Solve Everyday Problems with Cloud-based CAD

This article is authored by student intern Nathan Ng who worked in the 3DEXPERIENCE® lab in the summer of 2019 under the guidance of Mark Rushton, Product Portfolio Manager at Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS®.


Have you ever had a first world problem and thought to yourself: I wish I could just 3D print something and fix this problem? In my case, I have a cat named Boba. We usually put a glass of fresh cold water on the kitchen table or lift him onto a bathroom sink counter so he can enjoy a drink.

As you can see, he prefers to drink from the tap.

Cats tend to favor drinking from a source of running water rather than still water. This preference is a result of hundreds of years of evolution that ultimately boils down to avoiding contaminated water. And running water tastes better to a cat.

Fixing the Water Problem

I designed a device for our sink using 3D Creator’s xDesign app. I opened the app from my favorite browser (Google Chrome is and will always be my preference until the end of time) and, with a couple of clicks, I hit the ground running in 3D Creator without ridiculously long waits for loading of screens and installing programs.

I can begin modeling faster than it takes me to reply to a text. After a little bit of work, I modeled this generic sink based on measurements from a bathroom sink.

By building the design in an environment and context, constructing Boba’s water fountain was significantly easier.

After a couple of iterations, I settled on a UFO-style dish that uses the force and gravity of the water coming out of the faucet to propel the water to the edge of the sink where Boba likes to sit.

Here is the final version.

How the Parts Work Together

The yellow ring is made of flexible rubber that allows the device to stretch and slip onto any faucet.

A ball-and-socket joint connects the dish to the ring and allows the owner to easily swivel the device out of the way for easy human access to the sink. This feature also makes it easy to adjust the device for different cats.

The slide on the left side of the device makes it easier for Boba or any cat to drink tap water without straining their neck.

Easy to Access and Share

Through 3D Creator’s very straightforward user interface, I was able to design both the sink and device in a few hours. The great thing about 3D Creator is having the power of SOLIDWORKS in your back pocket.

Because 3D Creator runs from a web browser, I was able to design at the office, make changes on my personal laptop at home, and then send the revisions to my mom so she could review them on her phone (this project was her idea).

What more could I ask for? I can conveniently solve my cat’s first world problem and make his life way better than it was before. If you have questions or comments about my design, please use the comment section below.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.