface. This innovative toilet design not only promises to make our lives easier, but it could also be a game-changer in water conservation, addressing a critical issue in our increasingly water-strapped world.

The team of Chinese researchers set out to solve a common but often overlooked problem: the waste of water caused by multiple flushes to clean adhering waste from traditional porcelain and ceramic toilet bowls. Using a blend of plastic and hydrophobic sand grains, they created an ultra-slippery, non-stick toilet bowl through laser-based 3D printing techniques. The result? A toilet design that repels waste and drastically reduces the need for multiple flushes, even after enduring thousands of cycles of abrasion.

The Future of Toilets: A 3D-Printed, Super-Slippery Solution

Scientists at China’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology have created a 3D-printed toilet bowl design that could revolutionize sanitation. The key advantage is its ultra-slippery surface, which could make traditional porcelain and ceramic toilets obsolete.

Problem with Current Toilets

The conventional toilet bowl has a significant issue: poop often sticks to it. This unpleasant scenario leads to increased water usage as more flushes are required to dislodge the waste. This problem prompted the Chinese scientists to engineer a non-stick toilet bowl.

The Innovative Solution

The scientists used a laser-based 3D printing technique to combine plastic and hydrophobic sand grains, creating a super-slippery, abrasion-resistant surface. This innovative toilet, referred to as the ARSFT, was tested with synthetic feces and various other substances. The results were impressive: nothing stuck to the surface. The design, reminiscent of the slippery nature of pitcher plants, demonstrated an impressive repellence to complex fluids.

Durability and Sustainability

The durability of this new design is a game-changer. Previous non-stick toilets surfaces tended to wear down over time. However, the ARSFT retains its super-slippery capability even after 1,000 abrasion cycles. The 3D printing approach allowed the scientists to introduce porousness to the surface and add a silicon oil as a lubricant. These innovations enhance the non-stick quality of the bowl. The lubricant can be replenished, ensuring long-term slipperiness and less water for flushing and cleaning.

Implications for Water Conservation

The impact on water conservation could be enormous. Currently, over 141 billion liters of fresh water are used globally each day for flushing toilets. This is nearly six times the daily water consumption of Africa. Meanwhile, many regions struggle to access clean water, a problem that climate change exacerbates. This new toilet design promises to make a real difference in water consumption if developed and scaled up.


This innovative 3D-printed toilet design has the potential to revolutionize sanitation and significantly reduce water consumption. The next step is to develop and scale up this concept to make it widely available. It’s a perfect example of how science and technology can address real-world problems, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible while delivering practical solutions. The research has been published in Advanced Engineering Materials.

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