Bead Clamp

Daniel, Matthew
Harms, Tanner
Schmidt, Stephen
Wakefield, David
In rural Brazil, organic seeds such as those of the açaí and Brazilian redwood trees are processed into decorative beads so that they can be used to make jewelry which is sold for profit. Dorly Piske, who is the head of Partners of the Americas at the University of Wyoming and often travels to Brazil to purchase these beads, noticed that the methods used in the manufacturing of the beads is unsafe for the workers due to the proximity of their fingers to a rotating drill bit. Our group was tasked with designing a device that distances the user's hands from the drill bit while maintaining drilling efficiency. The bead clamp design was created such that a bead could be placed within the jaws of the device and tightened by pulling a lever. Further pulling of the lever raises the bead into a rotating drill bit, and release of the lever drops the finished bead into a container. If used properly, this design virtually eliminates potential human contact with the drill bit and maintains comparable efficiency to the process already employed by the workers.
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