Introduction: Custom Assistive Spoon

Picture of Custom Assistive Spoon

Some hand disabilities need a special way to use certain tools. This project uses minimal supplies to change a spoon into a device anyone can use.

You can recreate these steps for any tool and any disability!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

For this mod you will need:
Shapelock or similar low heat plastic (polymorph)
Spoon or other tool to modify

Warning: There has been some concern about having this material in close contact with skin either while cool or hot. Here is the MSDS for a similar product Friendly Plastic. The MSDS does not suggest any ill results from contact with skin. It is true shapelock has not yet released an MSDS that is easy to find.  If someone can find one, please comment below.

Of course with all hot things use caution and if doing this for someone who has low heat senstivities, use a glove or some insulator between the warm plastic and skin. The plastic doesn't stick you your skin very well, so when it dries, it comes right off.

Step 2: Heat Shapelock

Picture of Heat Shapelock

The first step is to heat the shapelock so you can form it.

Step 3: Shape the Plastic

Picture of Shape the Plastic

Next while still hot, shape the plastic around your hand and put the spoon in. Once you are happy with the result, let it dry. Should take around 5 minutes to harden.

Step 4: Admire Your Work

Picture of Admire Your Work

Once the shape hardens, it's ready for use!

Please post your own mods in the comments!


gruffalo child (author)2010-11-10

On the pack of Polymorph it says never to mould it around parts of body.

kelseymh (author)gruffalo child2010-11-10

And the obivous question to ask is "Why?" Putting aside the trivial answer, "Our lawyers told us to say that, and we're scared not to.", what are the possible hazards?

The plastic is prepared at 55-60 C, which is hot enough (scalding) to give you serious burns (10 minutes in 55 C water can cause third-degree burns). So for sure, don't mold the plastic directly from the melt! Let it cool to below 50 C before molding.

Assuming you let the plastic cool enough, then thermal damage to the skin is less of an issue. However, making a "permanent" bracelet is a danger. If you mold the plastic around your wrist, for example, once it hardens you won't be able to remove it over your hand. And you can't reheat it (see previous paragraph). Not a good situation.

What about chemical irritation? Or outgassing? These questions can only be answered by reading the MSDS. Here are two, for CAPA 6800 and for Friendly Plastic. Both of them indicate no chemical hazard, just possible mechanical irritation (chafing or scratching).

So, at least from the actual physical data, rather than lawyers, this should be a safe Instructable.

Callum Snowden (author)kelseymh2010-12-04

You could rub some oil or butter on where you are going to put it so that it comes off easily...

fuzzybunny396 (author)2010-11-16

i think a nice addition to this would be if, say, a spoon or fork were used that didnt flare, you would need to drill a hole or two for the shapelock to fill, that way the utensil wouldnt slide out. also, same situation, but if your fighting off some zombies, you dont want to lose your last resort right off the bat do you?

jonnysoups (author)2010-11-10

I haven't worked with shapelock, but i'm considering using it for a project that will need a small bowl like shape. Could the shapelock be rolled out with a rilling pin into a flat sheet, and then when almost cooled, formed around a hard structure?

GraduallyGreener (author)2010-11-10

This is fantastic idea! I volunteered at a school for physically and mentally disabled students for 4 years, and many of the students were so close to being able to feed themselves, but not quite there. Standard utensils specifically made for people with disabilities don't always help, because each individual often has unique problems with motor control. The best thing about this instructable is that it is totally customizable to a person's specific needs. I will be making a few of theses!

kelseymh (author)2010-11-10

Hey, Frenzy. Great Instructable, and a good DIY solution to a well-known problem.

Gruffalo's and DarkClaw's comments aren't unreasonable.

You might want to add some discussion of the safety issues (see my reply to Gruffalo), and links to the MSDS for completeness.

Also, having the user wear anitrile glove, or a coating of Vaseline as a barrier, is probably not a bad idea.

NachoMahma (author)2010-11-10

. Great idea and great iBle.

shantinath1000 (author)2010-11-10

great work- anything to make thing better for other is a good thing in my book.

Lance Mt. (author)2010-11-10

IDEAS! Fantastic frenzy, you've started by brain-snowball both rolling and ticking in that order.

Hmmm, Ps3 controller Mod? PC mouse mod?!

I like where this is going.

darkclaw42 (author)2010-11-09

Question: Does hair come off along with plastic?

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm a full stack web developer focusing on security and privacy.
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