PrintLab Classroom: Assistive Finger Tools

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Product description

Make an Assistive Finger Tool


Students will design and 3D print their own assistive finger tools to help users with arthritis or a weak grip to do everyday tasks


* This is a lesson that is part of The PrintLab Classroom lesson portal. To view details of the full portal, click here. *

**If students have designed models that will come in contact with food, it is recommended that they are used for prototype purposes only. Otherwise, please check if the material you are using is food safe**

Blog Post on Food Safe Printing



In this 2-part lesson, students will design and 3D print their own assistive finger tools to help users with arthritis or a weak grip to do everyday tasks. Using finger tools can eliminate the need to grip objects, which makes them a very simple but effective device for people who struggle with their grip. The lesson begins by teaching students about the various joints in the body and how arthritis affects our joints. They will then be provided with 3D modelling skills in a video tutorial before going on to define, design and 3D print their own unique product.

Enrolling in PrintLab Classroom will give you complete access to the teacher training material and lesson documents. This includes content to help you prepare and deliver the lessons along with design tutorials so you become familiar with the process prior to teaching it in the classroom.


Subject Areas

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, biology, design technology and computing. The material can be adapted for ages 8-15.

Learning Criteria

In this project students will:

-Develop an understanding of the range of joints in the human body

-Develop an understanding of arthritis and the effects it has on joints

-Use design-thinking and sketching skills to develop a concept for an assistive finger tool

-Use 3D modelling software to design their own assistive finger tool

-Use 3D printers to manufacture an assistive finger tool


Equipment List

Each student will require:

1 x laptop/computer with mouse and internet access to use Tinkercad software

1 x pen/pencil

1 x ≈5cm length of string

The teacher will require:

1 x 3D printer and PLA filament 

1 x laptop/computer with mouse, internet access and slicing software for the 3D printer


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