These two handles for the Helping Hand Company expanded their range with options for improved comfort and functionality.
General arrangement drawing of the gel handle
The gel-filled handle was based on a silicone gel technology developed by one of the company’s suppliers. This needed to be stylised to carry over the family image of the range, while allowing the handle to be assembled successfully.
Sintered model of the handle assembly
Exploded view of the ratchet trigger
The ratchet trigger allowed the user to maintain grip on an object without sustaining pressure on the trigger, a benefit for the elderly and arthritis sufferers who has hand strength issues.
The Surefoot bathboard for The Helping Hand Company was the first complete product I designed in its entirety from scratch. The brief was to design a brand new bathboard which incorporated locking suckers for added perception of safety.
These suckers needed to adjust to suit any bath and they needed to be locked in position using a single quick-release lever. The fact they needed to both slide and rotate and lock using independent teeth engagements made this particularly fun to engineer.
I was responsible for the complete design, prototyping and testing for this product, liaising with the overseas tooling supplier, and resolving production issues.
The bilateral jaws needed redesigning to improve grip on certain items such as carrier bags and large plastic bottles. These jaws are used for both litter clearance and as domestic living aids so consideration for both applications was crucial.
I made the jaws slightly shorter to give better mechanical advantage but without affecting the opening range. I changed the internal surfaces from a flared-outwards design to parallel sides, so that the gripping force always acted inwards instead of squeezing the object out. Finally I added interlocking serrations to the tips in order to create a better mechanical grip on flexible items such as plastic bags a fabric.
The handle and cuff support needed to be reverse-engineered so that new tooling could be made. This involved precise measurement and complex surfacing to accurately recreate its ergonomic curvature.