3-D Printed AT for Writing, Painting, and Drawing (with Jen)!

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

[The featured image of the video above is of Jen Mullins, a white woman with long, brown, wavy hair.  Jen is smiling and wearing a coral-colored cardigan and black shirt underneath.  In one hand, she is holding a Palm Pen Holder device that is holding a paintbrush.  In her other hand, Jen is pointing at the device.  On the wall behind Jen is a collection of art and a closet door.  End image description.]

By Jen Mullins, BS, CTRS, MATP Staff

Tune in as I share about 3-D Printed Assistive Technology (AT) devices for writing, drawing, & painting.  In the video, I turn the camera around and show how 2 different, 3-D printed devices work with a pen for writing, a pencil for drawing, a paintbrush for painting, and an Apple Pencil for creating art on an iPad Pro using the Procreate app!

The devices that I show in the video were printed by an organization called Makers Making Change (MMC).  MMC is a part of the ‘Assistive Technology (AT) makers movement‘, “a small but growing movement among people with disabilities, engineers, students, families, and others who cherish personal independence and freedom of choice to take access to Assistive Technology (AT) to its next stage.”  In short, MMC connects people seeking solutions/devices to ‘makers’ who can 3-D print them.  Users can create a free account on the MMC website, browse and search for various devices that are available to be printed, and request the device(s).  MMC then connects that request with a local ‘maker’ in the user’s geographical area who can print the device for them and arrange for them to pick it up or have it shipped to them (typically the user is responsible for shipping fees).  There is a cost range included for each of the devices listed on the site, but sometimes that fee is less than purchasing a commercially available device from a store or online shop.  And some of the devices listed on the MMC website aren’t currently available in traditional stores/online shops.

While you’re searching/browsing their site, if you don’t find a device that meets your needs, MMC offers a way to submit a need/idea. Once your idea has been submitted, makers & users who are connected with MMC start brainstorming and it’s very likely you’ll hear back from them about ideas for solutions. Personally, I think this feature feels very validating and gives me hope that it is possible to get/create the AT I need.

[Image description: a watercolor paint palette, a Pen Ball device holding an Apple Pencil, a piece of watercolor paper, an iPad, a Palm Pen Holder device holding a blue drawing pencil pointing to a piece of sketch paper and small sketch of a hill and sunshine, a lined piece of paper with writing on it next to a pen, another Palm Pen Holder holding a paintbrush, and a roll of blue painters tape.  All of the items are on top of a wooden desk and the photo was taken from above.  End image description.]

In my video, I show 2, 3-D printed devices that can be used for writing, drawing, and painting and below I’ve included a few more devices listed on the MMC website that might be able to help with these tasks as well.  Additionally, MMC has a large number of 3-D printed switches that may be helpful to users.  It’s important to note that I’m not an equipment vendor nor do I benefit from the sale of any devices; I am sharing this information in the hopes that some may find it useful.

3-D printed devices shown in my video:

Additional devices on the MMC website that might be able to help with writing, drawing, and painting (additional devices are added periodically so there may be even more available than what I’ve included here):

If you have any questions or thoughts about AT, leave me a comment!  Do you use any 3-D printed AT? What are you interested in trying out?