Customizable Head Pointer
Setup & instructions
A head pointer is used by individuals with limited hand or arm control to interact with a physical keyboard or a capacitive, computer/tablet touchscreen. It can also be used to manipulate objects like turning pages in a book. Head pointers have two components: a mounting system that is fit to the individual’s head and a rod that is attached to the head mount. The rod can be made of plastic, wood, or metal. The composition of the rod determines if it can only be used to depress keys on a physical keyboard and manipulate physical objects, or if it can also interact with a computer/tablet touchscreen.
Head pointers have been available for decades. They can be bulky, heavy, clunky looking, and above all, expensive. In keeping with the guidelines of Volksswitch, we only consider creating an alternative design if that design would result in a significant cost savings and/or greater customization and personalization. We believe that our customizable head pointer does meet both of those goals.
Detailed assembly instructions for measuring and customizing the head pointer and all design files are available at https://volksswitch.org/index.php/volks-devices/customizable-head-pointer/.
The head mount can be printed for about $1.25 worth of filament. Simple elastic is used to hold the mount in place. A wooden dowel can be used as the pointer if you don’t need to interact with a touchscreen. Alternatively, a capacitive pointer can be constructed from aluminum or stainless steel tubing along with a capacitive tip – both of which can be purchased online.
Bill of Materials
3D Printed Side Arm
3D Printed Back Arm
3D Printed Front Arm
3D Printed Pointer Retention Bolt
3D Printed Pointer Mount
3D Printed Arm Connector
Elastic Chin Band
Elastic Neck Band
Elastic Hat Band
Pointer (Wooden dowel, aluminum tubing, or stainless steel tubing)
Capacitive Tip (Optional)
The size of the head mount is customizable to within a millimeter. As with any 3D-printed device, you have access to a rainbow of filament colors. Finally, the head mount designer provides accommodations for decorating the head pointer with elements that personalize the head pointer.
The Volksswitch Customizable Head pointer is 3D-printed using flexible filament. In all of the examples shown below, the filament used was TPU. We have used PLA to print the pointer mounting bolt, but you could print that piece out of TPU as well. The head mount is printed in pieces and assembled by sliding/pressing together five dovetail joints. You may find that you can even print the head pointer on a small 3D printer if you print a single piece at a time.
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