Jamie Choi’s tic-tac-toe page is full of videos featuring high-end athletes. The clips themselves are an armed push-up, climbing ropes, holding plates with weights on their backs. If you look closely, you will see that his hands trembled before he could begin to demonstrate his strength and endurance. Choi suffers from Parkinson’s disease, a central nervous system condition that causes convulsions and often posts about what it is like to live with the disease.
“People see things they post and they are things that most average people can’t do,” says Choi. “I often show the other side of things that I struggle with on a daily basis.” He quotes the wind when he talks about the things that “normal” people do easily – tying shoes, buttoning shirts, picking up bullets – which bothers him.
One of his daily struggles comes in the form of the bullets he takes to handle his earthquake. They are very small, difficult to grasp with trembling hands. In late December, he posted a video of himself trying to pull a bullet out of a container. The video created the Domino Effect, inspiring designers, engineers and enthusiasts to develop a better bottle of pill for affected people with shock or other motor impairments.
The video made its way to your page by Brian Aldridge, a videographer whose page existed at the time, containing mostly snapshot facts. Although he had no previous experience with product design, Choi’s anxiety hit him so hard that he immediately. He went out to fix it. He began designing a 3D printable bottle that would eliminate the need to dig any bullets.
Aldridge has experience in graphic design, but has never tried to create a 3D printable object before. So he started learning Fusion 3D 360 3D modeling software, and a few days after watching Choi’s video, Aldridge posted a tick talk with a design for an accessible tablet bottle. The design features a rotating base that separates a bullet, which can then be passed through a small space to a small open space.
Since he doesn’t have a 3D printer himself, Aldridge called TickTok to try to get someone to hide his design. At the time when things started to snowball like this, neither he nor Choi could have guessed. The next day Aldridge found out that his video had thousands of views, and a large number of people wanted to print the bottle. He says he’s nervous, and thinks to himself, “Oh no, that’s a bad thing, what if it doesn’t work.” And it didn’t happen. The bases will not bend, the pieces will not come together.
But TuckTok’s 3D print makers had already pushed the idea. One of them, Anthony Sanderson, printed a copy and worked on the bottles. The pieces lasted for hours. Once the design was proven to have potential, others joined in improving it – fixing printing problems, adding a quarter turn, and making it spell-proof. Now its design is up to version 5.0, and some people are still commenting, it is ready for use and distribution.
People sometimes become so eager to create something to help people with disabilities that they actually forget to consult with anyone. “As people with disabilities, we are often designed, not designed with them,” said Poppy Greenfield, an accessible consultant at Open Style Lab. But the team involved in making the bottle has been in touch with Choi throughout the process, sending him every prototype and asking for his opinion.
Choi is already excited about this device from the version. It has been found that it not only reduces the time it takes to catch a bullet, but also significantly reduces the frustration and anxiety that usually accompanies it. Stress makes Parkinson’s worse, but with this bottle, “the level of anxiety goes away,” he says. “The time it takes, and the risk of your bullets being thrown to the floor in public, is almost zero.”
Mechanical engineer David Exler started sending bottles to other people. He started fundraising through a tik tok fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation: When someone asks for a 5 bottle on ATC, he sends the money to the foundation. So far, he has achieved his initial target of 50 bottles, and plans to continue donating as soon as more prints are sent. He just bought another 3D printer to keep up with the demand, and has been using some of his stimulus checks for fund printing and shipping.
While Exler, Sanderson and others continue to print bottles, Eldridge is working on patenting its original design and achieving mass production. It plans to release a 3D printable version in the public domain and create its own nonprofit. Version 5.0, a derivative of Elder’s Design Eclipse, will be available to anyone who wants to print it. “The creation of this patent does not prevent me or others from taking this model, making changes, sending it to people in need,” says Exler.
Aldridge is afraid of people who come to him with the intention of making money from design. He says, “The thing that really amazes me and keeps astonishing me,” is the arrogance of the people to try and take something that’s socially driven and to do it so freely. Should be available, so that it appears and is like, “Hey we can make a lot of money on this.” “For everyone involved in this project, the point is to get the bottles in the hands of people whose lives can be improved because of it, at the lowest possible cost.
Low cost is important for people with disabilities, who often face “corruption” on useful products and services that are prohibitively expensive and not covered by insurance. Greenfield says that with this kind of collaboration, where anyone can print a bottle with a 3D printer and send it to anyone who needs it, “minimizing cryptocurrencies and putting us on a level playing field.” Has the potential. “
Both Greenfield and Choi see the pill bottle project as a great example of the good that can come out of social media. Greenfield says it can be difficult to attract the attention of non-disabled designers when it comes to community-run projects for people with disabilities. “I think Tic Tac does it enthusiastically, creates awareness and encourages more community involvement to look at the issue.”
Choi believes that the way the video spreads on tick tock is something that is especially useful for people with disabilities whose struggles are often overlooked. “We don’t have to wait for the Knight on horseback to save us, we can be our own lawyers and we can make the difference ourselves.” In this case, his self-advocacy led to an idea that became popular in just a few days. This speed is interesting for Choi, who is accustomed to hearing about Parkinson’s research and product development that takes months or years to complete.
Here’s a story Choi likes to tell about the marathon he ran a few years ago. He stopped at the water station to get his Parkinson’s medicine. The bullets fell to the ground due to the earthquake. “People are stepping on those bullets, and I’m sitting there staring at five or six crushed bullets on the floor and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Do I want to lick them off the floor?’ He still had many miles to go in the marathon, and he thought seriously about falling to licking rock bullets. “If I had a device like that at the time, it wouldn’t be a problem.”