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Makers Making Change

Burnaby, British Colombia, Canada
1 working on




Job role:Designer and manufacturer

Skills:We connect people with disabilities to makers who can build affordable Assistive Technology.

A program of Neil Squire, an organisation established when 21-year-old Neil Squire was left a brain-stem tetraplegic after a car crash. Seeing he was unable to speak or move his arms and legs, Neil’s family and a group of professionals in Vancouver created a ground-breaking device allowing him to communicate by using his breath to type Morse code.

Recent blog entries

Getting ready for the mail
Posted about Picker-Upper by Summer

After some more prototyping, testing and tweaking I'm happy to say that the Picker-Upper has come to life!  

While I could keep working on a few of the finer points I'm happy with the results.  It's also time to get them in the mail so they can arrive in time for the big event on May 30!

I hope Summer and Jaxon like the Picker-Upper!

(no pictures this time as I don't want to spoil the big reveal!)

Prototype #2
Posted about Picker-Upper by Summer

After testing and making notes of what to improve, I've now completed the 3D model for Prototype #2.  I think it's getting really close now, and if it works as well as I think it will I'll be able to move onto the final design stage...making it look Amazing!  Summer gave me some great pointers and ideas for what it could look like.  This is going to be fun, and I hope Summer and Jaxon like what I come up with.

Time to get version 2 on the printer so I can test it out this weekend.

Bits and Pieces...and TESTING!!
Posted about Picker-Upper by Summer

It's been an exciting few days.  I've been able to use the 3D model to make the first prototype and do some testing with actual Lego pieces!  Here's what I've learned so far:

1. The hinge mechanism works, but I'm not satisfied with it yet.  So, it will need a few tweaks to make it work really well, but I'm confident it will get there for the next prototype.

2. The Plate Popper features at the end of each arm worked on the first try!  That almost never happens.  Just a couple really minor changes here, but they get to stay for the final version.

3. The size overall is pretty good, I think.  It feels a little too small for me when I use it, which means it should be just right for Jaxon.

4. The handle spacing is a little wide, and a bit awkward to use.  I'll need to make some changes here so they sit closer together when all the way closed.  I also think I'll add some rubber loops to make it easier for Jaxon to control.

5. I added a scoop to one side of the jaws.  It was a bit of a wild idea and I'm not sure if Jaxon will find it useful, but it does create another way of picking up the smaller 2 stud pieces.  I'm going to leave it in because I think it has potential.

6. The 3D printed plastic surface of the jaws can grab Lego blocks okay, but it really needs to be squeezed tightly.  It doesn't work the best though.  I think I'll change the shape a bit, and also rubber dip it so the jaws have some more grip.  Those changes should allow Jaxon to pick up pieces with only a little bit of pressure. 

Back to design of Prototype #2.

Ideas brought to life