Introduction: Arthritis: the Arthritic Hand-Aid

About: Qualified Sparks, with a love for designing and making things whenever I can.

Hi Makers,

I wanted to design and make something that would improve someones ability to "turn/Twist" everyday objects, that would otherwise be difficult for someone with a condition called Arthritus. Arthritis is a very common disease that causes painful inflammation and stiffness of the joints. About 26% of women & 18% of men will be diagnosed with Arthritis in their lifetime.

Here is my invention, to put further leverage on the twisting motion of items, reducing the force deflected on your joints. This will work on many things from water taps to oven knobs, and petrol caps to shower dials.

The main idea of this project is; The sprung pistons internally will form the shape of most objects in the everyday household that need to be gripped tightly by the hand and twisted. This "Hand-Aid" will provide extra leverage, which will help assist the pressure put on any joints and cartilage helping immensely to reduce pain.

This will be my entry to the "Assistive Tech Contest". I'm sure there would be a few changes some of you may recommend, and that would be great. Please leave any structural critisism in the comments :-)


A 3d Printer (or borrow a friends like me)

PLA Filament

Super Glue

6x 3.5mm 80mm Electrical Front Plate Screws

120mm M4 Threaded Rod

2 M4 Nuts

0.5mm Stainless Steel Modeling Wire

Step 1: The Design

For the Design, I simply scribbled down a few ideas on paper, then turned to TinkerCad to start designing my project. I love how easy TinkerCad is to learn and use, however as a total amateur, this took me quite a while.

Here you can see each section of my build process. But first I had to figure out what size the piston would be, as the whole project would be built around that.

Step 2: Printing the Parts

Here are all the files needed to print the "Helping Hand-Aid".

1x of each file is needed to complete this project. You will need a total of 36x Pistons. I have added a file to print them seperately, and another that'll print 36x @ once.

Step 3: Piston Springs

Now we have to either buy 36 compression springs to suit the pistons perfectly (and I did struggle to find ones that would work), or we can just make our own. By grabbing a piece of dowel, pen, screwdriver or pencil the correct size, we can wrap our modelling wire around to create springs.

I used a length of threaded rod in a drill as this gave perfect evenly spaced coils. Making exrta long springs and cutting them to size is a quick process too. Doing This actually saved me a ton of money, as the springs I did find were going to be pretty darn expensive. But please guys, be careful here as this wire can be pretty sharp. Using gloves here would be a good idea.

Step 4: Assembly

Now for the fun part. After cleaning up any 3d prints that may need a little extra help. (I sanded my pistons by placing them in my drill chuck and using sand paper). I also redrilled the holes in a few prints.

1.) Grab the LOWER BODY and the MIDDLE BODY, and tape them together, making sure the screw holes line up.

2.) Take the 36x PISTONS, and place them through the holes in the 2x taped body pieces.

3.) Add your springs on top of the pistons.

4.) Take the UPPER BODY, and place over the PISTONS so they come through the holes.

5.) Super glue the PISTON STOPS to each PISTON seperately. (This will stop the PISTONS from falling out).

6.) Take the LID and using the 6x 3.5mm Electrical Plate Screws, fix all parts by screwing down from the LID, through all the parts. Then cut off any excess screw with a hack saw or wire cutters. (Very soft screws).

7.) Push fit 1x M4 nut into the bottom of the LOWER BODY. Heating the nut will help it fit easily.

8.) Insert the M4 Threaded rod down through the centre on the unit and screw into the nut you just inserted.

9.) Place the HANDLE over the threaded rod and secure with the other M4 nut. (a bit of super glue or lock tight dripped onto the threads should be enough to stop it from coming loose.

10.) Now finally, using the printed NUT COVER, either Glue or Press fit the cap.

Step 5: Conclusion

And there we have it. We have completed the build of the "Helping Hand-Aid". Go and grab yourself a beer, you now have your very own helper.

If you think this would be a useful idea for yourself, or someone you may know, please grab me a "Vote" for the "Assistive Tech Contest". It would be massively appreciated! Good luck makers, and have fun building.

Assistive Tech Contest

Second Prize in the
Assistive Tech Contest