MHS Student's Design Offers Solution for Classmates' Locker Challenges

MHS Student's Design Offers Solution for Classmates' Locker Challenges
Posted on 10/31/2018
Wayne ZhuMason High School Engineering CAD student Wayne Zhu designed a specialty hand tool to assist students who have difficulty opening their lockers. Zhu created an enlarged grip for the tiny key so that students who have limited fine motor skills can now open their lockers independently!

"Wayne created a hand-tool using the Engineering design program and the 3D printer. The design allows the specialty keys to be enclosed in a hand-grip enclosure," explained Applied Technology Department Head David Weiseman. "The prototype gives the student more control when using the key/locks. "

Zhu was presented with the problem that some MHS students with physical disabilities struggled to independently open their lockers due to the fine motor skills that are required to open a locker with a small key. Zhu then designed a 3D printed attachment for the key. He was given certain constraints including designing a part that students can hold, allowing room for the key to fit in the lock, and making sure the lanyard remains attached.

Watch Zhu explain his process, and the many iterations it took to come up with the design that actually worked.

"The 3D prototype adds an extension/outer casing to the key so that the student can handle and unlock his locker easier," explained Zhu. "The prototype turns the small key into a handle shaped tool, making it easier to hold and grip, so the student wouldn't have to pinch the small key to just unlock the locker."

Zhu's design can also be reprinted and modified for many other kinds of keys, or tools, that students with disabilities can use.

"The engineering CAD elective at the high school provided me the opportunity to make this project," added Zhu. "Students in the class have the opportunity to draw and design objects and turn those ideas into things that we can utilize, and by applying academics to a real-world problem, a simple design can help many students."
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