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Nothing Can Leave a Mark on the Slippery 3D-Printed Toilet


The development of a 3D-printed toilet has brought forth a revolutionary solution to reduce water wastage during flushing. Unlike traditional slippery toilet surfaces that lose their effectiveness over time, this new toilet remains remarkably slippery even after heavy use.

The Innovation

Yike Li and his team at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China utilized 3D printing to create a miniature model of the toilet. By combining plastic and hydrophobic sand grains and fusing them using a laser, they were able to produce a complex and durable structure. The toilet’s surface was then lubricated with silicon oil, which also penetrated below the surface, enhancing its slippery properties.

The Tests

To validate its effectiveness, the researchers subjected the 3D-printed toilet to various substances, including muddy water, milk, yogurt, honey, starch-filled gel, and synthetic feces. Surprisingly, none of these substances stuck to the toilet. Even after rubbing the toilet’s surface with sandpaper more than 1000 times, the lubricant oil underneath continued to ensure its slipperiness.

Potential Applications

The slippery 3D-printed toilet holds tremendous potential for high-usage settings such as trains and public bathrooms. Its reduced flushing volume would significantly minimize water wastage during transportation to processing facilities, resulting in cost savings. However, before implementation, the process needs to be tailored for full-size toilets and made more cost-effective.

The Challenges Ahead

While the toilet’s durability and use of environmentally friendly lubricant are promising, incorporating the laser manufacturing technique into existing toilet production processes may pose difficulties. William Wong from Aalto University in Finland suggests that start-up companies, with their flexibility in redesigning supply chains, could be potential candidates to overcome this obstacle.


The slippery 3D-printed toilet marks a significant breakthrough in water conservation efforts. Its ability to withstand heavy use and remain effective over time has the potential to revolutionize toilet technology. Further advancements and cost reductions need to be made, but the benefits it offers in terms of water savings and durability make it a promising innovation for the future.

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