My 3D Printer Is Making My Swimming Pool Cleaner Than Ever – CNET

With summer in full swing and temperatures blazing hot, finding ways to keep cool is a must. My family likes to cool off in the summer months in a swimming pool. My rural Kansas farm home doesn’t have a pool, so we opted for a steel frame above-ground option. But between the trees in the area, plenty of bugs and the gravel road in front of my house, the pool gets pretty dirty. This year will be different because I’ve got a new weapon to help keep it clean — a 3D printer.

Working smarter, not harder


Using a 3D printer, PETG filament, a pool skimmer net and some PVC, my pool is cleaner than ever.

Chris Wedel/CNET

3D printers are nothing new, and I’ve been using these handy devices for about three years now. I’m still amazed by the creativity of some designers out there and what they come up with. While browsing for something new to print, I found a pool skimmer hack designed by Jamie Claye on Printables

This design uses the pool skimmer net that most pool owners already have and a couple of 3D-printed items. In case you don’t, or want a wider option like I have, I’m using the Intex Leaf Rake. So, I fired up one of the best 3D printers on the market, my Bambu Labs A1 Mini, and loaded up some PETG filament. I chose to use this type of plastic due to its ability to withstand the high temps better it will get when in direct sunlight, as well as its greater resistance to UV rays.

I also printed off a model by AlexMu on Printables that fit onto the nozzle attachment from my pool filter for the Bestway Power Steel 18 by 48 foot round above-ground pool set I bought to start the summer. This 3D design directs the filtered water coming into the pool in a circular flow, which will help the skimmer I’m building work better.

After downloading the files, I prepped the design using the Bambu Studios slicing software and started printing. While that was going, I looked for a couple of pieces of 1-inch PVC in a scrap pile of materials I have in my barn and got out my Velcro cable ties. The PVC will be used to attach my pool net to one 3D-printed piece and the other to the pool frame.

Time to build

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My 3D printer made keeping my pool clean so much easier.

Chris Wedel/CNET

With everything printed and extra parts found, it was time to put it together. I decided to use some screws to attach the PVC to the 3D-printed parts along with the net handle for a more secure connection. After predrilling some holes and putting in the screws, all that was left for the skimmer was to use the Velcro cable ties to attach the whole thing to the pool frame.

Finally, I switched off the pool pump, removed the filter outlet that came with the filter, and then threaded it into the 90-degree outlet I had printed. Now, for the moment of truth — turn the pump back on. Huzzah, it worked!

Water flowed and began swirling around the pool, and little bits of debris and bugs on the water’s surface started going into the net. Now, at the end of each day, I simply remove the Velcro and use a garden hose to rinse out the net and then reattach it for the next day.

Along with using my 3D printer to help keep my pool clean, I’ve also enlisted a robot to help out. Like how I’m using robot lawn mowers to help me save time taking care of my yard, the Beatbot Aquasense Pro has been scrubbing the bottom and sides and skimming the top water, greatly reducing the time I need to keep the pool sparkling clean.

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The Beatbot Aquasense Pro is unique in that it can clean a pool’s floor, walls and the top water all on its own.

Chris Wedel/CNET

This post was originally published on Cnet

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