D4E1 - DIY - Assistive Technology: Boccia Push Aid

Introduction: D4E1 - DIY - Assistive Technology: Boccia Push Aid

We are a group of Industrial Design and occupational therapy students from Belgium. Together we helped Kevin to play Boccia.

Kevin is 20 years old and is born with Duchenne
Muscular Dystrophy. This disease is a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. This means that he doesn’t have good physical abilities. His only transportation is possible with an electric wheelchair which has an attached breathing machine. Kevin’s biggest passion is Boccia. He can't play this game by himself because of his condition. He hasn’t got any tools or equipment which help him play this active sport. To play it now, Kevin gives instructions to a monitor. The monitor puts the ball on the track to let it roll. But because of our design, kevin can now play boccia how it should be done.

In this instructable we will show how we did it. If you have any suggestions to improve our design please let us know in the comments bellow.

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Step 1: Materials & Tools

In this step we will discuss all the materials and tools we used.


- 2 3d printed pieces, the files can be found at the end of the page.

- 2 pieces of eva foam. You can easily find this at A brico shop. This must have the same size as the printed piece.

- 4 pieces of leather. We use leather because it is easy to clean, but other textiles of your choice are also possible. The dimensions are different for everyone but we used 30 cm on 5 cm. We need this twice.

- Pieces of rope. The length depends on the circumference of the head. But we used 20 cm as length.

- Pieces of velcro. 2 pieces of 5 cm

- Loc-line. You can buy this tool online.

- A small bolt


- A sewing machine.

- Industrial glue, but other kinds of glue could also work.

- 3D-printer.

- Scissors or cutter knife.

- Drilling machine


Step 2: 3D-printing

Due to the physical condition of kevin, all materials must be light. As it had to be a unique connection we opted for a 3D print.

This print has a special pattern which makes it flexible in this way it fits around Kevin's head. (see file Headpiece.STEP).

The other piece is used to give the ball a push. The shape of this piece depends on the way kevin plays. So this can change for other users (see file Reject plate.STEP).

You can find the files to print the pieces on this page. These files are the same as in the beginning at Step 1: Materials & Tools.

The easiest way to get it print is to go to a fablab in your neighbourhood or order it on 3D-hubs.

Step 3: Cutting the Leather

Draw the correct dimensions of the 3D-printed piece on the textile. In this case the leather. Take enough margins along all sides of the measured part. In this way it can be sewn together afterwards. We need 2 pieces. 1 for the front and 1 for the back. A piece of leather from the front has to be cut out. This must also be properly measured from the 3D model. Like on the photo.

Step 4: Glue

The 3d print and the leather where the piece is cut out are glued together. We have used industrial glue, but it is possible to use other glue. Wait 15 minutes and hold the parts together with a high pressure.

Step 5: Assemble the Rope

Make cuts in the leather along the sides of the printed piece, like on the first picture. In these openings we stick the rope. The length of the rope depends on the circumference of the head .

Step 6: EVA-foam

Cut the foam in the correct dimensions of the printed piece. You can do this easily with scissors. You can find this foam in a DIY store.

Step 7: Assemble the Foam and the Leather

Stick the EVA-foam on the back of the printed piece. We used adhesive foam, but there was still a bit of glue needed. Repeat the instructions with the other piece of EVA-foam. Wait 15 minutes and hold the parts together with a high pressure. Place the other piece of leather on the foam and glue it tightly.

Step 8: Assemble the Support on the Top of the Head

The size of the support depends on the person himself. We have taken 15 cm.

For the assembling the support we follow the same instructions as in step 7. First cut the leather and the foam. The leather must have a larger dimension than the foam so that it can still be sewn. Place everything on the correct place and glue it. The width of the leather is slightly larger than the width of the rope so that the rope can still move freely.

Step 9: Final Details

Sew all parts as close as possible to the foam. Sew the rope on the headband and on the other side of the rope a piece of velcro. As on the 2nd picture. Create a loop on the ends of the ropes that give the support on the top of the head. Make a connection with the loop and the other rope. Sew the loops.

Then remove all edges with a pair of scissors or a knife.

Step 10: Assemble Loc-line

Insert the loc-line into the slot.

It is recommended to drill a bolt through the slot and the first piece of the Loc-line. In this way the first loc-line is fixed and it is easier to adjust the length of the loc-line.

Step 11: Result

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