Alice Spieser's 3D-printed tap aims to make
drinking from the faucet more dignified


Water flows both up and down from this dual-nozzled faucet designed by ECAL graduate Alice Spieser, which combines the functionally of a standard tap with a drinking fountain (+ movie).

Down Up by Alice Spieser

Alice Spieser came up with the idea for her graduation project, the Down Up tap, after observing fellow students at Swiss university ECAL craning their necks into uncomfortable positions to drink directly from the faucet.

Down Up by Alice Spieser

"A sip of water should be pleasant, and not something embarrassing," Spieser told Dezeen. "I decided to make it a nice gesture."

"The idea was to produce an object that permits the user to drink tap water in a simple gesture without necessarily using a glass."

Down Up by Alice Spieser

The industrial designer has produced the tubular bathroom tap with two angled spouts – one that projects water upwards and another that pushes it down into the sink, prompting the name.

"For me it was the most logical and representative form of the idea that first of all the water goes down to wash their hands and then up to drink," said the designer.

Down Up by Alice Spieser

The direction of water flow is controlled by a single hole cut in the end of both the up- and down-facing nozzles.

When the lower opening is blocked by a finger-tip the water is forced to spurt upwards, allowing users to rinse their mouths or take a drink without the need for a glass.

Down Up by Alice Spieser

"If you obstruct this one with your finger the water rises in the spout at the top and create enough spray to drink in a nice position without any splash," the designer explained.

Left uncovered, the water naturally flows through the down-spout over the sink for hand-washing.

Down Up by Alice Spieser

A disk lifts from the top of the tap stem to control water pressure, while rotations to the right or left can be used to adjust temperature.

The "anthracite" charcoal-grey tap is made from a plastic resin and formed by 3D printing – a decision Spieser says came down to cost.

Down Up by Alice Spieser

"In an ideal world my final object would be brass, but I modelled it as if it had to go to work tomorrow, with real constraints of material normally used for making taps. It's ready for manufacture," she said.

"I loved the idea making a tap both industrial and artisanal. It's exciting!"

Spieser worked with Swiss tap manufacturer KWC to produce the internal parts for the mixer.

Down Up by Alice Spieser
Drawings – click for larger image
  • Munchman

    Clearly the big flaw in this is that when you drink from it you have no idea whose fingers have been all over this thing

    • Elliot Morgan

      They just washed their hands though so no biggie.

      • Max Pieters

        How is that problem any different to the same potential problem you have at a common water fountain though?

        I think it is a great idea. I am always craning my neck to drink water from the bathroom taps.

  • d

    It is completely irrelevant that it is 3D printed. Why do you give it a headline?!

  • kt

    Not clear why it’s 3D-printed. Definitely needs a thingy to block and redirect the water, otherwise it’s kind of gross.

  • I actually love the simplicity of this design. Ideally you wouldn’t want to get your finger wet when drinking. I could see this being used in a bathroom to save on waste from paper cups.

    3D printing opens this faucet up to an infinite number of forms, while using the same simple mechanism.

    For those commenting on contamination from fingers, please observe a public fountain for 10 minutes. People do a lot of touching of the fixture, including their mouth and lips. Just practice good hygiene and wash your sink regularly.

  • bvss

    Really hitting that niche market between people who can afford custom taps and people who actually drink from the sink.

    Also the one that sprays up is like half the diameter? Won’t that mean it goes up with a pretty extreme force?

  • steve

    I think its great. I don’t understand the hygiene issue of some of the other comments. I think it could be very useful in the bathroom after you brush your teeth, because really the only alternatives are to either have a glass nearby or hunch under the faucet and suck in water with your hand, which is probably less hygienic.

  • Steve O

    Did you not watch the video? Does it seriously look like the person is getting smashed in the face by a highstream of water pressure?

    The faucet is designed to have a constant flow from the water main, thus providing the perfect flow of water no matter the wash or drink.

  • Beef
  • scot sims

    95% of people cut corners when they “wash” their hands. 33% do not use soap. 10% do not wash at all, which actually seems low – next time you’re at the movies watch how many don’t wash.

    You end up using a tap that people with unwashed hands have used. If you’re OK with the thought of ingesting fecal matter with your water, feel free.

    Then there are restrooms that have doors on them. Even if you wash your hands they’re immediately contaminated by contact with the door’s surface.

    You guys are the experts – design public bathrooms that are actually sanitary.

    • Dwarf of the North

      Get real. We are surrounded by bacteria, both good and bad. If everything was completely sterile we would die as we would not be able to breakdown the food we eat.

      • scot sims

        Did I state that all bacteria should be gotten rid of?

        Google this and see for yourself.

        I’m correct.