Congratulations to Tang Hoi Kiu Dorothy and her team members, Tam Cheuk Yan, Lam Wing Hay, Choy Marco and Hui Hei Tung, all year-4 students of BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy programme, for winning the 3"Free"D Living Design Competition championship held by Hong Kong PHAB Association on its 50th anniversary!
The competition requires participants to use 3D printing technology to design creative assistive tools for elderly people and individuals with disabilities, helping them overcome daily challenges and improve their quality of life. The winning product developed by the students is a universal clip that enables wheelchair users for fixating and bringing their daily necessities. As part of the competition's requirements, the students had to design a product based on the needs of a client, who is a 21-year-old woman with cerebral palsy. Even though she usually commuted on an electrical wheelchair, she would sometimes walk while assisted with two walking sticks. Therefore, she hoped that the students can design a device which could help stabilise her walking sticks at the side of her electrical wheelchair.
Students designed 2 clips in total and each clip consists of three parts: a 3D printed clip, a 3D printed board, and an adhesive 3M broom gripper. The students used 3D printing technology to produce the clip, springs were added to the design and the surface was covered with non-slip coating, to make the clip stronger and more durable. Then, they merged the 3D printed clip and board with long screws and fixed the adhesive 3M broom gripper at the other side of the board. The students also taken client’s interests into consideration that they printed the clip in red as it is client’s favourite colour. They even stuck photos of her favourite popstar on the surface of the clip for personalization and make it more engaging.
Users need to compress the sides of the clip for opening, so the clip could be secured onto the bars of the wheelchair. When the user releases her grip, the clip will be fastened and stabilised. The stick can then be pressed into the adhesive 3M broom gripper, securing the sticker to the other side of the board and safely attaching it to the electric wheelchair. When the stick is needed, it can simply be pulled out.
We would like to congratulate once again the five winning students, which they demonstrated their knowledge, creativity, and thoughtfulness by considering the needs and preferences of the user. We hope that this experience will encourage other students to care for those in need, foster mutual understanding, and promote inclusivity between people with and without disabilities.