An object to help disabled people make their laces.

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This project is to help a child who only has his thumb on his left hand make his laces and undo them.

Our project is a shoe lace tier, This gadget is designed for a kid who doesn't have a fully developped hand. His left hand doesn't have fingers and only his thumb can slightly move. While talking with this child and his mother we realized that he had a hard time untying his shoe laces.

 Indeed, to untie a shoe we often pull the knot with both hands, as he has one less powerful than ours he can't do that. After showing us how he ties his shoes we asked him to untie them, that's when we came up with our first idea, a gadget which would allow him to pull the lace with "both hands".  

 Plus, due to his condition, he cannot tie his laces like us, he does rabbit ears which he then knots together which could in the future cause some problems in the aesthetic factor and in its ability to hold his ankle. That's why we started working on a new gadget which allows him to do them "normally". 

However, as we worked on the second prototype we realised the time factor wasn't optimal so we are working on creating new laces which would create the loops by themselves thanks to magnets allowing him to do "normal" laces easily and have the "chance" to untie them faster. 

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 1.01 MB - 06/10/2024 at 22:01


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 301.35 kB - 06/10/2024 at 21:52


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 66.29 kB - 06/10/2024 at 21:51


Standard Tesselated Geometry - 5.36 kB - 06/10/2024 at 21:51



last version of the box to make laces

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 119.03 kB - 06/10/2024 at 21:50


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  • 4 × Magnets
  • 1 × 3D printed ring
  • 1 × 3d printed body

  • Trial period - #Week 6

    alais santos-cloux05/14/2024 at 14:04 0 comments

    This week, the boy we are creating this gadget for, has come by the makerlab. It was the chance to test our ideas and see if it worked "in real life situation" that is how, what we though were GOOD projects were destroyed in front of us. 

    Indeed, we introduced to him all 3 of our gadgets: the knot untier, the knot doer and the magnetic laces. 

    the knot untier was a sucess, the ring and it's ring holder do work and make it easier to untie shoes. This project could easily be changed for someone with a similar disabilty (case were the subject is missing a hand).  

    However, the boy said he didn't really have a hard time undoing the laces but more doing it. That is why we made him try the second gadget (the sled) 

    The sled was an utter failure. Indeed, he has his laces very tight and a different kind of shoe that we trained on so for the base to slid in it was difficult. Then, the slit broke because it was to fragile, the sliding mechanism wasn't well defined (see picture). if we can make a bigger slide or more precise it could work for someone like our subject or with a bit more of a hand. 

    Finally we made him try the magnetic laces, he loved the idea. They were easy to use for him, he even could do a double knot. What was a great news it's that the magnets didn't get stuck between them which easy for him to tie and it's "normal looking".

  • Improvement is key - Week #5

    alais santos-cloux04/30/2024 at 14:17 0 comments

    In this session, we tried to improve our last two gadgets. 

    To recap, for now we have 2 differents projects. 

    The first object goal is to allow the kid to untie his shoes, for that we created a ring and a ring holder. The ring holder goes on the hand of the kid thanks to an elastic, the platform has a rectangular shape to avoid the ring holder from moving while using it, for it to be as stable as possible. We then have a ring which will go on the lace when tying them which will then be used as "second hand" when untying thanks to the ring holder. 

    Till now we have faced 2 problems: 

    1) We didn't scale the ring holder properly, it was 10x to big. and the ring holder couldn't contain the ring it didnt slide in easily.

    2) the printing lines weren't optimal so the ring holder broke

    this session we worked on solving those problems. 

    The second object's goal is to allow the kid to tie his shoe easily following the "normal" way, for that we have a base which goes on the shoe and a box . 

    Here are pictures to explain how it works: 

    The problem with this prototype is that it takes more time for him to do it like that and some steps aren't very easy. That is why we are working on a last prototype which will make it easier and quicker for him. 

    This last project is a lace with magnets, that way the kid has to do the first knot (which he can do) then the loops are done by magnets and he re does a knot. This way it's easy to do the laces but also to untie them as he only has to pull one string to undo the lace and to take un chain the magnets. 

    However, the problem is in inserting the magnets in a way that it always works and for them to hold during the knot period and easily pull out when needed. 

    The design is still a work in progress. 

  • Size is "knot" the problem - Week #4

    alexandrehamard03/26/2024 at 17:04 0 comments

    After last week's HUGE (litterally) print, we decided to try again and there it is ! 

    A reasonably sized (for most of us) KnotKicker Lace Undoer (name to be changed).

    After testing it multiple times, it worked, the ring did go in the slot it was supposed to go last week and it helped us to untie the laces we made with it.

    But sadly because of its fragile structure and size, one stronger pull than the others and it broke. So we decided to reshape the whole structure from scratch to make sure that the design would be structurally strong enough to withstand the carefree pulls and pushes of a 10 year old.

    Next time we'll see how we can improve the design to better fit a user's hands and be more durable for continuous use

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