If you’re a parent, then you probably know how difficult it is to keep your kids’ safety in check, even when you’re at home. Burns, for instance, are always a source of concern. In the Netherlands alone, 25.5% of burn patients are under 5 years old. Many of these severe burns are caused by hot liquids like coffee and tea. Luckily, a team of high school students from the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven may have an answer to at least one of your worries. Enter SafeTea, the friendly cup holder that helps you prevent burns on young children.
Meet the makers: Maud Crooymans, Annemijn Hintzen and Iris Messing
Maud, Annemijn and Iris are 3 creative high school students from the Eindhoven-based Augustinianum School. Recently, they won first place at a contest hosted by the Dutch Burn Prevention Foundation. The contest challenged students to design a product that would prevent burns on children aged between 0 and 4. Their design, dubbed SafeTea, is a cup holder that keeps hot drinks in place with a special sliding mechanism. With SafeTea, you no longer need to worry about your toddler picking up your cup of coffee or hot tea and potentially burning himself. You simply need to slide your cup into the holder and place it on a stable surface, making it harder to knock over. SafeTea can fit cups of multiple shapes and sizes. The cup holders can also be connected to each other in a playful manner, turning them into an impenetrable SafeTea fortress.
Bringing safety to young children with 3D printing
The team’s SafeTea design was first designed in Sketchup, and produced in Tinkercad later on. To test the viability of their model, Maud, Annemijn and Iris turned to 3D Hubs for prototyping purposes. According to Annemijn, this gave their team a competitive advantage: “The judges really liked our product, not only because it was an ingenious concept, but also because it could be easily introduced into the market. 3D printing made it special. It turned our prototype from a nice concept to a cool tangible gadget which could actually be produced and sold. This made our design better than the others and we’re proud to say that we’re soon taking SafeTea into production.”