World’s first 3D-printed made-to-measure wheelchair from Layer studio
A 3D printed made-to-measure wheelchair will be launched at Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 to be held from May 24 –May 26 at 155 Clerkenwell. Dubbed as Go wheelchair, it is designed by the Layer, Benjamin Hubert’s London studio. With an intention of creating a “tool to improve the quality of life of wheelchair users”, Layer claims the wheelchair prototype was designed based on six months of research work with wheelchair users and medical professionals.
The chair will feature made-to-measure seats and foot bay, for which individual user’s biometric information would be mapped and fed into a 3D printing software to create customized chair for better comfort. While the foot bay would be made in titanium, a semi-transparent resin and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) plastic was chosen as suitable material that could provide shock-absorption.
Consumers can order a made-to-measure wheelchair through a dedicated app that collects information regarding biometrics and other required information.
With its lightweight carbon-fibre spokes to fit inside the chair’s wheel and a wheel surface designed to lock into custom-made gloves, Layer has also attended to one of the main troubles wheelchair users report: strain and difficulty of self-propelling. First of its kind glove also aims at reducing risks of injuries or other physical pains due to wheelchair use.
With the Go wheelchair, we saw an opportunity to really progress the manual mobility category for users with disabilities, and to use 3D-printing technology to solve significant and meaningful problems. 3D printing for manufacture is the most appropriate and powerful technology available to capture each individual’s unique body shape to enhance the form and format of a very necessary product and provide exceptional performance.
So far, we had seen 3D printed wheelchairs making life of ‘Tiny Tim’ kitten with paralyzed back legs worth living, Tumbler – that two-legged puppy who had no hope but was saved by 3D printed wheelchair, and a courageous kitten that was aimlessly surviving after losing both his hind legs at birth could walk again with 3D printed wheelchair. But now, we would be finally seeing a sophisticated 3D printed consumer chair for people.