alt text

Click Rule Prototype
Research and Design

Client:

Blind Woodworking.club

Brief:

Iterate on the click rule - a measuring tool used by blind woodworkers.

Unlike existing models of the click rule, this design can be operated with one hand

Role:

  • Researcher
  • Designer
  • Prototype Fabricator
close up of a click rule

What is a Click Rule?

Blind and visually impaired woodworkers use a click rule for measurements. It is a ruler that extends from a tube. The ruler makes a click for every inch it is extended, and also has tactile graduations which can be counted by feel. One a measurement can be taken, it can be locked in with a set screw.

One disadvtange of this is that the click rule requires two hands to use. The goal was to design one that works with one hand, seen here.

Concept:

We wanted to design a tool that can be operated with one hand, leaving the other hand free to stabilize materials, for example.

A handle about 1.5 feet long has a gear attached to one end. When the gear is spun with the thumb, a rod inside the handle is extended. The rod has tactile graduations, and makes a sound. The user can determine how far the rod is extended

blind woodworkers teaming up to design a tool prototype sketche prototype sketche prototype sketche prototype sketche prototype sketche prototype sketche

Research and Low-Fidelity Prototyping:

  • Participatory Methods
  • Stakeholder Direction
  • Sketching
cilinder of metal 1.5inch wide .75inch tall with a paper gear tempalte glued to it cylinder of metal 1.5inch wide .75inch tall with a paper gear tempalte glued to it teeth being but into the cylinder teeth being refined with a file cylinder of metal has teeth cut, is now a gear gear with paper template for drilling even spaced hole on the face of it holes being drilled holes drilled into gear face gear being tested with threaded rod (making a worm gear) two pieces of metal being cut in a vice to form tool body gear being fitted into tool body tool body being assembled hole cut into tool handle for worm gear body assembled with handle tool assembled closeup of the complete one handed click rule tool. It is a handle about 1.5 feet long with a gear on one end than can be spun with the thumb

Prototype Construction:

Custom cut gear cut to mesh with 16-tpi threaded rod. This way, each turn of the gear "clicks" to denote 1/16th of a in has passed.

A handle about 1.5 feet long has a gear attached to one end. When the gear is spun with the thumb, a rod inside the handle is extended. The rod has tactile graduations, and makes a sound. The user can determine how far the rod is extended