3D Printed Object

Week three I used Rhinoceros, FlashPrint, and a Flashforge 3D printer to make a 3D printed object designed to help people with disabilities grip and turn keys. Assignment constraints included using at least three primitive operations in Rhino to make the object and designing an object that would be useful to me. For the primitive operations I chose to use extrusion when making the two extruding stick grips, filet to smooth out the edge of all exposed surfaces, and boolean to cut out a hole for the key to slide into and a hole for the key to screw into the device. This was my first experience using Rhino to create a 3D object and it was not as hard to do as I had expected. 3D modeling can be a daunting task and learning the specifics of the commands of Rhino was difficult but once the commands were second nature it was not hard to create anything I could think of down to the millimeter.

In the weeks leading up to this assignment I had been experimenting with methods of turning on my car without assistance. I had finally landed on 3D printing a grip that would be specifically fit to my car and hand. I then decided to take this idea and use it for this assignment, my prototype is unique to my life and the life of people who have a hard time gripping and turning a key. My main passion in life is accessibility and making the world around me more accessible one step at a time. By creating a way to help turn my car key for class I have already had a much larger impact then I had expected. I have not only created a way to turn my car key but I have found a way to turn my house key and everyone who interacted with the 3D print I made learned about something that I encounter in my daily life that no one has thought about before.

In specific detail my prototype is a way for people with varying strength or dexterity to insert and screw in a object that can then be inserted into another object and turned. This means that I used my personal car key to create a space that the head of the key would fit in and screw into place. Building out from the key there is a long oval shaped cylinder for gripping and a semicircle on the end opposite the key for gripping. Lastly, there is a cylinder of the top and one on the side of the device for pushing or pulling in different angles on the key.

Through in class critiques and informal conversations with peers I found that the main flaw with my design is how much space it takes up. I also found that my peers each tried to hold it a different way. No two people’s abilities are the same and this device could adapt to most people's hands and abilities. Overall I am very happy with my design because it does have the ability to be used by many different people with a very wide range of abilities in a wide range of situations. To improve the design further I would change the size of the device and shrink parts down to fit more situations better. Parts of the device can be hard to fit in tight spaces, such as behind a steering wheel.

In reflection, without my peers feedback I would not have been able to see the unique changes that I can make to improve my design. This experience itselfs was also unique because I had an opportunity to teach others about a challenge I face that they don't have experience with and get their fresh perspective. What I did not expect was it being challenging to express how to grip and use my prototype and I wish would have know this going into designing this prototype. Going forward I want to redesign the prototype to be more compact and fit in tight spaces without trouble.