Water Pump Adapter for Cat Fountain Spigot

Our household has 2 cats (no, they’re not mine: I just have to put up with them).

One of the cats is a particularly prodigious drinker (of water: get your mind out of the gutter :slight_smile: ). My wife bought a water fountain for him (the cat), but it was a type that cascaded the water over a 360 degree lip, one shaped a bit like a mushroom head. The cat didn’t like it and wouldn’t drink from it.

I removed the original fountain top and replaced it with a piece of copper pipe. That worked OK, and the cat drank from it, but the water made a lot of noise coming out of it and the pipe plugged up too often.

I found a spigot on thingiverse.com: [U]https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3383575[/U]. I printed it but, of course, the diameter was not correct for the water pump that came with the fountain. I used F360 to create an adapter. It worked really well. The only issue was that the end of the spigot was a little too low for the cat to use easily.

To correct this issue I extended the length of the adapter I designed in F360 and printed it. I installed it on the fountain but it broke at the layer where it meets the water pump. I figure the extra length contributed to allowing me to over torque the adapter, so I decided to add a cross to the inside of the adapter, to reinforce the layers and add extra strength to the whole thing.

I tried modifying the existing F360 design, but that proved more difficult than I had figured. I started from scratch, doing things in a way I’ve never done before.

While the new design was printing I took the opportunity to attempt to design the adapter in FCAD. I actually succeeded. Here are some captures of the design:

[ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: CatFountainStemAdapter-FCAD_CrossBraceSketch.jpg Views: 0 Size: 10.9 KB ID: 4671”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“4671”,“data-size”:“medium”}[/ATTACH] This is the sketch for the cross brace. It was done on the XZ plane. I took care to set the padding as symmetrical, so the 2 planes of the brace would cross at the center.

[ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: CatFountainStemAdapter-FCAD_CrossBraceBody.jpg Views: 0 Size: 16.5 KB ID: 4666”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“4666”,“data-size”:“medium”}[/ATTACH] This is the previous sketch padded to 1.2mm.

[ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: CatFountainStemAdapter-FCAD_CrossBraceRevolved.jpg Views: 0 Size: 27.5 KB ID: 4669”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“4669”,“data-size”:“medium”}[/ATTACH] For the very 1st time, I use the Polar Pattern command. I set it to 2 copies at 90 degrees. Because I made sure to Pad the sketch symmetrically, the bodies cross each exactly at the center.

[ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: CatFountainStemAdapter-FCAD_OuterWallSketch.jpg Views: 0 Size: 10.9 KB ID: 4667”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“4667”,“data-size”:“medium”}[/ATTACH] This is the sketch, again on the XZ plane, for the outer wall. The lines are 1.2mm apart. I used the previous sketch as a guide for placing these lines.

[ATTACH=JSON]{“alt”:“Click image for larger version Name: CatFountainStemAdapter-FCAD_OuterWallBody.jpg Views: 0 Size: 18.0 KB ID: 4670”,“data-align”:“none”,“data-attachmentid”:“4670”,“data-size”:“medium”}[/ATTACH] No, it’s not a bullet casing ? This is the previous outer wall sketch Revolved 360 degrees; the 1st time I’ve used that command.

A few more captures from FCAD:

[ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“medium”,“data-attachmentid”:4673}[/ATTACH] This is a view inside the adapter without the cross bracing.

[ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“medium”,“data-attachmentid”:4675}[/ATTACH] This view shows the back end of the adapter. The cross bracing is set back 12mm to make room for the main spigot to plug into the adapter.

[ATTACH=JSON]{“data-align”:“none”,“data-size”:“medium”,“data-attachmentid”:4674}[/ATTACH] This is the end of the adapter that plugs into the water pump.

Some of you may be wondering if the cross bracing affects the water flow. It does, but not enough to make it unuseable. In fact, the flow is just about perfect. The spigot now sits up 40mm higher than it did previously, and the cat seems to like it.

Nice! Still giving FreeCAD a chance, I see.

This time, the difference in development time between F360 & FCAD was not as much as it was for other projects. F360 was still faster, mostly because F360 has little ‘helper’ features that speed things up considerably.

For example, trying to find the middle of a line.

In F360, the middle of every line you draw can be found simply by moving the cursor along the line. When you hit the middle point, the cursor changes to a cyan triangle and ‘locks’ in to a certain extent…1 step. It doesn’t matter where you draw the line: i.e. the line doesn’t have to be oriented around the origin. On top of that, you can dimension the line as it’s being drawn. And, when you find the midpoint, you can just click it and draw a new line… because you didn’t have to leave line drawing mode. It’s simple, easy and, to a large extent, intuitive.

In FCAD you can draw a line along one of the axes, then select its endpoints, then click the axis, then click the symmetry button…4 steps. For other lines, you can draw a point onto an existing line, then click the line’s endpoints and the new point and click symmetry. It works, but it is nowhere near as quick or easy as in F360. There are many other little tweaks like that one that just speed things up in F360. Also, there is the aggravation factor, or the annoyance factor. Having to do these extra steps in FCAD can just be a little offputting. For example, to add the new point to the exiting line, you have to exit line drawing mode. To dimension the line you have to exit line drawing mode and enter dimensioning mode.

These little features, and many others, would make FCAD much easier to use. But, on a priority basis, these little features are not at the top of the list for things FCAD needs. Fixing the core engine reference numbering issue comes way ahead of them. So many issues would be remedied if that was fixed.