With a £2,000 3D printer and a part in a major Science Museum exhibition once her invention has been created, 11-year-old Sophia Laycock takes pride in her Pediclean, a portable foot shower which beat dozens of rival entries to win a summer competition searching for the best young inventors.
Detailed in an intricate colour and black ink diagram, the Hertfordshire prodigy’s vision pipped the Cone Buddy, an ice cream cone holder with a lip by nine-year-old Joe Hodgkinson, and The Muffle Puffle, a pillow and ear defender which 13-year-old Lottie Buchanan dreamed up to help campers sleep in their tents.
© Science Museum
“When you have been playing on the beach and you are all sandy, it is normal to clean yourself in the sea,” explains Laycock, who says she is “really thrilled” with her victory.
“But you then have to walk back to the car, which means you get your feel sandy again.
“The Pediclean is a simple way to clean the sand off your feet when you get off the beach and uses a squeezy corrugated bottle to push the water down to the cleaning zone.
“I’ve seen foot showers at beaches whilst on holiday, but never seen anything like that in Britain.
“The Pediclean is just a simple way of cleaning sand off your feet so the sand stays at the beach and doesn’t come with you home.”
"Sophia has been coming up with invention ideas for years,” says her mother, Marisa, disclosing the pocket design book in which her daughter notes each new idea.
“In fact, inventing seems to run in the family. Her late grandfather invented a number of devices for the quarrying industry."
Mark Champkins, the museum’s designer-in-residence, will face the challenge of realising the invention as part of the 3D: Printing the Future show in October.
“This product is an ingenious solution to one of the most irritating problems experienced on a trip to the beach,” he feels.
“The Pediclean is a smart and simple design that I can imagine in the shops.”
- 3D: printing the future opens at the Science Museum on October 9 2013.
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