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The People.Planet.Product Student Design Challenge was started by Electrocomponents Grassroots and The Washing Machine Project to provide students with an opportunity to apply innovative thinking and practical skills to help a project that will have a life-changing and empowering impact on the lives of thousands of people in global communities.
Divya 1 is made of a 60L drum. An external frame encases the drum. The structure rests on frictionless casters attached to the base unit. The drum is closed by a watertight lid, and a long handle similar to a broomstick is attached to the outer side of the lid surface.
The drum is a 60L UN approved drum made from HDPE. The external frame is made from plywood. The drum is encased at the bottom and the top in a wooden ring. The wooden rings have on their outer side a runner that is a guide to the casters. The frame is solidified by transversal planks that connect the two discs; see tech drawing. Inside the drum, there are three baffles.
The lid has been adapted from the original UN approved drum. The closing mechanism is a clamping ring with a seal to ensure water tightness. On the lid, a universal ball joint is fixed. The handle is attached to the joint. The joint allows freedom of rotation.
Finally, the base unit has a flat bottom surface to be stable on the ground and a concave top for the drum to sit in. The only point of contact between the frame surrounding the drum and the base unit is four casters positioned at the four external corners.
TWMP Washer comes in three parts: the drum, the base and the handle. The drum is placed on top of the base so that the rims and wheel are aligned. The handle is inserted into the handle holder on the drum and secured with a locking mechanism.
Loading the washer - open the locking ring and remove the lid. Load with clothes so that it is no more than 1/2 full (5 kg). Add washing detergent then, put the lid back on and close the locking ring.
Water fill - rotate the drum so that the drain cap is at the top. Unscrew the cap and fill the drum with 10 litres of water. Screw the cap back on.
Wash cycle - rotate the drum using a sweeping broom motion for 5 minutes. Most effort should be applied when pushing the handle downwards to work with gravity, and the momentum of the drum will make the rest of the rotation easier.
Draining water - rotate the drum so that the drain cap is at the bottom. Unscrew the cap to let water out. Rotate the drum with the handle for 30 seconds to release more water from the clothes. Leave in the position with the drain at the bottom for 10 seconds to allow water out.
Water fill - rotate the drum so that the drain is at the top and fill it with 5 litres of water. Screw the drain cap back on.
Rinse cycle - rotate the drum using a sweeping broom motion for 5 minutes. Most effort should be applied when pushing the handle downwards to work with gravity and, the momentum of the drum will make the rest of the rotation easier.
Draining water - repeat step 4
Water fill - repeat step 5
Second rinse cycle - repeat step 6
Draining water - repeat step 4
Unloading the washer - open the locking ring and remove the lid. Remove the clothes and hang them to dry.
Plywood was chosen for the base, baffles, and frame for its water resistance and strength. For the drum, it was decided to use a UN approved drum for its availability worldwide. HDPE is also resistant to detergent
Design for X
Design for Manufacture, for Assembly and for Maintenance
The whole washing machine was designed to be quickly and locally repaired. Consequently, each component can either be bought or reused like the drum, the wheels, the handle and the standard fasteners, or made with simple tools and basic materials like the base and the frame. Seals can be hard to find, so we will provide spare seals with the washing machine. The assembly is very straightforward and does not require particular skills; for example, there is no gearbox to assemble or nothing to solder. To optimise the manufacturing process, the plywood pieces can be laser cut.
The insides of the barrel should be inspected after every wash. The barrel should be left open after washes to allow evaporation of water from wet surfaces. The barrel should be closed after the inside is dry to prevent the build-up of dust and debris from entering the barrel. The washer should be inspected once every two weeks for loose screws to tighten and wear on rims and wheels.
Design for Operation
The total weight of Divya 1 is 9kg, and the dimensions are 630 mm x 580 mm x 556 mm to improve the porta.
The overall operation of washing clothes was improved. A draining mechanism was added to reduce the contact between skin and detergent, which provokes irritation. The draining mechanism is clothed by a sealed lid which allows1 the washing machine to be transported. To reduce back pain, bending over and crouching down was minimised. To activate the washing machine, the user is standing which improves the posture majorly.
Design for Sustainability
SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation: Divya 1 uses 20L of water per wash; the water saved by using Divya can be used for other purposes like cooking or sanitation.
SDG 5 - Gender Equality: From field research, we know that the primary washers in the family are the women and the girls. The time needed per wash cycle is around 20 minutes for washing about 5kg. The time saved is consequent and could go towards having a job or getting a job. These are key in promoting gender equality!
SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being: from the field research, it was understood that hand washing clothes create back pain and skin irritation. By using the Divya 1, the user will improve their general health and well-being.
The final step is the implementation and adoption of the product. This will be achieved by working with various communities, teaching them how to use the product, proving the long term benefits, and iterating the product based on user feedback.