Design of 3D Printed Cellular Meta-materials for Improved Tool-Handle Ergonomics

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1216)


Researchers focussed on the sizes and shapes of the tool-handle, however they neglected the tool-handle materials, which could further improve the ergonomics. It has been shown that foam rubber grip can be used to provide more uniform distribution of forces and pressures on the hand resulting in higher comfort ratings. Well-chosen foam and limited foam thickness can maintain low deformation rate for maintaining desired rate of stability of the hand tool in the hands. Therefore, we designed and manufactured a 3D printed cellular metamaterial with deformable inner structure and pre-engineered mechanical response, where at initial low grasping forces, the material stays firm and starts to deform only when critical contact pressure is reached to provide greater contact area and provide more uniform pressure distribution. Test subjects rated the 3D printed handles as more comfortable compared to handles made from plastic.


Tool handle 3D printing Comfort rating Product ergonomics 



The authors acknowledge the financial support from the Slovenian Research Agency (research core funding No. P2-0063).


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LIO - Laboratory for Product Design, Faculty for Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia
  2. 2.Laboratory for Intelligent CAD Systems, Faculty for Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of MariborMariborSlovenia

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