Ashley standing in a parking lot

Like many, Ashley enjoys getting her nails done.

“I really enjoy keeping my nails done, like painted and all of that,” says Ashley, who works from home in Louisiana and is starting her own business. “Since leaving my old job I can’t really go to the salon anymore, so I made it something I’d do at home, kind of a self-care.”

However, Ashley was born without a thumb on her right hand, as well as partial syndactyly which was corrected. This makes it difficult to use a nail clipper on her left hand — efforts to prop up a nail clipper on the table by herself were a hassle, and it didn’t work that great.

“It’s really frustrating, and for something that’s supposed to be kind of a Zen self-care moment for me, that just wasn’t working,” she says. “Nail clippers are one of the number one frustrations for me with my disability.

“My husband would be more than happy to clip my nails, but I hate having to ask people to do things for me.”

Ashley and her husband own a 3D printer. One night, scrolling through Facebook, she stumbled across a video of different DIY assistive technology — one of the technologies she found was the Makers Making Change Nail Clipper Holder, a 3D printed device which holds a nail clipper in place.

Her husband printed the device using their printer, a process that was easy and took about 2.5 hours. As an added bonus, he made it using rainbow PLA, creating a rainbow-colored device to make it aesthetically pleasing.

a rainbow-colored 3D printed Nail Clipper Holder with a nail clipper inside

“I have a very colorful personality and a very colorful aesthetic, so if all my stuff could be rainbow, I would do it,” Ashley says. “It’s functional and it’s really pretty.

“I actually got excited the day after we printed this, because I was like oh my gosh, I broke my nail while cooking dinner, I get to use my new contraption.”

The Nail Clipper Holder worked like a charm. While she had previously been propping up her nail clipper on a table and trying to use it in a similar manner, the Nail Clipper Holder ensures the nail clipper is stable and stays in place.

“I’m really excited and I’m so appreciative, like literally I was ready to cry because I can clip my left hand fingernails without getting frustrated now, and that’s so huge,” she says. “Being able to just in a couple of hours print off something really cool, that works, and looks amazing, and just solves a 33 year problem that I’ve had, I was so excited.”

Ashley is looking forward to continuing to check out the Makers Making Change library, and is interested in getting more involved on the printing side of things.

“I’m really excited that there are people who are actually making things like this,” she says. “I really appreciate that it’s also available for free.”