Assistive Finger Tools

Students learn about joints in the body and arthritis before designing assistive finger tools - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

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Project Overview

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.

Curriculum Details

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, biology, design technology and computing. The material can be adapted for ages 8-16. The curriculum is aligned to ISTE, NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

Included Resources:

  • Joints and arthritis worksheet (PDF)

  • Example assistive finger tool model (STL)

  • Video design tutorials in Tinkercad and Fusion 360 (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

        • Arthritis and finger tools explainer video (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

        • Concept idea worksheet (PDF)

              Self-Paced Learning Option

              PrintLab's student portal is home to the online learning resources required for each of PrintLab’s lesson plans (CAD tutorial videos, explainer videos etc), but it is also structured in such a way that gives users the option to work through each project online in a self-paced manner without a teacher/instructor. The perfect solution for distance learning, 3D printing clubs, passion projects or self-paced learning at libraries and makerspaces.

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