Local businesses often reach out to the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology Engineer and Design students to help prototype new products or innovations.
“The process is good for both the company and the students,” says Engineering Instructor, Ed Driscoll. His Engineering and Architectural Design students recently helped Ergo Pros, an Arundel-based ergonomic office design manufacturer, design a new version of its ergonomic, extension handle designed to more easily open sliding glass windows.
Erogo Pros owner Howard Washburn is the inventor of the ERGOGLIDE™ an ergonomically designed extension handle which aids in the opening and closing of sliding glass windows. Washburn approached the Biddeford Regional Center of Technology while searching for an efficient way to quickly test the viability of adding a 12-inch handle to his product line.
“Every once in a while we get someone who needs a different size. We thought 3D printing might be a way to economically prototype the product,” said Washburn. “The students created exactly what we were looking for and the timing and quick turn-around allowed our small, Maine-based business, to move the project forward.”
Three of Driscoll’s students, Basam Abduhlay, Jared Pierce, and Clement Gasana, worked with Washburn to quickly design and 3D print a 12-inch handle.
The ERGOGLIDE™ extension handle comes in three sizes (3- inch, 6- inch and 9- inch) and is primarily used by office receptionists to alleviate unnecessary discomfort and avoid injury from the repetitive task of opening and closing sliding glass windows hundreds of times per day. The tool is made of soft plastic and is attached to a window by a strong adhesive. The product is used in medical offices, schools or other office settings where windows are often mandated to remain closed in order to maintain confidentiality within the workplace. They are also used at home to open hard to reach windows.
While Ergo Pros is still in the early stages of testing the 12-inch ERGOGLIDE™prototype, Driscoll’s students have yet another real-world design option to add to their portfolio.
“Community projects like this are a win/win four our school and the community,” said Driscoll.