Flashback to April 2014. Four college students sit huddled in a small room with a large problem. How to tackle the issue of global food waste. For those of you who don’t know, 33% of all food produced is lost or wasted. That’s like flushing one-third of your hard-earned paycheck down the toilet. But how can four people change the world? They too were at a loss until one of them said, “We can make a dehydrator from a pizza box…” Now, obviously KinoSol’s dehydrators are not made of cardboard and cheese, but we did slice through eight prototypes before landing on a model we all love. Without further ado, check out our prototypes below to learn about KinoSol’s dehydrator journey.
The KinoSol team set out to do what seemed impossible. Design a dehydrator from scratch that actually worked. The main goal of model 1 was to dehydrate food. In early 2015, it was a success and the journey had begun.
The team quickly moved on to dehydrator number 2. Still made out of wood, this dehydrator was on wheels which made for easier transport. The unit also had built-in storage underneath. With that said, this unit was bulky and heavy, leaving the KinoSol team with lots to think about (and to transport!).
Made of wood and glass, prototype number 3 was a bit more lightweight. It was built to be attached to the back of a bicycle. The team took this exact prototype to Portugal for the Thought for Food Summit in 2015. The KinoSol team took the feedback from the conference to create an even better dehydrator.
Prototype 4 was our first field-tested dehydrator. The team did away with wheels after realizing not everyone owned a bicycle. They made it small enough to carry. The new four-paneled design was to experiment with more light and sun. The issue is that the panels were glass. And does anyone know what happens when glass flies thousands of miles to a developing country? Well by the end of prototype 4, the KinoSol team were pros at sweeping up broken shards in the airport. Time for a switch.
Prototype 5 resembles the shape of dehydrators you recognize today. Made in a circular shape, the outer edges were entirely plastic. It had built-in storage under the unit. Even with a much more successful prototype, the KinoSol team wasn’t satisfied until it was perfect.
Prototype 6 was similar to number 5. The only changes were the PVC pipe instead of a metal cylinder through the middle and better ventilation to improve dehydration. The feedback KinoSol got through field-testing was there were too many pieces and it was challenging to put together.
Prototype 7 had larger built-in storage underneath the unit. There were fewer pieces, and it was more lightweight than previous prototypes.
Prototype 8, cue injection molding! Injection molding allows us to create customized plastic pieces for our dehydrators. It cut the dehydrator parts in half and allowed us to bring the cost down too. KinoSol realized many people didn’t use the attached storage, so they started including the mylar bags you see today. We also switched to black shelves and a base to help with heat retention.
And there you have it, from prototype 1 to current working units. Whew, that was a lot of history in one post! Thanks for tuning in to read about KinoSol’s dehydrator journey. If you missed last week, check out our post over Specific Benefit Corporations here. And don’t forget to tune in next week to catch up on all things KinoSol!
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