I am Bert Vuylsteke, student industrial design engineer at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Design is my passion, therefore I really like challenging myself, to reach my skills and experience to the next level. I got in touch with this competition by the Facebook page of the university and I have never doubted to accept this great challenge.
I really like design for charity, because it links voluntary work and respect for disabled people with engineering. This critical link provides that the medical support for those people keeps on improving, whereby their life will get more bearable.
Starting a new project, is like going on a trip to me.
So I began my design journey by doing lots of research, in this way I get in contact with my target audience and the subject itself. First of all my aunt is an occupational therapist and inquired me about Dupuytren’s contracture. I borrowed her manual about creating a tenodesis. The manual gave me plenty of inspiration, which I could iterate on. After having elaborated a number of concepts, I chose the one that will turn out great.
My design must be satisfying three criteria; simplicity, versatility and uniqueness.
During my research, I noticed that people with Dupuytren’s contracture (which is already in a further stage) aren’t able anymore for stretching there fingers. So I came up with the idea to make something around their fists.
Step by step, you will be able to download the needed STL-files.
Step 1: Materials and Abilities
- 3D printing filament
- 3D printing skills
Step 2: Printing the Main Part
During this step, you will be printing the main part.
You can find the STL file in the files above.
This part of my design will be the fundamental part. It has a T-shaped cutout, to fit four basic tools in it.
After having printed the main part. Cut a stroke of soft velcro, wich will provide the customer a comfortable closure around their fists.
Step 3: Printing the 4 Essential Basic Tools: Bag Holder
1) Bag Holder:
Holding a bag is such an unconscious activity,
that most people not even think about how important it is in your daily life.
Step 4: Printing the 4 Essential Basic Tools: Pen Holder
2) Pen Holder:
I can not imagine what it would be like to be no longer able to draw.
That’s why I had to find a solution for it.
Step 5: Printing the 4 Essential Basic Tools: Tweezers
This is a must-have tool to be able to grab tiny things.
Step 6: Printing the 4 Essential Basic Tools: Wrist-motioned Hand
4) Wrist-motioned Hand:
This is the tool, which I am really proud of having it developed.
The tool consist of two elements which close and open by wrist movement.
You can grab drinkglasses, cups, etc. as well as toilet paper, clothes, etc..
After having printed these parts, you will have to provide again 2 strokes of soft velcro.
These will make a tight, but soft fit, to the customers arm.
Step 7: Reflection
This is just one little step in changing medical support, but this can be so much more.
This can be the beginning of a century where people print their own medical supports afordably.