Oct 6, 2015 | By Kira

Kids will be kids, and if they have one thing in common, it’s that they hate cleaning up after themselves. The ubiquitous parental plea to “clean your room!” and “pick your things off the floor!” can be heard from Taipei to Mexico to Birmingham. Yet one boy in Canberra, Australia, has channeled that nagging into an innovative, prize-winning 3D printed invention. Tired of getting into trouble for leaving his diabetes test strips on the floor at home, 11-year-old William Grame came up with the idea to 3D print a device that can safely and hygienically save up to 50 used test strips at a time before needing to be emptied. Competing against over 850 students in the Origin Energy littleBIGidea competition, Grame’s ingenuity has won him the grand prize: a trip to the Mecca of scientific innovation itself, NASA.

Diabetes currently affects more than 371 million people worldwide. When you take into consideration that each of those individuals has to take several blood tests every single day, the amount of test strips quickly piles up. Because these test strips have been exposed to the patients’ blood (diabetics have to prick their fingers and place a small dot of blood on the test strip, which then determines if they require additional insulin or not), they can be unhygienic and shouldn’t be carelessly left around. However, Grame, who has type 1 diabetes, sometimes needs to test his blood up to 10 times a day and had the habit of leaving them on the floor. “It’s important to diabetics because they always get in trouble for leaving their test strips everywhere,” said the thoughtful year 5 student.

The device he came up with is small enough to fit inside a diabetic’s portable test kit, and can hold up to 50 used test strips before needing to be emptied in the garbage. That means that users can carry it with them all day, and make use of it even in places where there wouldn’t usually be a trash—whether they’re at a park, a show, or just out of reach at home. While at 3D printing camp earlier in the year, Grame drew up the blueprints, printed the prototype, and successfully tested it over several months.

While it is an extremely practical and useful device, the judges of the littleBIGidea competition said that another major bonus is that with the low cost of 3D printing, the invention would be easy to immediately go into commercial production. Origin Energy’s littleBIGidea aims to inspire the next generation of big thinkers to develop ideas that could one day be put into production and help improve people’s lives. On Monday, Grame was selected from amongst 12 finalists from the years 5 to 6 category at St Edmunds College, and today attended the National Awards ceremony at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Some of the judges include the former host of ABC’s The new Inventors and Origin littleBIGidea ambassador James O’Loughlin.

"It was a tough job judging so many creative entries from students across the country. The blood test strip disposal unit is a winning idea, because it's not only original and creative, but it's also practical and innovative," O'Loghlin said in a statement.

According to the Canberra news, Grame is already very excited about going to NASA, his first trip to the United States, and his parents will be joining him to visit Walt Disney World in Florida. He plans to use his 3D printed device every day on the trip, and hopes that it can help diabetics all over the world deal with the burden of daily blood tests. However, in the long term, his sights are set even higher. “My dream is for someone to find a cure for diabetes, so one will have to use my invention,” he said. Who knows? After this trip to NASA, and his budding 3D printing skills, that ‘someone’ might just be him.



Posted in 3D Printing Applications





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marry wrote at 10/7/2015 8:20:05 AM:

Great article for me

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