P20414: Indoor Dry Toilet Base

Problem Definition

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Problem Definition Phase

During this phase, the team gathered information from the customer about the requirements of the project. Since the project is a continuation of work done by other teams, the team figured out what the other teams had not yet done to deliver a design to the customer which emphasized some of the priorities that the team faced. The team planned to do some research on different types of toilet designs and mold techniques during this phase in order to better understand the possible shortcomings of the previous team and to brainstorm potential manufacturing methods for the future.

The team planned a preliminary project timeline based on the tasks that needed to get done in order to stay on track to deliver project deliverables. This would tell the team what needs to get done when and so work could be broken down into manageable parts to be completed by each member of the project team. The team also created a House of Quality which effectively gave information on which engineering requirements were important to address and potential ways to address them as well.

Problem Statement

An EcoLakay indoor dry toilet base is a device used in urban Haiti that provides city residents with an adequate sanitation facility. The device separates urine from feces by using a diverter built into the seat of the device, which aids in waste management and the reduction of thousands of unnecessary deaths caused by waterborne illness due to poor sanitation services. A prototype device was designed by teams in the past, but the design never reached the manufacturing phase. Additionally, further modifications must be made to the diverter design to avoid contact with males.

The goals of this project are to improve the current design by making the product more ergonomic, developing a manufacturing system and molds for the concrete base. The final prototype should be capable of being cheaply produced with local materials, portable, easy to install and clean, and be comfortable to use.
A link to 1 page summary can be found here, 1pagesummary.docx.


Our stakeholders would include

Use Cases

Use Scenarios explain the usage or misusage processes. The visuals help connecting the stakeholders' expectations with the Team's vision.
Below is the General Use Scenario.
General Usage Scenario

General Usage Scenario

Below is one possibility of a Misuse Scenario.
Misusage Scenario

Misusage Scenario

Project Goals and Key Deliverables

Expected end result of the project, what the customer can expect to receive at the end of the project.

Customer Requirements (Needs)

Customer Requirements were generated after an interview with our customer, highlighting the needs to satisfy the customer and the user.
Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

In addition to the snapshot, a link to the live document can be found here, Customer Requirements.

Engineering Requirements (Metrics & Specifications)

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

In addition to the snapshot, a link to the live document can be found here, Engineering Requirements. Originally the team thinking too linearly about many of the requirements. The solution to the requirement would either be a yes or no binary answer. By adding new metrics such as the Likert scale the team expanded upon our ERs and found a deeper grasp of the requirements for the project. The team also added a change control plan to keep track of how our ERs change over time. This will also directly effect our House of Quality values as well.


The team faces some constraints when developing a method for manufacturing and design of the toilet base. The team must use Fusion software for editing the design of the toilet components and the team must use the current base as designed by the last team, or modify it for easier manufacturing. The final product must work with a standard 5 gallon jug for containing waste. Additionally, the design must be easy to clean, be low cost, use materials local to Haiti, and be low cost. Due to the portable nature of the toilets since SOIL carries them in and out of people's houses, the final product must also be easy to carry.

House of Quality

House of Quality

House of Quality

From this exercise the team learned that the most important Engineering Requirement was the ease of access for removing the bucket from the toilet. This came as a bit of a surprise since we expected the weight and the manufacturing time of the toilet to be the most important. As the project progresses we will have to keep updating the House of Quality along with our ERs to see if the priority changes depending on what stage we are at. In addition to the snapshot, a link to the live document can be found here,HOQ.xlsx.




In addition to the snapshot, a link to the live document can be found here,Benchmarking.xlsx.

Plans for next phase

As a team we would like to be heavily involved in the design phase. To do this, in the next three weeks we will have to conduct research on the previous team's work including their designs and other information they had. On top of that we will also have to do external research regarding material, manufacturing processes, and designs. Our goal as a team is to get to the manufacturing stage as quickly as possible. Since the previous team was not able to get a working prototype, our goal is to leave enough time to learn all about molding and using concrete in order to create a fully functional one. Our Gantt Chart showcases the next three weeks as being heavy in research as well as concept generations.

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