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Induction Hob Pan and Button Location Guides

Our client is registered blind and has an induction hob that he would like to use. He asked us to make some guides to allow him to locate the various touch buttons and also to locate the pans on the correct places above the induction elements.

The Challenge

Being visually impaired, our client was not able to locate the individual controls for his induction hob or to locate the cooking pans in the correct places above the induction elements. He had previously used a guide for the controls but this had got lost.

The solution

The guide for the controls was straightforward as the hob has a convenient external lip and also one that separates the controls from the elements area. The outline and positions of the controls were traced and later transferred to a 3D design. This was split in two due to the maximum size limitation of the 3D printer and an interlocking feature added to each half. The final printed part fitted first time onto the hob.

The guide for the pans was also traced and 3D modelled. Initially it was suggested that we make this from toughened glass and, whilst we did manage to get one quote to make it, the cost was very high and the risk of it shattering if hit or dropped was considered too great. Another idea was to use an induction hob silicon protector mat with holes cut into it. We acquired one of these and cut it to size but when tried, it really wasn’t possible to reliably locate the positions for the pans, mostly because it was only a fraction of a mm thick.

Finally we settled on fibreglass printed circuit material with all the copper removed. This could be over 2 mm thick and UL V-0 flammability rated. This type of material is processed at high temperatures during electronics assembly and we considered that the temperature on an induction hob would not be anything like as high as a halogen hob. The design was sent to a trusted PCB manufacturer and, on arrival, taken to the client. It fitted well and made locating the pans possible. We left the silicon mat in place as this helped to prevent the fibreglass sheet from sliding, albeit only a mm or so.

The benefit

We understand that the client can now use the induction hob so this is a good outcome.

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