Design for ease of maintenence and repair + dis- and reassembly

Posted on Posted in Circular Design Strategies, Dis- and Reassembly, Ease of maintenance and Repair


I’m not very satisfied with my coffee maker. The reason is that it is almost impossible to clean a certain part. I doubt that the designers ever tried to use the product, because they would have noticed this almost instantly. Thinking about cleaning, maintenance and repair is important, but not for all products. A speaker is supposed to just work, but repairs should still be considered. After some years the battery will need replacement. Design for dis- and reassembly share many of and design for maintenance and repair share many of the same design guidelines:

  • Make access to parts easy by avoiding glue and other non-reversible joining methods
  • Use standard screws or no screws at all
  • Make repair manuals available to the public
  • Use standard parts

The current trend of miniaturization is a treat to these sound principles. The screen on the MacBook I’m writing this on is glued to the frame in order to make it 0,5 millimeter thinner. Speakers also become smaller and many doesn’t use standard screws.


Some other ideas 

Make it is possible to access parts without any tools

Casing made of disposable materials (e.g. cardboard)

Make speaker transparent so it is easy to see what is inside (and thereby make it more likely that it will not end up in the bin)

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