For their capstone project in the Engineering Design and Development (EDD) course, Katie Bardsley, Kevin Berry, Matthew Hawkins, and Tim Vallancourt sought to create a nail clipper attachment for upper limb amputees, stroke victims, and people with limited finger dexterity. Using conventional nail clippers, people with limited mobility on one side of the body cannot clip their own fingernails without considerable effort. While most people can use a nail clipper no bigger than a few inches, there exists a market for those who cannot use such a device.
To address this problem, the team designed a nail clipper attachment consisting of a 3D printed plastic body which houses a standard metal nail clipper. The plastic body contains two “L” shaped body pieces that are connected with a thermoplastic stabilizing piece and metal snaps at the joints. There are a variety of ways to use the device by applying force to the lever arms with one’s legs, upper arm and torso, or by simply resting the device on a table and pressing down on the large lever arm using whatever method is most convenient. With a variety of practical ways to use the device, the product proves to be extremely helpful for the target audience, an audience that has expanded significantly with continued testing. Overall, the project was a great success and the group found it extremely rewarding seeing their initial idea become a positive influence in the lives of others. The team filed for a provisional patent through the United States Patent and Trademark Office and can officially say their device is “Patent Pending.”