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A wheelchair for tomorrow, today

by • May 9, 2016 • No Comments

Benjamin Hubert has announced the world’s initially completely 3D printed wheelchair.

Hubert, of turn it into agency Layer, generated the GO prototype as part of the company’s new research division. Hubert worked with Materialise, which is a leader in the field of 3D printing software.

The company can officially commence the GO wheelchair in London at the Clerkenwell Design Week and is appearing for partners to take it additional.

Hubert worked with a number of wheelchair users to turn it into this revolutionary turn it into for a tailored chair which can be generated inside two weeks, pretty than the eight weeks it takes right now.

A advantageous wheelchair for a advantageous next

The basic goals were to remove the stigma of wheelchair use and to improve the day-to-day life of individuals which rely on their chair. Reducing the wear and tear on the person’s upper body was in addition a leading concern, as wheelchair users suffer disproportionately with arthritis in later years.

As 3D printing is a relatively new advancement, the team in addition wanted to investigate how the chair may be tailored to the individual and how much difference which may manufacture to their high end of life.

A lightmass wheelchair with thin cf spokes

Tailoring affects additional than fashion

The seat and the foot bay can be made-to-measure and which has a profound impact on the comfort levels and practical applications. Users frequently spend additional than 18 hours a day in their chair, according to the research the company did preceding embarking on the project.

It spent six months investigating at the present time’s options and producing informed choices on the new turn it into and the prototype is the outcome of two years of complex work.

The GO wheelchair consists of two various materials which revolutionise the appear of the wheelchair, which include a semi-transparent resin with an integrated matrix of TPU. The TPU provides a level of shock absorption which takes a vast amount of padding in current chairs, or flexible material, which either adds to the mass or compromises the level of assist.

Padding helps in the short term, but there’s a cost

Padding can in addition affect the user’s posture, whereas a tailored seat can ensure which their mass is distributed evenly and they stay in the many effortless position. This helps stave off back problems later, as well as giving the wheelchair user a advantageous life at the present time.

A quadriplegic can frequently have their feet pointing inwards, too, which affects their self-confidence. Simply fitting the foot bay exactly can conceal this effectively.

“One of the ways you can spot a true paraplegic is their feet on the footplate, they tend to pigeon-toe inwards,” said one user. “For many of us, which is quite frustrating for the reason you don’t want to go around appearing like which.”

Materials have a lot of the answers

Material science quite hasn’t high end as much as it should. This is one item which individuals rely on each and each day, they frequently have to power it themselves and they can be in the chair all day each day. It is essential, and so, which it is as effortless, lightmass and practical as possible.

We in addition have it at our disposal to manufacture the chairs a excellent deal additional attractive, too. Manufacturing practicalities and the costs have only ruled out excellent aesthetic strides in the past, but 3D printing opens up new possibilities.

3D scanning and CAD turn it into in addition helps the team determine each user’s specific centre of gravity, which can be utilized to optimise each chair to manufacture it simpler to get around. A lightmass construction with a titanium foot bay, carbon-fibre spokes in the wheels and turn it into which reduces the require for bracing in addition helps the user each time they move.

High grip rims are a performance modification

Other neat tricks include high-grip hustle rims which have been turn it intoed to work specifically with the GO gloves to donate the user the most ‘power to hustle’ ratio they can get.

The GO is only one example of how 3D printing and modern turn it into can improve the lives of the individuals which require it many. This is a huge step by Layer and we hope they can get the funding to turn what is, fundamentally, a turn it into exercise into a production reality.

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