Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Florida Maker Designs Easy-Access 3D-Printed Tool WristBand

ST Medical Devices

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You may not find a bigger fan of 3D design and printing than Floridian Fernando Sosa. The Orlando-based designer and entrepreneur seems to wear multiple hats (we wonder if they’re 3D-printed). He balances his full-time work as Media Supervisor with his role as a designer with nuPROTO, a company that specializes in rapid prototyping using 3D technology. There may be a few extra hours in Sosa’s day, because he’s also a contributor to Instructables and it seems only fitting that this multi-tasker would design a portable, 3D-printed tool belt that fits around the wrist for easy access.

Sosa, who has an educational background in 3D animation and traditional studio art, runs nuPROTO with his partner and fellow designer, Mike Bauerlein, and is devoted to making life easier for w2entrepreneurs, inventors, hobbyists and makers by taking their ideas and helping them realize them as fully-formed product prototypes, all the while saving them money and time.

Sosa’s 3D-Printed Tool WristBand is, in a way, a metaphor for his overall philosophy–ensuring that people have the tools they need available and within close reach. He saw a similar tool wristband on the internet but the price was pretty high, so the resourceful maker decided to make one himself.

The first iteration of Sosa’s Tool WristBand required screws and some assembly and he knew he could streamline it further, so he went back to the drawing board–the digital one, anyway.

“I could have gone to Home Depot and bought some screws but why should I? So maybe I could 3D print some screws and glue them in place. But it hit me: I could 3D model the screws in place and I could 3D print the entire thing all at once,” says Sosa.

Sosa revised his design so that the links were created and would be interlocking fresh from the 3D printer. That enabled him to print the w4entire wristband at once, separate only from the clasp that joins each end. It’s a pretty ingenious device. We’re curious about the comfort and weight of the thing but imagine if you wear it on your non-dominant arm it shouldn’t be problematic.

Sosa’s STL files and instructions are available for download on his MakerBot Thingiverse Thing page. To complete this project you’ll need screw bits, a heat gun, and a 3D printer. If you don’t yet have your own 3D printer, any of the web-based 3D printing services can print your Tool WristBand and ship it to you. While Sosa printed his Tool WristBand in a kind of somber gray, you can brighten up your own version of the tool holder by printing in an eye-catching orange or red. And why not personalize them while you’re at it, adjusting the STLs to include your name or logo. Or maybe an inspirational quote.

Let’s hear your thoughts on this interesting use of 3D printing.  Discuss this project in the 3D Printed Tool Wristband forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out a video of this wristband in action below:

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