October 2, 2019
While in graduate school it’s more important than ever to take care of yourself and find something you love to do for relaxation or fun! Since I was 13 years old, that activity for me is making puzzles. Soon after discovering the Rubik’s Cube, I was hooked and wanted to make my own puzzles. While I started from humble beginnings sculpting each puzzle piece by hand, technological advances and support from the community of fellow puzzle enthusiasts brought me to 3D-printing my puzzle designs from home! Through this hobby, I made friends with people all over the world and collaborated on designs that have been brought to the mass market.
Puzzles give me the creative and stress-relieving outlet I need at the end of each day to calm my mind. While some people view Rubik’s Cube as headache inducing, for me there is nothing more peaceful than creating and solving puzzles. Along with providing a productive self-care activity, I have turned this hobby into a part-time job selling puzzles on Etsy and designing for puzzle manufactures.
This year, I challenged myself to create a new puzzle each week and so far I have met my goal and I am currently making my 40th design. Pictured below are some of my favorite designs from my puzzle-a-week challenge along with a picture of a 3D-design.
Within occupational therapy, I have used my puzzles to build rapport with clients and let them into my occupational world as they let me into theirs. Additionally, several of my less complex puzzles have been great for practicing fine motor and visual perception skills with kids!
As my puzzle-a-week challenge year comes to an end, I am shifting my focus to applying my love for 3D design and creation of complex mechanisms to the Mark and Semira Moshayedi Innovation Award competition. I am hoping to combine my love for creation with my passion for occupational therapy to create new ergonomic equipment! Look out for a blog in the future about the Moshayedi Innovation Award competition and the new Innovation Bootcamp!