3D-printed snaker spoons help people with special needs
A team of PolyU occupational therapy students won the Gold Award in the Design Category of the Global Student Innovation Challenge of i-CREATe 2019 for their innovative spoon. The “Snaker Spoon” can be twisted with different angles in three planes so that people with upper limb disabilities can adjust it according to their needs, enabling them to feed themselves independently. Although the students have graduated, their idea has still been turned into a product by the University.
“We believe this device can benefit many people with disabilities, and that there will be great value in kicking off for production rather than staying in the prototyping stage,” Professor Kenneth Fong, supervisor of the student team and Programme Leader of the BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy offered by the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences (RS), said.
So far, 200 Snaker Spoons have been produced using 3D printing technology through a collaboration between RS, Industrial Centre (IC) and the University Research Facility in 3D Printing (U3DP) at PolyU.
“We integrate 3D printing technology with other technologies and apply them as solutions for industrial applications,” Mr Sidney Wong, Engineering Manager at IC and U3DP, said. “In this case of low-volume production of 200 pieces, using 3D printing technology has reduced the production time from two to three months to about three to four weeks.”
The first batch of the spoons will be distributed free to NGOs when the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.
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