This toaster retails for the price of 12.99 on Amazon. Due to the low price tag, we imagined there would be few parts to redesign. We were wrong.
While disassembling toaster, we recorded each part's function and gave it a name to help with future identification. We counted 63 total parts excluding the electronic and heating components that were out of the scope of the project.
Once fully disassembled, we embarked on the journey to put it all back together(ish) using the instructions we had just created. In doing so, we identified that 20 parts could be removed from the current design to reduce cost.
Through the process of disassembling and reassembling the toaster, we derived all of the actions that go into toasting bread. We added these requirements and more to a Quality Function Deployment, where we ranked the current toaster and two competitors relative to the importance to the customer.
Through this we identified that the toaster needed temperature resistant surfaces, a simple control interface, cleaning feature, and compatible with multiple types of bread. We quantified this to the following
After much ideation and brainstorming, we landed on a tray design similar to a toaster oven. It consists of 4 main components. A stainless steel top casing, a L - shaped bottom and front face made of heat resistant phenolic, and a stainless steel slider to enclose on the bread. A single dial would control the duration of the bread toasting, and a led notification light and sound would notify the user that the bread has finished toasting. The brackets surrounding the bread tighten with the opening and closing of the drawer.
After sketching the concept, we creating a rendering and made a few minor changes. We changed the placement of the control interface to be on the side with the sliding drawer, as we felt it was more intuitive. (Electronic housing not shown)
Other final design choices include a thermochromic paint on the stainless steel top cover, which would help indicate its temperature similar the heated coils in the Silex toaster, and a safety an auto-circuit breaking function when the drawer is opened.