While in Cocoa Beach, waiting for the rocket to launch, we decided to test out Russell Neches’s idea for filtering seawater with an AeroPress coffee maker. We were also shooting the instructional video for the Seagrass Microbiome sampling kits that include the AeroPress for this purpose.
Forcing water through a 0.2 micron filter with the AeroPress was easier than I thought it would be, but pretty awkward. It would have been much easier to put that thing over something like – oh I don’t know – a coffee cup to hold it in place while pressing down. I’d decided that if I put a 500mL wide-mouth plastic collection bottle (for the seawater collections) in the kit, that they might also be able to use the bottle for that purpose. But, I was having a hard time figuring out if the mouth of the bottle would be wide enough. So, I went next door to complain to Russell Neches and David Coil. And David said, “you should just have Russell 3D print something,” and Russell said, “Sure, I can do that!” and then 30 minutes later an email had been sent to Madison Dunitz, an undergrad in the lab, and within a couple of hours, it’s done! It’s really simple, just a ring that serves the same purpose as the rim of the coffee cup, with channels in the sides for the water to go through, that is just tall enough to keep the bottom of the AeroPress off the table (or whatever surface.)