Parkinson’s Patient Helps Develop 3D Printed Assistive Device for Eating

Share this Article

In the recently published, ‘User-centered design of a customized assistive device to support feeding,’ Brazilian researchers explore the design of a medical device for patients with Parkinson’s or other diseases that cause hand tremors. Gaining nutrition is critical to health, and with such a device, the user also retains independence.

The authors suggested the user-based approach, with 3D printing used to improve and refine the design in the end. Overall, they were able to open up communication between members of the design team, offer clear identification of design demands, promote a decrease in R&D time, and offer an array of new and ‘inventive’ solutions. Here, the user helping the researchers in the study was a 60-year-old male with Parkinson’s.

While assistive technology has been heavily affected by 3D printing, in this study it also proves itself as a substantial design tool. The design process for the study was made up of these three stages:

  • Informational and conceptual design
  • Manufacturing
  • Testing and refinement

Design stages and tasks

Conceptual design

The conceptual model consisted of:

  • Main cable in which other pieces are fixed
  • Cap for holding cutlery
  • Back sealing cap
  • Ergonomic cover
  • Adjustable strap

“The cable also contains four internal cavities, which may or may not be filled with water, totaling five possible configurations of weight for the device, the heavier being twice its weight totally empty,” stated the researchers.

Main features of the design were:

  • Mechanical system
  • Non-toxic fluid for balance of tremors
  • Easy assembly/disassembly
  • Improved hand contact area

The device ultimately met all of the users’ design requirements, along with offering the potential for customization that is very affordable.

 “The use of 3D printing for the generation of mock-ups and prototypes allowed a better visualization of the proposed technical solutions, facilitating the process of refining the product concept. It also allowed for greater and more effective participation of the stakeholders (occupational therapists, end users) in the design process through the interaction and testing with the prototypes, significantly collaborating for a user-centered design approach,” concluded the researchers.

“Single-case testing with users will be critical in evaluating product functionality and possible future improvements. Although the results with the use of the AD with no filled cavity (intervention phase B) have not yet been conclusive, it is expected that this may change with the beginning of cavity filling (intervention phase C).”

AD virtual model: (a) side view; (b) assembly view; (c) technical drawing.

A variety of different medical devices have been created with 3D printing and especially in the last few years, from biomedical devices to those using 3D printed magnets to further the concept, to innovating with carbon. For this study, one of the most unique atmosphere was having the patient help with the project overall for creating parts and prototypes for assistive devices.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts! Join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com.

[Source / Images: ‘User-centered design of a customized assistive device to support feeding’]

 

Share this Article


Recent News

PEAK Launches Alien Beast 3D Printed Shoes for Limited Sale

Arevo Announces New Aqua 2 Carbon Fiber 3D Printer, $25M in Series B Funding



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D printed automobiles

3D Printed Food


You May Also Like

Nexa3D Acquires NXT Factory, Introduces Eco-Friendly 3D Printing Washing Solvent

While Nexa3D may specialize in manufacturing super-fast stereolithography 3D printers, the company has been branching out recently, and narrowing its focus on the materials side of things. It launched the...

Featured

DyeMansion Secures Additional $14M in Series B Funding from New & Existing Investors

German company DyeMansion is known for its coloring and post-processing equipment, such as its three-step Print-to-Product workflow geared toward industrial 3D printing environments. Now, in order to continue transforming and...

T3D Announces New LCD-Based High-Speed 3D Printing System

Taiwan 3D Tech, also known as T3D, is a startup spin-off from the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST). Headquartered in Taipei, the company was officially founded in...

3DPOD Episode 32: Tuan TranPham, Arevo

Tuan is known universally by his first name alone. Like Madonna and Beyonce, everyone knows hi by just that one name. In Tuan’s case his fame is 3D printing specific...


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.