Introduction: EF 151: Shoe Buddy

Science and technology have come along way with improving the lives of the amputee community. However, even some basic of tasks are still extremely difficult for people of this community. So the "Shoe Buddy" team came together with one idea in mind, to help people who have difficulties tying their shoes with a single limb accomplish this task. Due to the fact that people are always on the move, and so are their shoes, we wanted to design a device that could be portable and easy to carry around and work on either hand. We are pleased to present the Shoe Buddy V2. With just one STL file and minimal need for adjustment, one can tie their shoes in a matter of moments.

Step 1: Printing

The Shoe Buddy V2 is one solid piece so there will only need to be one file. You can open the STL file in OnShape or on Mac you can open it in Xcode (a built in application on most newer Mac computers). Due to the mass production of shoes nowadays, most shoes are of similar width (shoe length does not matter on our product). However, if your shoes are wider than what the Shoe Buddy V2 can handle you can easily customize the Shoe Buddy V2. If your shoe width is bigger than the standard width for Shoe Buddy V2 then all you have to do is use the dimensions tool to adjust the length of the Shoe Buddy V2. When printing, print Shoe Buddy V2 in millimeters so it can fit within the standard 3D printer printing area. As stated before, it is one solid piece so printing is extremely easy so let the printer do all of the work.

Step 2: Begin Use

To begin using Shoe Buddy V2 you must first step on it. This way you will get a firm grip on the device when tying your shoes. Now that you've secured the device under your foot, you can begin the tying process. Just like tying your shoes normally, you will cross the laces and pull tight.

Step 3: Feeding the Right Shoelace Through

So to begin the process of tying the first knot, you must feed the lace through the hole furthest away from the outside part of your foot. After feeding it through the hole (you should be feeding it through the outside hole towards you), you need to pull it up towards your face to make it tight.

Step 4: Beginning the Loop on the Other Side of the Shoe

Now that you have the right lace tight, you can let it go (Shoe Buddy V2 will keep it taut for you). Now you can grab the left lace and pull it tight so you can make the loop.

Step 5: Tying the Left Loop

In Step 4 you created the loop, now you're going to tie that loop. To do this, you will feed the loop you have in your hand under the already secured right lace. Doing this will create a loop that you will feed the loop that you have in your hand through. This will create a somewhat tight lace and loop for the left side of your shoe.

Step 6: Tightening the Left Side Loop and Beginning the Right Side

Now that you have left side loop from Step 5 you can hook it under Shoe Buddy V2 and it will keep it taut for you. You will now go back to the right side where the right shoe lace will still be tight for you. You're finally going to undo the lace while still keeping it tight.

Step 7: Looping and Tightening the Right Lace

In this final stage you will need to make the right loop and feed it through to finish out your shoe lace knot so you can be on your merry way. To do this, you will first need to make the right loop the same way you made the left loop. After making this loop you will need to wrap it around the left loop and feed it through the loop it has created.

Step 8: Tighten and Finish

To finish, tighten the right side. Then all you have to is lift up your foot slightly and pull the other lace from the bottom of Shoe Buddy V2 and you're done. Shoe Buddy V2 is small, lightweight and portable so you can take it anywhere with you.