17-year-old Aarrav Anil from Bengaluru in India has developed a smart spoon for Parkinson’s patients using 3D printing, according to media reports. Motivated by the eating problems of his uncle with Parkinson’s, the tech-savvy student printed out a battery-powered spoon with sensors and a motor.
3D printing allowed Anil to easily customize and improve the spoon’s design. Working with therapists, he tweaked it to make it waterproof, easy to clean and suitable for more food. In doing so, 3D printing enabled the prototypes to be realized quickly and cost-effectively.
According to Anil, 3D printing manufacturing makes his spoon significantly less expensive than comparable products that cost more than $200. His goal is to provide Parkinson’s patients in India, where it is estimated that there are over 7 million sufferers, with an aid to live with dignity.
The story is a powerful illustration of how 3D printing technologies can help improve people’s lives through customized and cost-effective solutions.