[Frank Zhao’s] grandfather has esophageal cancer. Unfortunately for him, it means he’ll be eating through a tube for a while. This involves someone helping him with a big syringe to push a thick food liquid through the tube. [Frank] knew there had to be a better way. While [Frank] was in the hospital in China visiting, he started designing a 3D printed peristaltic pump. It’s what you would expect: a mechanism that massages a loop of plastic tubing to push the contents further down the path.
After he got back to the States he refined his design a bit more and started 3D printing. As it turns out — it works pretty damn well. In the following video he shows it pumping mayonaise — and since it’s peristalic, no priming of the pump required!
He’s entered this project into the Boca Bearings 2015 Innovation Competition, and this is the last month for voting — there’s still time to submit your own project too, but you’ll have to hurry up! We’re of the opinion that someone from the Hackaday Community should win all of these engineering contest.
[Frank Zhao] is no stranger to Hackaday either — a simple search will pull up dozens of his past projects. And like all his work, he shares it freely under the open source license. You can check out the 3D designs for the pump on the OnShape CAD library (will need to sign up for a free account though).