11-year-old Invents 3D Printed Disposal Unit for Diabetes Tests


An 11 year old Australian wins a prize for his littleBIGidea; to hygienically store blood test strips used by diabetics in a 3D printed unit.

v1ctor FlickrWilliam Grame is 11 years old and has diabetes. Every day, he has to test his blood sugar levels using test strips. These strips are fiddly and unhygienic after use. He tells The Canberra Times:

“I always get into trouble for leaving my blood test strips around the house because I have to test my blood up to 10 times a day, which adds up to lots and lots of test strips.”

Thinking over the problem, Grame came up with the idea of a portable disposal unit.

He drew up the blueprints while on a 3D printing camp earlier in the year. The 3D printed disposal unit is small enough to fit into a diabetic’s testing kit, and can store up to fifty strips so it only has to be emptied once a week.

And the coolest part? His invention has won the years 5 to 6 category of the Origin Energy littleBIGidea contest.

Judges reckon the blood test strip disposal unit is good enough to enter into commercial production.

Grame’s prize is to head off to the US with his dad and visit the NASA Kennedy Space Centre and Disneyworld.

A littleBIGidea goes a long way

littleBIGidea“There are around 380 million diabetics in the world, each testing their blood at least a few times a day,” said Grame at a presentation of his device in Sydney.

He hopes his design will help to educate people across the globe about Type 1 diabetes. “My dream is for someone to find a cure for diabetes, so no one will have to use my invention,” he said.

But, in the meantime, it keeps the bloody strips off his mum’s floor.

The Origin Energy littleBIGidea competition aims to inspire the next generation of big thinkers to develop ideas that could one day be put into production and help a lot of lives. You can check out the other winners on their page.

What do you think of this idea? How could 3D printing help other young people’s lives?