SunFilter Water Purification

Product Design Consultant
Partnership between Stanford University Design for Extreme Affordability Program and BBOXX Solar Home System Provider

BBOXX is a solar home system provider focused on solving the problem of access to clean, reliable, and affordable electricity across Africa to unlock better health, educational, and economic opportunities for people. They presented my team with the challenge: how might our next product save customers money, time, and energy?​ We performed market research, developed user research guides, remotely interviewed customers, coordinated with user researchers in-country during COVID-19 outbreak and conducted co-design sessions, synthesized insights, and identified affordable convenient water purification as a key need area for rural Kenyan and Rwandan households who spent significant resources boiling water or going to distant markets to purchase bleach-based purification solutions, or don't purify their water at all. We explored potential enabling technologies including UV and electrochlorination, and tested a wide range of commercially available products. We then developed low-fidelity paper prototypes, which were easily be printed and assembled remotely for in-country testing, to explore form factors and interactions that users preferred for a point of use water purification system. In consultation with water purification experts, we set up our own in-house water quality testing including a homemade incubator, and developed mid-fidelity prototypes, including a CAD model, 3D-printed enclosures, and the device service design. These prototypes were then 3D-printed in Kenya and tested in the field by local user researchers as we iterated on the design. We delivered back to BBOXX our designs and prototypes along with an implementation plan including our research and testing, the certification plan, manufacturing details, and marketing and business recommendations to bring this product to those who could use it most.

User fetching water and bringing it back to the home


Interaction Prototypes

Functional Prototypes & Testing

UV and Electrochlorination prototypes, powered by BBOXX Solar Home System

In-house water quality test setup

Including homemade low-cost incubator and 3M water quality test kits for E. coli and total coliform count

Mid-fidelity water purification device prototype iterations

Modeled in Fusion360 & 3D-printed both in California for analogous user testing and in Kenya for in-field testing

Final Design & User Instructions

Device Fact Sheet