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automatic washer-dryer transfer

the washer dumps the clothes to the dryer using gravity
  (+6, -1)
(+6, -1)
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I use a stackable washer and dryer... the washer on the bottom and the dryer on top of it. Wouldn't it great if it was the other way around and the washer just opened a trap door when it is done and dump the clothes into the dryer using only gravity. The dryer will then start automatically. There could also be a basket at the bottom of dryer that will catch the dry clothes when the cycle is done.
engineer, Jan 31 2005

Washer and dryer - no transfer needed http://www.comforth...om/comfort/was.html
[robinism, Jan 31 2005]


       [robinism], you know what they say about a singer+actor? [s]he's neither! I know of the "combo" machine, but I think this contraption would be even better. There's a reason why they mostly still sell them apart. besides you can pipeline the process too!   

       not baked in my book.
engineer, Jan 31 2005

       The problem with combo washer-driers is that they generally can only dry half the size of load that they can wash.
prufrax, Jan 31 2005

       Right, your system would do several loads much faster.
robinism, Jan 31 2005

       [engineer] but what about Julie Andrews?   

       So, would it be faster yet to stack two combo washer/dryers?
bristolz, Jan 31 2005

       Could you make the whole pipeline automatic? As soon as the clothes drop from the washer to the dryer, another dirty load drops into the washer, from a hopper that sits on a trap door through the top of the washer. The washer then starts again automatically.
robinism, Jan 31 2005

       [robinism], yes, I was thinking that as well. have a basket at the top and at the bottom. wouldn't that be great for laundromats? isn't gravity great?
engineer, Jan 31 2005

       How would the trap door work? I assume since you plan to put the washer on top that it would be a front loading washer (or the unit would come with stilts). You'd have to open up a hatch in the the inner drum and open a hatch on the outer, water tight drum.   

       Alternately, you could have the washer door open automatically and rotate the entire washer unit 90 degrees so that the door opening is above the newly designed top-loadable dryer with its own set of trap doors in the drums. Of course, the dryer could also be made to rotate up 90 degrees to catch the clothes being poured out of the washer.   

       Not impossible, but probably not inexpensive if made reliable. Lots of mechanisms, sensors, brakes, etc. to get those doors to open and align.   

       One other issue: my front loading washer, which sits on the floor, can sometimes hop around a bit, sometimes a lot. Even with its fancy automatic slow-down, tumble, speed up, check balance system, it shakes at times. The typical construction of a stackable would be quite shaky and wobbly with that much mass being flung about at high speed up on top of a rather lightweight, sheet metal box. The dryer doesn't need to spin clothes nearly as fast. Maybe the high speed spin cycle could be moved down to the lower unit, but then you'd have pumps in both parts of the machine. $$$.   

       Even without the spinny-shaky bit, the washer and its mechanisms are just plain heavier than the dryer. Putting the heaviest part on the top, then making it even heavier with water and clothes just sounds like a bad idea for a theoretically free-standing unit. Sucks to be the guy moving it, too.   

       (These are questions/issues I came up with some time back as I pondered this very same thing. It never occured to me to post it here after I was done playing with the idea.)   

       I agree that this idea could work, but I suspect the cost would be considerably higher than existing stackable units and probably not worth the cost to many people. Then again, everything's half off here at the halfbakery so money's not an issue.
half, Jan 31 2005

       Egonoring half's pitiful complaints and all else being equal--since either system requires much engineering--their performance could be made equal in terms of capacity and wash/dry time, two combo machines would produce more clean and dry clothing in a shorter time.   

       7:00 - Start. Dirty clothes drop into both systems. In the combo system the load one falls through the top machine and into the second, lower, machine. Load two falls into the top machine after the bottom hatch closes. In the pipeline system, load one drops into the wash machine.
7:40 - Wash cycle finishes and drying begins. In the combo system, the two machines slip into drying mode. In the pipeline system, the first load drops into the dryer and drying begins. Load two drops into the washer and the wash cycle begins.
8:20 - Pipeline system finishes the second load but cannot move it into the dryer because the dryer is still working on load one.
8:40 - Drying finishes in both systems but in the combo machines both loads are complete and in the pipeline machines, only the first load is dry. The first load is ejected from the dryer and the second load falls into the dryer.
9:40 - Drying is finished for the second load. The owner of the combo machine system has already folded the two loads and has met friends across town for brunch.
bristolz, Jan 31 2005

       [bristolz], the combo washer/dryer that I linked to actually takes much longer than a standard dryer to dry clothes, for two reasons:
1. it is a 'ventless' design, removing the water by condensing it out
2. the drum is much smaller than a standard dryer drum (because it also functions as a washer drum).
So an accurate time analysis would need to take this into account.
robinism, Jan 31 2005

       Actually, in my description I pointed out that both systems would have equivalent load capacity and performance as they both would have to have substantial engineering so might as well even them up. In any case, the combo system is nothing more than having two of the pipeline systems.   

       Maybe take the pipeline system further yet and have an assembly line approach that pulls a steady but small feed of clothes into the machine and washes and dries each rapidly. If the clothes had RFIDs (as all future inventions must have) then the washing system could dynamically adjust for each article of clothing.
bristolz, Jan 31 2005


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