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This wheelchair features custom 3D printed components for the perfect fit

By Shawn Knight
May 10, 2016
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  1. Being confined to a wheelchair can be detrimental to several aspects of daily life but at the very least, you’ll want a comfortable ride. There’s no shortage of off-the-shelf products to accommodate wheelchair users of all sizes yet even with custom modifications, it can be a struggle to find a perfect fit.

    In lieu of a one-size-fits-all chair, London-based design agency Layer is turning to technology to make that myth a reality.

    Having worked with doctors, wheelchair users and 3D printing software maker Materialise over the past six months, Layer has come up with a custom wheelchair that utilizes 3D printing to create the best possible fit.

    The GO chair is lightweight, functional and attractive – all of the things you’d want in a wheelchair – but with a custom touch. By mapping a user’s body, they’re able to 3D print a custom seat and footrest that's unique to each person. The user’s weight as well as leg length and foot shape are all taken into consideration in order to obtain the best center of gravity. Shifting the center of gravity just a small amount can have an adverse impact on a chair's handling and safety.

    The seat is constructed from a combination of a semi-transparent resin and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) plastic that aid in shock absorption while the foot rests are made of titanium. As anyone that has spent an extended amount of time in a chair can attest to, getting these components right is absolutely critical.

    Layer plans to unveil its prototype GO chair during Clerkenwell Design Week in London later this month.

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  2. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 296   +78

    It looks lovely but is very unlikely to go in a car easily. I pass mine through the gap between me & the steering wheel to place on the passenger seat. Its a snug fit after removing wheels and folding the backrest down, if this chair can't do that it is useless to most wheelchair users. Wheelchairs are used by people for a variety of health reasons and need to support them in multiple ways. Nobody goes looking for a wheelchair for fashionable looks, its always an afterthought - unless your a kardashian trying to make a *****ic statement.

    It probably explains why its on show at the fashion show next week rather than the disability show Naidex which was 2 weeks ago.
     
  3. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    I agree, interesting but is it practical. Still, I use a rigid chair in solid titanium. I have my outside one which is wider and lower and my inside one for the house which is narrower and taller (less stable but better sitting position for all-day use and fits through doorways in my narrow home).

    While I can stand but not really walk, the chair is a necessity. I put my rigid in the back of the car and walk around but pretty soon that won't be an option either so... And what about my Max Mobility Smart Drive wheel? It doesn't look like it would fit at all...
     
  4. cartera

    cartera TS Addict Posts: 296   +78

    I have one of those, it hardly fits most chairs now - mine only fits with a bracket for the battery to hang on!
     
  5. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 930   +354

    Now if I could just get a bicycle seat that is built for my posterior....maybe at the bike shop they can mold my cheeks and print it out.
     

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