Of all the Made for Monkeys submissions, one of the most common involves ice makers that fail. The results are often comical. They typically involve ice and water on the floor or unintended ice sculptures in the freezer.
Ice makers, yes, but don't forget about the cars, Rob. Seems automakers are getting a bit lazy when it comes to designing the latest models in recent years. From CD players that eat CDs simply because you need to change the battery, to impossible to get to oil pans, seems readers may want to stick with the model they bought in '92 rather than upgrade.
What is a counter-top fridge? There are small refrigerators that fit on a counter, but typically these don't have icemakers or are of the store display variety. Neither seems applicable to this article. Some consumers have counter-DEPTH refrigerators. I am interested in knowing the type of refrigerator to determine the economic practicality of continuing to spend money on new ice makers.
In Austeralia, a fault like that is covered under warranty. CONSUMER AFFAIRS states that a product must be suitable for the purpose it is intended and must last a reasonable length of time. For a TV it is 3 years and a fridge is 5-7 years.
Most icemakers have a heater that melts the interface between the ice that has formed in the tray and the tray. If the ice tray fails to dump it is usually due to failure of the heater. The broken plastic tab was probably due to the failure of the ice to come loose from the tray. In the end the icemaker would have to be replaced but there is no guarantee that the heater will fail again in 2 years. I have had icemakers to last 20 years and one that failed (due to a bad heater) in a year.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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