Refrigerator Assisted Drawer Opener

Prints (0)


Background and Inspiration

     This model was created for the “Within Reach – Design Challenge." A competition challenging designers to create a tool that assists people with limited uses of their hands. I spent some time with socks on both of my hands to see for myself what it would be like to not have full usage of my hands (like the video said).

     In the words of my dad  "he never stops eating" - this fact remained true even though my hands were restricted. While my hands had the socks on them I went into my fridge to get an apple but I found that it was almost impossible to open the drawers that the apples were in. My refrigerator's fruit and vegetable drawers have a handle to open the bin on it's underside. With  my hand being restricted I was unable to reach under the bin and open the drawer.

     My solution to this was to design these handy tabs that slip on to the lip of the drawer (see the pictures). I wanted to make these tabs be as low-profile as possible, so that they would allow the refrigerator to close, not prop the bin open more than needed, and to not get in the way of the other shelves that exist in the fridge; I wanted to do this and also be able to open and close these bins with ease. Check out this video of the tabs in action here.

     In addition to making sure these tabs were functional I wanted to make them look good - to do this I went into Adobe Illustrator and created drawings of an apple (for a fruit bin), a carrot (for a vegetable bin), and a turkey leg (for a meat bin) and then saved them as  .SVG files to add the design to Fusion360. I knew that not everyone would want to use the tabs with the pictures on them, so I also included a blank one to either leave as blank, or you can edit it and add your own designs!

Modeling Process

            To create my model I used Autodesk Fusion360 and Adobe Illustrator CS6

Print Settings

            We used Matter Hackers Silver PLA for this print. We recommend using support everywhere to help with the spaces in-between the two walls of the tab and to make sure the images inside the tab (i.e. the apple) are well supported so the print doesn't collapse on itself! A raft or brim is not necessary however it doesn’t hurt to print with one! Check out this time-lapse we took of the print here!

Design Files

File Size

Apple Fridge Drawer Helper.stl
233 KB
Blank Fridge Drawer Helper.stl
220 KB
Meat Fridge Drawer Helper.stl
230 KB
Vegetable Fridge Drawer Helper.stl
231 KB


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