Jan 2, 2021 - After being together with our families over the holidays, it's important that we stay safe when we return to our daily routine. In order to stay protected from transmitting COVID-19 through touch, many have decided to buy or make keychains that are used as an extension of your hand, so that you don't have to directly touch anything. Although this is useful, the virus can survive up to 3 days on plastic, so I wanted to find a better way to shield the part that touches surfaces, so that it is not contaminating the rest of your bag. I also wanted it to be easy to print, ideally print-in-place.
So, after approaching it from many different angles with sketches, I designed this: the COVID "No Touch" Keychain. Able to be printed in place all in one piece with any plastic, this keychain can be printed within 20-40 minutes! I was inspired by many compliant mechanisms I saw online, like NASA's 3D-Printed Titanium Compliant Mechanisms. When compressed, the spring like structure reveals the end of a plastic rod, which can be used to hit buttons on elevators, switches, keypads, and more! In addition, the dovetail shape ensures that it slides only along one axis and ease of printability. Also, two of your fingers can hide behind a plastic wall, another layer of protection.
Watch the video below to see this all in action! Although simple in design, the concept was very fun to develop, and it works just like intended! I encourage you to make one for yourself below!
*this keychain is not scientifically proven to protect from any virus