Fabien is partly paralysed at the left part of his body due to a stroke. Because of this paralysis he only has one functional hand, namely his right hand. Therefore closing a zipper of a jacket or sweater is a very complex, frustrating and a time consuming task. This simple act is daily done several times at different locations and that explains the necessity of Fabien who needs to perform this act. The current aid tools are insufficient and can only be used sitting, hereby these tools can’t be used when going out.
The zipper help or the ‘ZipAid’ is a product that enable users to close a zipper with one hand. By putting one component on the sweater on the height of the chest and the other component next to the closure; it’s possible to fixate the closure on the chest using magnetism. The closure is therefore more visible for the user and one can easily slide the pin into the slider. By using the mouth one can overcome the friction by pulling the slider. Thereafter the connection between the components can be separated. Both parts of the ZipAid can be easily stored in the pocket. The magnetic connection can be easily separated through the design of the ZipAid.
Step 1: Materials & Tools
What do we need to make the ZipAid ?
1. Leather (or fabric that is coated)
2. Connecting piece (brown strap in this example)
3. Strong magnets ca. 3 kg (www.supermagnete.be/S-15-03-N)
Which tools to we use to make the ZipAid
3. A ruler
If one can’t use the lasercutter, one can cut the parts with scissors and personalize it in a different way by using for example different colors of leather.
Step 2: Cutting the Leather With the Lasercutter
One can download the file here:
It’s a template that one can use for lasercutting. In this example the user is Fabien; it’s possible to replace this name in the illustratorfile
If one can use a lasercutter:
1. Cut the fabric on the dimension that can be lasered or one wants to laser (in this case 450mmx600mm, multiple ZipAid’s in different designs were made in this dimension)
2. Span the leather on a wooden plate; one can use tape for this
3. Load the file into the lasercutter
4. Choose as material leather with the chosen thickness (max 1,6 mm)
5. Start lasercutting
If one doesn’t have a lasercutter:
1. Print 8 components of the file
2. Use this as template to cut the parts out of the leather with scissors
Step 3: Cutting the Connecting Piece
The pieces with the magnets in it are connected with a piece of fabric. This piece of fabric may not be wider than the lasercutted parts and needs to be cut at a length of 5cm. The user has it’s freedom of choosing this fabric. We only advice to use fabric that is waterproof.
Step 4: Assembling and Gluing All the Parts
1. Place the magnet on the lasercutted parts. Watch out for the polarisation of the magnets. As help one can mark the sides that are attracting each other with the same symbol. The lasercutted parts are differently personalized. Therefore one easily knows how both parts of the ZipAid are magnetised.
2. Position the magnet in the middle of the leather and fixate it by using glue
3. Place and fixate the connecting piece on the lasercutted part as shown in the picture above
4. Put glue on all the sides and close it with a lasercutted part
5. Let the ZipAid dry under pressure
6. Repeat this procedure until one have two finished parts of the ZipAid
Step 5: Use the ZipAid
Movie can also be found on :