How can 3DPrinting help on accessibility?

Accessibilty and 3D Printing, the best match

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How can 3DPrinting help on accessibility?
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What about starting the week with a simple post that can change lives?

Since I started as a writer here on 3DPrinterChat, I think that I the subject of accessibility appeared a couple times: On my post about Mão3D(2016), a Brazilian project that build prosthesis for people that had arm and hand amputees, and on Diana’s post about Québec’s investing on medical 3DPrinting(2017).

3DPrinting is a worldwide community, and while we print all models that we want for us or to sell, we could help to make the world a better place. By simpling printing prosthesis for people that have some kind of disability.

We have this amazing project called: Enabling The Future. A worldwide community of volunteers that uses 3DPrinting to give the world “a hand”, as it says on their slogan. Their website has 3 options for help:

  • Need a hand: Where you can ask for a prosthesis
  • Build a Hand: If you want to print a prosthesis
  • Volunteer: Where you can design prosthesis

Their website contains all the info that you need if you want to contribute to them.

I think that most of the people think that change the world is a hard task for one person. But I think that we can make the world a better place with just an act of kindness. That’s why I’m writing this post.

MyMiniFactory has a category only for accessibility, and scrolling around I saw a lot of simple models that can help people with any kind of disability. So, I’m gonna list a few of them so you can see what we can do with this amazing technology that we all love. Printing a full prosthesis can be a hard task, so I think that we could take a few baby steps.

Hackcess Handy Holder

Hackcess Handy Holder MyMiniFactory accessibility

 

This is a modular design made by Evavoo. It’s a mug holder that can be attached to a wheelchair. This model is simple to print and super useful.

 

 

 

Fork/Spoon Support and Pen Holder

This is coming double because was made by the same designer: Luca Parmegiani. The first model the fork/spoon support fit the hand of the user and you can attach the cutlery to it. The second it’s just an extension where the extra peace fit the support and you can attach a pen. 2 uses in one and a half models. =D

Luca’s profile on MyMiniFactory worths a look, because he has a few more models designed for the purpose of help people with disabilities.

 

Umbrella Holder for Wheelchair

Umbrella Holder MyMiniFactory accessibility

 

Another model for a wheelchair. This one can hold an umbrella. Imagine how this model is simple and how much this can help a person that rides in a wheelchair! Congrats Carlos Basauri on this awesome model!

 

 

 

Self Aligning Cup/Bottle Holder

Self Aligning Cup/Bottle Holder MyMiniFactory accessibility

This one is a combo. It used the 3DPrinting and gyroscopic effect to be the perfect holder for a wheelchair and crutches. Emanuel Garcês designed this model to hold tub sizes cup/bottles, with the gyroscopic avoiding the drop of the bottle. The model has a few sizes that you can print to fit any size of the bottle.

 

Wireless Mouse Adapter

Accessible Wireless Mouse Adapter MyMiniFactory accessibility

This one is to help on the use of the computer. The adapter designed by Adrian Tanner is to be used with a wireless mouse. It works like a shell over the mouse making the buttons much larger and brings the scroll wheel towards the user. Simple to print and assemble.

 

 

Simple Fluid Level Touch Indicator

Simple Fluid Level Touch Indicator MyMiniFactory accessibility

This model is for people with impaired vision. It works like a floater. While you fill the vessel, the bigger side goes up and the person can sense if the fluid is reaching the top. Also, very simple to print and can give a huge help for people with a sight problem. A great model from Ryk Waters.

 

 


See? It’s simple to change the world. It will just take a few hours of your 3DPrinter to change a person’s life. I hope to hear from you soon in the comments below!

Please share this post on your social media!

Check my previous post about Cosplay.

That’s all folks!

 

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12 Comments
  1. Tom Baxter says

    This is pretty inspiring. I went and checked out their site, and they really have some amazing designs. This was a good way to start the week. 🙂

  2. Richard Bynum says

    Thank you for posting this!! I am also in a wheelchair (paralyzed from my chest down “T4”). Luckily I have the full use of my arms and hands. But carrying a drink, umbrella, plate of food, and other things can be impossible because I have to push my wheels. If I only push with one hand (while holding something in the other) then I will just go in a circle. Sort of like a person only paddling on one side of a canoe. When I first became paralyzed I was sent to a spinal hospital in Atlanta Ga. and was around many quadriplegics. Some quadriplegics have use of their arms and hands if their injury isn’t too high, but it is very limited!! They don’t have complete control of their arms. They may be able to raise and lower them but not be able to bend their elbows at will. The hands are the same way. They don’t have complete control of their fingers and thumbs. They may be able to make a very weak fist but that’s all. These tools are a lifesaver for them. The part that holds eating utensils in their hands is the only way they are able to feed themselves. Same with the computer mouse tool. It’s the only way they can move the cursor on the screen with any control. I used to have an umbrella holder on my wheelchair but it busted when I ran over it by accident. I was so thankful having it! Another great tool is the grabber tool. It makes getting objects off the floor/ above our head easier. It would be a good thing to make some tools and take them to a rehab place or nursing home. Many people get sent to a nursing home after they become paralyzed (no matter what age…sad). These tools can make such a huge difference in someone’s life! Thanks again for writing about this! Sorry so long.

    1. Lays Rodrigues says

      You welcome Richard! Baby steps right?

    2. Mark Poole says

      Richard, since my mother in law went to assisted living, it opened the door for me to 3d print lots of things to help those that were residents there. The PET bottle openers, the hand assist for utensils, etc. My favorite was this 1 lady would carry her walking cane with her in her power chair. Sometimes she would lose her grip & drop it. Well, it was either risk falling out of the chair to pick it up or call an RA to come help her get it. A simple print I designed mounted to the side of her chair that held the cane for her til she got where she was going made the world of difference to her. She’s passed away now, but every time I saw her she praised about how great something that simple was. #inspiretoaspire

  3. Tom Baxter says

    I went to the site Lays linked in her article to see if there was any way to connect with local groups who need items like this. It would probably take some doing, but we could get local members of the 3D Printing community to print some of the devices for those in need who are local to them. Maybe we could put something up on facebook to connect with people in there area.

    1. Richard Bynum says

      That’s a great idea Tom. There is always someone who is in need of help. Going to a nursing home and asking the nurses who would benefit from a tool could be a great way to find them. Starting a facebook group would be a great project.

      1. Tom Baxter says

        I’m going to reach out to the local Maker groups I belong to. Right now I only have a small 3D printer, so I might be able to print one of these items at a time. If some of the folks with larger print beds are willing, we could churn out many more of these items.

        That’s a good idea to contact nursing homes. I am going to reach out to some of the local nursing homes to see if they would be interested in receiving the 3D printed items as a donation.

  4. Kevin McNeece says

    Very timely article as I just printed a few other cutlery holders for someone that recently had a surgery and they are having a difficult time holding things while they regain strength.

  5. Juan Solis says

    It’s great to realize that anyone with a 3D printer can do something to make more comfortable the life of someone with a disability, I wonder if the spoon/fork holder can be made with magnets to do a little easier to insert or change the spoon/fork.

  6. Richard Bynum says

    That’s a great idea Juan! There’s all kinds of possibilities when we have our own 3D printers. You might come up with something that could catch on world wide for the disabled! There’s no reason the evolution of tools for the disabled has to stop. There’s always something that can be improved. Go for it!

  7. Adam Copeland says

    This is cool 🙂

  8. Carol Oddy says

    Wow sure could use one of these printers, magic…

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