Printing One-Way Valves

We explored if it is possible to print one-way valves. Two prototypes were printed and both works surprisingly well. Although some air is still leaking out (because of the cleaning process to remove support material as it damaged the enclosed parts), it demonstrates that functional parts can be printed quite easily.

Below you can see the cross-section of both valve designs. The blue parts are the enclosed and can move around. The reds parts are seals made from softer material so the moving part can fully close one direction if pressure is applied from one side.

Ball One-Way Val

One-way valve based on a free-moving ball in an enclosed space. The ball is not able to close the upper output due to the form of the enclosed space, however it is possible for the ball to close the bottom output because of the sealer.


Plug One-Way Valve

One-way valve based on a plug-like object. The plug can make an up an down movement to change the state of the valve. The top part is completely solid (and can therefore close the valve), while the bottom one has air inlets.