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Designing an Appropriate Technology: A Candle Making Machine

Igenatious Chigumira, Francis Mafuratidze


Sustainable solutions beneficial to economically disadvantaged communities remain the most appropriate solutions even in the onslaught of more sophisticated technological innovations. Appropriate technology should accommodate grassroots solutions to local communities taking into consideration the prevailing socio and economic conditions and thus promote self sufficiency. The view espoused in this project is that problems of poverty, unemployment and basic needs fulfilment can be overcome by designing a manually operated candle making machine uniquely tailored to the situations prevailing in developing countries to produce at least a dozen candles per run. As a result, principles of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) were applied to the redesign of the household candle making machine. The DFMA methodology examined each function of the components of machine with a thorough consideration of customer requirements to determine if a part or concept could be eliminated or combined with another and if there were simpler ways to meet the customer performance criteria without sacrificing quality. The research produced a manually operated, relatively cheap, self contained and portable candle making machine with a maximum of capacity of 20 candles in 1 hr cooling under natural convection currents. Design is simple, compatible, cheaper and easy to maintain. The machine costed US150.00. Machine is market based and provides a solution to the critical shortage of electrical lighting in urban, peri-urban and rural areas.


Design for Manufacture and Assembly, Appropriate Technology, Sustainable Technology.

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