In 2007 Jan lost his left index finger in a saw accident, but this did not stop him continuing his hobby as a musician. On the contrary, Jan learned to play the recorder again with modified grip and balance in his dominant hand. Besides that, he started actively searching for possible tools to help him. This search led him to Design For Everyone, a collaborative project between students of Industrial Design and Occupational Therapy .

It was Jan's desire to find an assistive tool that gave him the possibility to play different (read bigger) recorders. He can play the soprano recorder, but not the alto - , tenor - and bass recorder . Important factors in the development of the assistive tool were the air-tightness of the material used as well as the angular rotation of the tool. After many hours of prototyping and testing, we have developed an orthese that is easy to attach to the little finger, but also feels comfortable. The tool allows Jan to play up tempo songs, without the weight or size of the orthese bothering him while playing. The orthese also corrects possible errors while positioning the finger due to power loss. Hereby the hole is still covered and false notes are avoided.

This project was a part of D4E1 - Design For Every(one) by the University of Ghent.

Step 1: Necessities

  • 3D part (see next step for download)
  • Balloon
  • Straps
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Optional: Sugru

Step 2: 3D Print Part

Download the STL files and send it to the 3D printer

  • Note 1: File is not suitable for every 3D printer
  • Note 2: CAD files are made in Siemens NX 8.5
  • Note 3: The files are made for one specific individual. Personal adjustments might be made to fit personal dimensions. Therefore a designer should be involved.

Step 3: Filling Balloon With Glue

  • Take a balloon and close one side with a strap.
  • Measure the size that is needed to be sure the balloon is filled enough.
  • Fill the balloon with glue.
  • Close this side with another strap.

Step 4: Placing Balloon on the 3D Part

  • Use the straps to place the filled balloon on the 3D printed part.
    (its best to cut off the rest of the balloon)
  • Place the straps behind the cutouts of the 3D printed part.
  • Close the lid.

Step 5: Attach Ribbon

    For better placement or fitting on the finger a ribbon can be added to the recorder assistance tool. Therefore a notch is provided in the 3D printed part

    • Note: The notch can be eliminated in the 3D part

    Step 6: Optional: Apply Sugru

    • For personal adjustments and better fitting Sugru can be applied to the recorder assistance tool.
    • Sugru can be formed and shaped by hand for up to 30 minutes once it has been removed from its packaging.
    • Apply Sugru to modify the shape of the finger sleeve to fit exactly on your finger.



      • Remix Contest

        Remix Contest
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        Epilog X Contest
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        Organization Contest

      9 Discussions


      4 years ago on Introduction

      I've learned something new today. Its a recorder! Sorry, my english isn't that good.


      4 years ago

      Cool but its a recorder common mix up


      4 years ago on Introduction

      Cool and useful. Sorry for being irritable but that is not a flute!!!! IT'S A RECORDER! A RECORDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      4 years ago

      In all due respect this is a recorder and great job


      4 years ago on Step 6

      This makes us all so very proud to see sugru able to help support such a fantastic project :)