The Joint Protection Project has been progressing to the make/improve section of the Maker Cycle. We recently created our first prototype and we ended up changing our original design, something we should get used to because it will obviously be happening a lot.
Today in class I have been focusing on how to make our product protect the internal structures of the hand instead of just being a “cushion.” This required me to research and reinforce my knowledge of the tendons and ligaments in the hand, and how they get hurt, in order to design a device that protects said internal structures while of course preventing the injuries related to them. The first picture below is our original design, and the one on the right is multiple different sketches including a new and improved design and a draft of possible pattern for our device.
A major difference in my new design and in our first prototype is the lack of wrist protection. After realizing that another group is designing a wrist guard, we decided we should focus solely on the fingers; we were getting a bit ahead of ourselves earlier this semester. An improvement from the prototype in the new design is additional mobility, in the new design there are multiple side finger guards, matching each phalange in each digit, and there are connections at each joint. This device draft is designed to fit under the wrist guard device, and hopefully any kind of wrist guard. My draft does not include measurements, but hopefully the near future entails more research concerning average measurements etc.
Part of my research led me to other products that protect specific finger damage, and it gave me more ideas for what to do. The one that stood out to me was the device that prevents mallet finger, and I learned more about mallet finger at American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website. The small pop up visual is a good reference to the damage that occurs on the to the thin tendon that straightens the end joint of a finger or thumb, and it can happen to anyone whose finger is forced to bend further than it is intended to go after striking another object. This is helpful to our team because it appears that this type of injury can occur to a roller derby player, meaning this is giving us more information and another reference product.