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Parkinson's: TikTok community creates 3D-print pill bottle to help people with shaky hands

Multiple strangers worked together after a person had complained about difficulty in picking up small pills as a result of shaky hands.

Parkinson's: TikTok community creates 3D-print pill bottle to help people with shaky hands
Left: Prescription medications - stock photo/Getty Images Right: Screenshot/ TikTok/Brianalldridge

The internet can work in mysterious ways to help strangers and this heartwarming story from TikTok will move your heart. A week ago, a person with Parkinson's disease posted a video on TikTok expressing anger at how small the pills used for their treatment was, and how having shaky hands as a result of the disease made it so hard to even pick them up. A magical network of strangers worked together to find a solution to the problem and came up with a design of a pill bottle to solve the problem. The story was shared by David Richards on Facebook. He revealed that it all started after a guy who had no previous experience in making the pill bottle put his mind to it. "Four days ago, a guy who directs country music videos for a living, taught himself how to use Fusion 360 (a design and modeling tool) so he could design a pill bottle that solves the problem," wrote Richards.



The problem was that he didn't own a 3D printer, so he posted a video of his design and offered to share schematics with anyone who wanted to test it and or improve upon it. All schematics is open source which encouraged dozens of engineers and 3D printer enthusiasts to start working on the product, fine-tuning it to the point it would be perfect for someone with shaky hands. Within a week of the guy designing the bottle and 2 days of engineers fine-tuning the product, a working prototype was ready. "Thirteen hours ago, there is a working prototype, it has "less plastic than your average McDonald's toy, and should be priced as such." It is common for companies to swoop in and buy patents of a potential product to make more money out of it, eventually pricing it out of many hands that desperately need it. The original designer wasn't having any of it. He got a patent attorney to ensure it remains open-source and asked for the patent to be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.




Large-scale manufacture of the product will soon begin but David Richards said that those in need right now could contact the engineers and get a bottle at cost. "They can get one at cost from the engineers printing them at home," said Richards. Brian Aldridge, who made the original design of the auto-dispensing bottle shared the design online. "Hey guys, this is a design that Brian Aldridge made up for people with Parkinson's or anything similar. It's an auto-dispensing pill bottle for people having issues with pills. Feel free to take this design I made and modify it for your needs," wrote Aldridge as he shared the design. You can find the design here.




People were overjoyed at the beautiful things that people will do to help one another, even if they are strangers. "I saw this happen and watched it iterate natively on the app and was honestly so comforted by the fact that even though social media can be dangerously destructive in many ways, it can also be a tool for radical goodness," wrote Chenin Matthews. Another Twitter user, Jon Jones, also sought comfort in the fact that the goodness of people was rising to the surface during these tough times. "It's important to see examples of how much good can be done, especially now. When I'm feeling down about the world, I look at all the amazing work that's going into making the world more accessible for people with disabilities to help them live their best lives," wrote Jones. Many others shared heartwarming personal stories about how strangers on the internet helped them to solve their respective problems.





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