It’s been a while but we’re back looking for new developments in the world of disability, The ‘D’ List.
The prospect of getting well designed and customised disability equipment is getting ever closer with the advent of 3D Printing and here we highlight two more projects, as yet unfunded, to add to our own BBS DRINK 3D Glass Holder .
First the most exciting news, the world’s first 3D printed wheelchair by Benjamin Hubert’s design studio Layer, produced for Clerkenwell Design Week 2016. The seat and footplate of the Go chair are made to measure as they mapped individual user’s biometric information and input the data into 3D-printing software.
‘The seat is printed in two materials – a semi-transparent resin and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) plastic that provides shock-absorption – while titanium will be used to construct the foot bay’.
Layer worked with wheelchair users and medical professionals regarding the main drawbacks of wheelchairs currently on the market, of which there are many. The one they concentrated on was the strain and difficulty of self-propelling wet conditions…(I suffer from that and hate getting my hands dirty. Ed!). To counter this they developed lightweight carbon-fibre spokes to fit inside the chair’s wheels and a wheel surface that is designed to lock into custom-made gloves. The Go is something they say is a “world first” for consumer wheelchairs that aren’t developed for athletes or as one-off projects – (but it will be a one-off if a manufacturer doesn’t show interest. Ed!)
We really hope manufacturers will take note as it will revolutionise wheelchairs into becoming personalised mobility devices. Designed around your own ‘style’ & disability. (I want those gloves right now. Ed)
Second is another development using 3D printing technologies, a design team has created ‘Glifo’. It’s composed of different tools which help children suffering from disabilities to express their creativity as the 3D printed objects let them draw and write easily and freely. The project was created in collaboration with TOG (together to go), a Milan-based organisation that aids and rehabilitates young children with cognitive, motor, or other disabilities and open dot/ fablab a ‘makerspace’.
A set of handles: Gee, Lee, and Eff, as well as the Oow tablet — used to easily secure paper to the table — compose the collection. Each is made of several parts, all of which can be customised based on the age, personal needs and preferences of its user.
Again not in production as a manufacturer needs to be involved until 3D printing gets faster. We’re sure it won’t be long but we like the idea that designers are thinking ahead as the incidence of disability is increasing due to wars, improved birth survival rates, extreme sports and disease.
Finally we thought you might want to see the progress of the BBS DRINK glass holder. We’ve got to the stage where the clip to the wheelchair or any chair or pole is now being debated. Let us know of any ideas you may have by contacting us. It can be printed in any colour but we’re thinking blue first for obvious reasons but what colour next?? Again let us know.
So 3D printing will change the world and the world of disability…………..at last something to get excited about!?