Main Project Design Review Part One:

For my main project I aimed to create a “Cardboard Grabber”. Basically I am aiming to extend my reach, increase the surface area of my “hand”, and to retain grip strength on objects. The device would serve in Halloween costumes such as Iron Man or re-decorated to look like Hulk Hands or monster claws. In my initial designs, shown below, was a very rudimentary style of what I thought the base model would look like before I looked to improve the efficiency of the mechanics and design

The main issue I ran into working off of this design was the mechanics of the opposable thumb. With the joints along the inside of the hand like the other fingers, the sharp angle from the curve of the thumb to the carriage with the operator hand would be too great and break the adhesive. I consulted the internet to see if I could find past examples of re-created joint mechanics, and I found my solution. Showcased below in my final project schematic, The joints for the thumb go through the inside face of the hand, and out to the back face where the joints are placed.

By creating a new path for the control wire the stress was significantly reduced, and full control of the thumb was possible. Now that the joints are holding strong, the next challenge is threading the control wire through this winding path for the thumb to reach the control carriage.  Once that is complete I will dive deeper into enhancing the aesthetic of the piece. I decided on the iron-man aesthetic and for the franchise fans out there, I will pursue the niche aesthetic within iron-man, the “War Machine” aesthetic. I plan on taking bullet casings and creating a set of brass knuckles on the outside face of the grabber. I will also employ sharp edged shapes to give it a sleek, dangerous look.

Link to presentation:


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4 Comments. Leave new

  • […] Main Project Design Review Part One: […]

  • Jackson Hootman
    March 11, 2020 11:25 am

    Hey Zach! I’m really excited to see how this project turns out. If you’re interested in a more battle-worn aesthetic for your arm I would look into a material called rub ‘n buff (probably the silver version). Wiping this material onto corners gives the illusion of scraped metal. You’d have to try a few different techniques but a burnt aesthetic could be achieved by dabbing your piece with heavily watered down black paint, then wiping away the excess with a paper towel. Adding some brown or red paint would add the illusion of rust.

  • Nicole Leon-Molina
    March 11, 2020 11:22 am

    I’m excited to see this in action! Since you are aiming for a smoother finish, maybe you could consider creating a cardstock version? It is cheap and versatile. You can unroll your shape digitally, laser cut the paper, and fold it at the creases. It’s not cardboard but it can certainly be a good prototype before you go for the cardboard.

  • Daniel Straub
    March 11, 2020 11:18 am

    This is a cool idea. I have not seen one of these in awhile. Cardboard may or may not be the best material to use. Have you considered using the design used in those wooden snakes ( Will you be painting this? Interesting project and I am looking forward to seeing how it turns out, both functionally and aesthetically. Additionally, I would also look into Ironman cosplay designs.


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