“I find the Cane Minder to be an excellent invention. It is very handy when I'm out and trying to park my cane. It is an excellent idea and I would recommend it to anybody who uses a cane.” Audrey S.
“I just love this cane support - as the picture shows, it works great and I use it all the time! So easy to use. I highly recommend it!”
In 2016,while visiting family we went to lunch with a friend who uses a cane. Finding a place for the cane was a problem and it fell to the floor more than once. My mother said “Ian you can fix this!”. I was certain that somebody had already done something to address this problem and an online search revealed three products. Of the three devices the one that seemed most promising, wasn’t available in Canada.
Since I had recently built a 3D printer I decided to make a similar version for our friend. A few hours on the computer designing and printing I had something to give them and it did improve the situation. I printed a few more and gave them to a couple of other cane users and I began to get some feedback - there were some problems, it wasn’t perfect.
As a fun exercise I went back to the computer and tried to improve the design. With the 3D printer at my disposal I could make a change and print and test it in a short time. This produced a lot of prototypes, I had box full of them, but it became clear that the main shortcoming of the device was that it was not secure. It was possible for it to be knocked off the cane and lost.
When I was thinking about this problem one day I had an aha moment and several hours later I had proved the new concept. Many more prototypes later and with my trusty testers having approved the new design, the Cane Minder is now ready for production.
Cane Minder Properties
- made from durable non-marking TPU elastomer
- soft flexible material that bends out of the way if brushing past other people or things
- securely attached to the cane cannot fall or be knocked off
- easily re-positioned on the cane shaft
- provides many different possibilities to secure the cane
- The soft material has non-slip properties
- stands against walls and smooth surfaces like glass or vehicle doors/fenders
- secure on many table edges especially curved edges like kitchen counters
- has a hole to allow hanging the cane on a coat hook
- fits large range of cane diameters 5/8” to 1.1”
- will work on canes with non-circular cross-sections
Risks and challenges
The Cane Minder will be produced by a local injection molder Plastics Plus ( http://www.plasticsplus.ca)
The production tooling is being made as we speak.
The Cane Minder was designed to simplify the mold to keep costs down.
I don't anticipate any real problems, but usually a first test of the mold, will show that changes need to be made to the mold.
Also the material must have the right properties to make the Cane Minder work as designed, it may take a couple tries to get that right.
The shipping may be delayed if there are any large delays for mold modifications or changes to the material.
I am also working on the packaging for the Cane Minder, there is still some work to do there. the main problem is how to attach the Cane Minder to a display card that has instructions on the back.
- (29 days)