Many people suffer from Hemiplegia, which strains movement of one side of the body due to lack of fine motor skills. Many activities that require the use of two hands are strenuous to complete for individuals with Hemiplegia. Furthermore, actions such as gripping a toothbrush or turning a doorknob are difficult for people with this condition; thus, simplified everyday products that only require the sole use of one side of the body are needed to meet the needs of these individuals.
An example of an everyday product is the lunch box, which can be opened in a variety of ways. However, many of the lunch bags on the market demand the use of two, strong hands to be used properly. Without these physical abilities, those with Hemiplegia lack products that they can use for themselves. The project aims to create a lunch box that can be opened with one hand so that individuals with Hemiplegia can easily open their lunch box without major difficulty or strain.
Important documents for our project:
Step 1: Materials and Tools
For this project, you will need:
- An Igloo Playmate Pal 7 In. Cooler - $12.99
- Igloo ice pack - $1.99
- Plastic Bonder - $10.49
- Rubber Feet - $4.29
- Strap with metal hook clips on the end
- Spray paint - $4.32
- Access to a 3D Printer
- PETG Filament for 3D Printer
- Drill with cross shaped drill bit
- Cross headed screwdriver
Step 2: Remove Lid
Remove end caps from lunchbox using a thin object. You may throw these end caps away. Remove the screws using a cross shaped screwdriver. Keep the screws for later. Separate the lid of the lunchbox from the base of the lunchbox.
Step 3: Remove Button From Lid
Flip the lid so that concave part is facing up. Pinch the part of the button that is closest to the side of the lid and push the button out. Remove the entire button mechanism from lid.
Step 4: Paint Button
Using blue rustoleum furniture spray, spray paint the entire button. Allow first layer to dry and add another layer. Repeat this process one more time and allow the button to dry completely
Step 5: Place Button Back Into Lid
Place the plastic piece into the lunchbox such that the extended part of the piece is towards the side of the lid and the spring goes into the depression on the lid. Once placed in securely, snap the button back in with the ridge of the button pointing towards the handle of the lunchbox (see video for more details).
Step 6: Reassemble Lunchbox
Place the lid back onto the lunchbox such that the logo on the lid is facing in the same direction as the sticker on the front of the base. Make sure to snap the lid into place securely. Fasten the lid back on with the screws removed in Step 2.
Step 7: Print End Caps
Download the .stl file provided. Using a 3d printer with PETG filament, print out two end caps. (Note: .stl file is already scaled to correct size)
Step 8: Apply Plastic Bonder
Squeeze out plastic bonder from the tube and mix thoroughly. Apply to the outside of the printed end caps and snap end caps firmly into the side of the lunchbox with the protruding end of the end cap pointing directly upwards in respect to the lunchbox (see video).
Step 9: Add Rubber Feet
Using a cross-headed drill bit, slowly drill the rubber feet onto the bottom of the lunchbox such that each rubber foot is at a different corner of the lunchbox and is completely contained in the rectangle bounded by the protrustion on the bottom (see video).
Step 10: Attach Strap
Attach each end of the strap to the holes in the end caps such that the hook is facing downwards. Once attached, rotate the strap such that the hook now face upwards.
Step 11: Improvements and Extensions
Currently, because of the rubber feet attached to the bottom of the lunchbox, the center of gravity of the total system is higher than before. This makes it so that when the lunchbox is opened and the icepack is removed, the lunchbox almost always tips over. A possible workaround for this is to place ankleweights in the insulating foam at the bottom of the lunchbox. This will lower the center of mass, decreasing the chance that the lunchbox tips over.
While the paint on the button seems very resistant to scratching, it can come off after lots of use. An alternative to using the rustoleum spray paint is to use a dye to color the button, however, ensure that the dye is food safe because the client will be using the button every time before they eat.
For mass production of the lunchbox, we would contact the production department of the Igloo Playmate Pal Cooler and talk to them about directly adding our adjustments when manufacturing.