Now, the focus was on finding the most efficient design. While we were able to freely manipulate how the shape of the collected wax would look like, we needed to ensure that all of it would be combusted.
Many designs were considered. In the end, we settled on a plate as the shape of the vessel. While the vessel needs to be affordable, it cannot be made of plastic, as the flame would eventually burn through the plastic, possibly spreading to nearby flammable materials. As such, fire-insulating materials, such as porcelain or clay, would be used to ensure that the flame is contained within the vessel. Also, the shape of the plate helps to ensure that the wax can be burnt evenly, similar to the concept of oil lamps.
We had to retain and collect the candle wax. Birthday candles were instantly out of the question, as their long, thin design meant that the wax would not be able to solidify in the vessel supporting the candle. Instead, it meant that the wax would solidify on the structure of the candle itself. Therefore, we would be unable to reuse the wax fully if the wick burns out.
A solution was found when we used short, thick wax candles. Their short height meant that the liquefied wax had to travel a shorter distance before it is collected in the vessel supporting the candle, and would lose less heat to the surroundings. Subsequently, the wax would be collected and solidified into any shape we desire – it is dependent on the shape of the vessel.
Re-Lit was an idea that popped out of the blue. Our group noted that candles were often used for decorative purposes, and were discarded when their use for the occasion expired. We felt that the candles that were discarded still possessed a lot of fuel, hence it would be able to keep burning for a long while. Also, they are in mint condition, and simply throwing them away is not efficiently using the candle.
As such, we set off searching for a way to counter this problem. First, we settled on having 3rd world countries as our main target audience, with certain organizations in 1st world countries being focused on as well. These organizations utilize candles in their day-to-day activities, such as religious places of worship or even restaurants.
Upon further discussion with our mentor, we decided to carry on with this project. Along the way, we set targets for us to meet such that we are able to produce a refined product with the highest quality. We also felt that this project was especially meaningful, as it would spread awareness about the plight that those living in 3rd world countries face, and it would also show how many of us take such a luxury for granted and not fully appreciate its value.
Re-Lit was born.