Table extension and cup holder
Fay has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She would like to get close enough to her table to eat her food and drink her drink, but the table is too low for the wheelchair arms so her carer has to do all the work. What was needed was some sort of raised, table extension and a cup holder that could be positioned in the right place for her.
Fay has cerebral palsy uses a wheelchair. She would like to get close enough to her table to eat her food and drink her drink. The challenge is that her usual table is too low for the wheelchair arms and they clash as she moves forward. It also knocks against the joystick controller. If the table is too low for her food it is certainly way too low for her to drink from a cup or glass and anyway, the cup or glass is easily knocked over.
What was needed was some sort of raised, table extension and a cup holder that could be positioned in the right place for her.
The idea for the table extension was to create a cantilevered platform that could clamp to her table. It had to be strong enough to take food, plate, cutlery, etc. thin enough not to obstruct the wheelchair or Fay herself, and wide enough to be useful, while not being so wide it wouldn’t fit the end of the table where Fay sat. Of course it also had to be the correct height for eating but, again, it mustn’t obstruct the wheelchair. It took a couple of prototypes but the finished version worked well. It had the advantage of not only being lightweight but also the clamps could be adjusted to different table thicknesses so it could be used at restaurants, etc.
Again through experimentation an elevated 3D printed cup and glass holder was created. The height needed to be just right to allow access via a straw. It was made to allow mug handles to be accommodated through slots in the side, and being PLA plastic it could be moulded in hot water to match the shape of the glass that was to be used in it. Due to its height it needed three suction feet bolted to it for stability and strength, which worked well on the shiny surface of the aluminium/plastic sandwich sheet material that the table was made from.
The table extension and cup holder provided Fay with a lot more independence, both in her home where the idea first came up, and when out and about in pubs and restaurants.