UPDATE: After some use we've refined the design some more and it now works even better! I'll post a short 'how to' video soon.
Doing simple things that many able-bodied people take for granted can be a source of anxiety and depression for the elderly or disabled.
My elderly Aunt has tried a number of devices to help her do the simple act of putting socks on and off but hasn't found anything that worked well or was affordable so she asked me to design something for her. I didn't realise she was struggling so much. I suggest you consider asking this question as you also might be unaware of someone you care about struggling like this too.
So I took a few ideas and combined them and made some improvements and ended up with the 'Sock Helper'.
My printer is down waiting for repair parts to arrive but I hope to print it later this week and put up a short video of how to use it. Very simply, while seated you load a sock from the top and slide it down and then place it on the ground and slide your foot into the supported sock. The design incorporates a non-printed pole to lift and drop the 'Sock Helper'. This pole should be cut to around 60cm and can be made from a 20mm (3/4") PVC tube or a similar sized dowel or broom stick. The pole then inserts into the base where there is a hole to secure it with a screw.
There are two tabs on the end of the channel that are used to hook into the top of a sock so it can be easily slid off.
The design is also made for minimal supports and also has a printing brim to aid bed adhesion.
If you plan to print this in PLA then please make sure you don't use a brittle type of PLA because if you do the person using this is likely to brake it when pushing down by accident. See the 'print settings' section for suggested PLA and other filaments to use.
I used 4 perimeters and 25% infill as the person using this could put a fair bit of weight onto it by accident. The only place supports are needed is in the pole support hole.
UPDATE: After testing I found 3 perimeters is more than strong enough.
I now mainly use Simplyfy3D to slice for three main reasons;-
- the supports come away beautifully
- for items that rely on tight tolerances (like this case!) it prints the most accurate that I've used
- You can specify different print settings in a print so for sections with detail you can reduce layer height and for uniform sections you can increase it and get great looking prints done fast!
I suggest printing this in an improved PLA (see below) or other filament that's strong but doesn't warp too much. ABS is possible but only for those with lots of ABS experience and an appropriate setup for ABS as warping will likely ruin the print.
Beware: Not all PLA's are made equal.
Most of my prototypes and a good proportion of final prints are with an 'improved' PLA from Esun called PLA Plus (sometimes called pro) and it's tough and definitely not brittle and it's really cheap too. Some other moderately priced improved PLA's I've used are Filamentum, Prusa Brand & Colorfabb Economy PLA.
I haven't tried Hatchbox, Matterhackers, Taulman InPLA and Filaform Pro PLA but I hear some good things about them.
I also use a few better quality name brand PLA's for special one off jobs and these are quite a bit better than the Esun though up to triple the price. For the best looking prints with a fair bit better toughness than the Esun I use either Polymaker PolyMax PLA or ColorFabb PLA PHA. If excellent toughness and strength is a priority then the Polymaker PC Max polycarbonate is the one I'll always reach for and the finish is still good too.
You could also try finding some online filament reviews for strength comparisons.