Airlift Pump

An airlift pump is a simple device with no moving parts which elevates water with air pressure - kind of the opposite of a trompe. All that's needed is a ready supply of moving air. It lifts water gradually and reliably.

These ones use standard 1/4" aquarium tubing and fish bubbler pumps. They're small+streamlined enough to fit through a pop bottle neck. It can lift water over five feet, using the cheapest air pump petsmart had. I've had several of these reliably watering plants for months.


It prints in two parts, the main body and the hose barbs. Print in ABS, glue together with ABS pipe cement.

Two barbs fit atop, the inlet and outlet. The straight-through pipe is the outlet, which belches air and water upwards. The one that stops halfway is the air inlet. There's a small connection between it and the straight pipe to let air into the stream.

The fitting on the bottom is the inlet. You should add a length of tubing to it -- it stops air from bubbling out of the bottom too easily if the top tube becomes "full". Somewhere between half a foot to a foot of tubing seems to work for me. Loop it back up to the clip on the side.

Icon  Name                           Last modified      Size  Description
[DIR] Parent Directory - [IMG] airlift-diagram-complete.png 05-Apr-2017 21:20 157K Airlift Pump [IMG] airlift-bubble.gif 05-Apr-2017 19:17 641K Airlift Pump [   ] liftpump-6.scad 10-Jan-2017 03:01 6.9K Double-output pump sourcecode [   ] liftpump-5.scad 10-Jan-2017 02:59 12K Single-output pump sourcecode [IMG] dual.jpg 27-Feb-2016 19:44 84K [IMG] barbs.jpg 27-Feb-2016 19:44 42K [   ] liftpump-6.stl 27-Feb-2016 19:37 146K Dual-output pump [IMG] single.jpg 23-Feb-2016 09:14 76K [IMG] diagram_preview_featured.jpg 23-Feb-2016 09:14 27K [IMG] barb-small-x7_preview_featu..> 23-Feb-2016 09:14 42K [   ] barb-small-x7.stl 23-Feb-2016 09:14 1.1M Seven hose barbs with brim [IMG] airlift-principle.jpg 07-Apr-2015 21:33 12K Airlift Pump [IMG] airlift-diagram.jpg 07-Apr-2015 21:33 49K Airlift Pump [IMG] little-pot-clip.jpg 06-Apr-2015 14:14 30K [   ] little-pot-clip.stl 23-Dec-2014 04:07 11K Holds hose to a plastic pot [   ] liftpump-5.stl 21-Dec-2014 11:55 123K Single-output pump