Intro: D4E1 Walking Stick Add-on for Earplugs
This add-on is a little container for earplugs. It can be clicked on a walking stick.
It was made for Ann, a 50 year old woman who had innate brain injury. Several years ago, a cyst was formed in her brain. After the operation to remove it, she had a stroke.
It took months of rehabilitation, but now she is able to speak and walk again. The need for a walking stick however remains. Besides that, she can't stand the noise of a crowded place. But Ann is a very social woman, so she doesn't like to need to stay at home. A pair of earplugs are a big help for her to shut out the overflow of auditory stimuli.
The problem is finding those earplugs. One time, they are put away in a purse, then they are on the table, and the next time they are untraceable.
Step 1: The Idea
Ann always needs her walking stick, she can't go anywhere without it. So if she is going to a place where it might be crowded and noisy, and where she will need her earplugs, she also has her walking stick.
The idea thus was to combine both; integrating a container for earplugs in/on the walking stick.
Step 2: How It Is Done
For safety reasons, the container was not made in the walking stick itself, but as an add-on that is clicked on the stick.
This way, the container can be clicked on every possible walking stick. Like Ann, a lot of people will have more than one stick (a black one, a white one, one to go to parties, one for every day, ...). Almost all walking sticks have the same tube diameter. The container can thus be clicked from one stick to another.
Only one container is needed, so there's only one place where the earplugs can be find.
The container itself was 3D printed. 3D printing offers the big advantage of fast design, a lot of colour possibilities, easy to reproduce, ...
Step 3: STL Files for Printing
The container is made of 2 seperate parts: the upper half (cover) and the lower half (box).
The parts are connected with the hinge (integrated in the print).
Step 4: Textile
To prevent the earplugs from falling out the container when it is opened, 2 small strips of textile are added. They connect both halves of the container.
The height of the strips is limited; too much textile will make it difficult to close the container, as the textile will get stuck between the 2 parts.
A light textile should be used, and each colour can fit (according own taste).
The strips are first glued to one half of the container, then to the other. This is all done before the 2 printed pieces are connected!
Step 5: Connect Both Halves
The 2 halves are connected with a tiny metal 'pin'.
A possible 'pin' is al small piece of iron wire, 1.3 mm diameter.
The pin can be pushed through the hole in the hinge, and if necessary, glued at the ends.
The ends are cut of at the end, as close as possible to the container (to prevent somebody gets hurt when the hinge is touched).
Step 6: Closing Connection
The container also needs a closing mechanism.
To avoid tiny, difficult closing systems, a simple magnet on each half is used to keep the 2 parts together.
As the container is rather small, also small magnets need to be used.
In each part, a round hole is provided where the rod magnets, Ø 4 mm, height 5 mm, can be glued.
In the cover of the container, a small opening is made so it can be opened by pulling there.
Step 7: Result
Step 8: Personalise
This container was also personalised: the name of the client was printed on the cover.
After the container was printed, a black foil was added on top of the printed name (to make it more visible).
This black foil that was used is decal paper (used in modeling). The design that you want to put on the cover is printed on the paper (with a standard printer). After printing, 2 layers of lacquer are sprayed over the design. When it has dried, the design can be cut out, and dipped into a water bath before putting it on top of the print.
Step 9: Movie of the Process
In this movie, the process is shown:starting from what Ann had (walking stick + big earplugs) to the small container on her walking stick and the better earplugs.