Three Okanagan College Mechanical Engineering students have made Halloween a little safer for the valley’s trick-or-treaters amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With Halloween coming up, we wanted to provide something that could be fun for the kids while following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines,” said Randy McFarland, one of the team members involved with the project.
Enter Trick-or-Treat Bowls.
A 3D-printed innovative solution to hands-free trick-or-treating in the midst of the global pandemic.
The tools were printed with a small tray-like bowl that can attach to any standard broom handle. The idea is that candy can be placed in the bowl and extended to the trick-or-treater providing a physically-distanced experience while maintaining the fun of the spookiest holiday.
The team started by measuring broom handles to ensure measurements were correct for a prototype. With three designs to choose from, the team created coding to the 3D printers specific to each design. The bowl designs, which come in the shape of a pumpkin, a witch’s hat or a cauldron, are made from biodegradable bioplastic.
McFarland, along with classmates Myles Derksen and Chase Seale run 3D Okanagan, a company specializing in small-scale 3D projects.
In addition to the Trick-or-Treat bowls, they’ve created a touchless keychain object, aiding users with turning lights on and off as well as opening doors. Both projects have been the result of finding creative solutions to COVID-related problems.
Quincy DeWitt, Kelowna’s Mechanical Engineering instructor, said these three have done what the program encourages: “innovate practical designs and make them a reality by putting them into production.”
“It’s great to see our students applying their skills to a project that’s for the public’s safety and that helps people to have some fun on Halloween,” DeWitt said. “In the Mechanical Engineering Technology program, they’ve learned about 3D solid modelling, 3D printing, mechanical design, teamwork and many more skills.”
The Trick-or-Treat Bowls are available for sale for $12 on 3D Okanagan’s Facebook page. Contactless pickup is available.