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Get a handle on it.

Leslie Brown

So often, in the press…’cause they love them some strife, we hear about stories of bullying. This story instead, is a story on some love-in-action in the form of a handle.

Remember the horror that was lockers in junior-high and high-school? Not only did your fragmented teen brain have to memorize the pesky combination, you had to turn the combination, then pinch and open with one hand unless you put your books on the (eww), dirty floor.

An attentive New Jersey high-schooler noticed that one of his classmates with a disability was struggling with the maneuver, so they took it upon themselves to design and have printed on the school’s 3-D printer, a handle that was easier for the classmate to negotiate.

Justin Hermann is a senior student at Newton High School in New Jersey. He also seems to be a very observant person, and one that doesn’t mind getting involved when a situation seems to have a possible fix.

The latest situation he noticed was that of a freshman classmate who was having a hard time opening her locker. The solution? Redesign the handle.
Behold the 3D printed locker handle
The hallway lockers of the school are designed in such a way that a user has to pinch the handles and lift them in order to open the door.

This, unfortunately, didn’t really avail the freshman much, since she has a physical disability that makes it especially troublesome to manipulate the handles.

So, one thing led to another and technology teacher Brian Bennington and junior student Robert Borgognoni were enlisted to assist in the making of a new type of handle.

SolidWorks was used by Borgognoni to design a plastic handle, with Hermann providing the conceptual framework.

Multiple prototypes were made and discarded before a final handle was decided upon and installed. It allows the freshman to pull up the larger handle and open the locker that way.

It was attached to the locker with a bolt that passes through it and bypasses the latch entirely. All the user needs to do is slip the hand in it and pull the locker door open. Magnets keep the locker closed between classes.

Since the New Jersey school has 3D printers on site, the whole production was handled in-house.

Harmann’s future plans Hermann now wants to open his own company to produce products and inventions that will help handicapped people. 3D printing will doubtlessly be a big part of it if the idea gets off the ground. In the meantime, he’ll be helping with the other 3D printed projects that have improved the life and times of the Newton High School in New Jersey. A trumpet mouthpiece was created even before the door handle, with other things set to come from now on.

Way to go JUSTIN!
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