When we come across products that claim to be unique, look complex, seem interesting, or no longer work, we want to know the “how” and “why” of the product's design. We take apart products to learn valuable lessons from other product developers. By studying how products are designed, constructed, or failed, we expand our knowledge of design solutions.
We think critically about the products as we take them apart in order to deduce the design decisions of the original developers. By placing ourselves in their shoes, we expand our experience by imagining hypothetical design constraints to answer the “how and why” questions. In turn, we learn valuable lessons that we can later apply to our own product development process and share our findings with others.
03 UnderstandBy answering the questions below, we can then apply the learning into future brainstorming, concept exploration, prototype development, detailed design, design for manufacturing (DFM), cost reduction analysis, and maintenance/troubleshooting.
- Why were specific materials or components chosen?
- How was the size and shape maintained?
- Why were certain construction or assembly techniques used?
- How were specific features or mechanisms executed?
What product can elicit unheeded fear and unyielding curiosity from a group of engineers?
An epilator, of course. If you’ve ever had the chance to stare one directly in the face, you’ll know why it causes such reactions. For the blissfully ignorant: an epilator is a device that automates the action of tweezers by grabbing hairs and yanking them out. However comparing tweezers to an epilator is like comparing a coping saw to a chainsaw.
Here at M3, we take our coffee seriously. It is absolutely critical that nothing interrupt the constant flow of java to our designers and engineers. So it was somewhat surprising when our highest-volume consumers of coffee, the Teardown Team, decided to investigate our espresso machine. It wasn’t even broken!
Sometimes bad things happen to good cars. In this case, an electric power steering system caught fire and died while the car was in motion. But there’s a positive side to this, since thankfully no one was injured
For this Blood Glucose Meter Product Teardown, M3 approached the challenge a bit differently. Since we are keenly interested in both how products operate as well as how people operate them, we performed both a Heuristic Analysis and a Teardown on the same devices.
The ubiquitous touchless soap dispenser was selected for this teardown to better understand how it detects a hand, how the mechanism functions, and why it is so important to have the soap and tag colors match.
The Hand Mixer is relatively commonplace; easy to overlook as a standard part of most kitchens. A good one can last for years, and we’ve come to rely on them to do all of our egg whipping, dough kneading, and batter mixing.
The LED Faucet Light was chosen for our teardown because of its mysterious inner workings. The item attaches to any standard faucet and illuminates when the faucet is turned on. Additionally, the light color changes depending on the temperature …
The M3 Teardown Team wonders how a sophisticated product like the Diskus Asthma Inhaler is designed to be produced in such high volume and such low cost? Read on…
The M3 Teardown team wonders how this inexpensive digital kitchen scale achieves such good resolution. Read on…