As I was working on a master’s degree in special education and a certificate in assistive technology, I had the opportunity to survey the domain of assistive technology – in particular electronic input devices. The first thing I noticed was a mind-numbing variety of available pressure switches with huge amounts of overlap in functionality and features. They’re also hugely expensive. It was difficult to understand why a particular manufacturer chose to incorporate a particular feature set into their switch, but once incorporated, there was little or no support for customization.
While researching and writing my master's project, I happened to purchase a 3D Printer and immediately saw the opportunity that 3D printing created for low cost, one-off (personalized), manufacturing. The technology is also simple enough to use that it could be put into the hands of people close to the individuals with disabilities – OTs, PTs, ATPs, and even families.
The switch design here is intended only as a proof of concept (POC) or as an existence proof. Every design element and decision could be improved upon and I hope it will. The purpose of this design is only to get the conversation started.The Volksswitch has goals in terms of cost, functionality and reliability but simultaneously aspires to high levels of customization and personalization – a capability which is only now feasible via the technology of 3D printing. If you believe, like I do, that’s possible, please visit the Volksswitch website (http://www.volksswitch.org) and join us!
Power to the People!
First Mechanical Remix... (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2870415)
With this remix we removed the need for the heat-set threaded inserts to attach the cover and GoPro mount to the base. These components are expensive and take special equipment to insert them into the base and activation surface. We also replaced the 1/4 inch bolt with a printed post and a screw-in collar (with its own Teflon tube lining) to make the connection between the activation surface and the internal spring more stable and the action smoother.
Download the files and then go to my website at: https://wp.me/P9evBA-4D to learn more about additional parts that are needed and how to assemble everything. If you're interested in helping to improve on the design of the Volksswitch go here (https://wp.me/P9evBA-7) and provide your contact information