3D Printed Wheelchair
Thanks to 3D printing technology, truly innovative developments are being made within the sphere of medical and health solutions for consumers living with disabilities. A case in point: Materialise and LayerLAB’s GO made-to-measure 3D-printed consumer wheelchair, a biometrically bespoke mobility solution that replaces the ungainly heft of the traditional wheelchair for a lightweight and nimble design fit to the user’s bodily dimensions, specific disability, and lifestyle.
Designed in collaboration with Layer/Benjamin Hubert and Materialise, the GO was the result of two years of research, a wheelchair designed with a 3D-printed resin seat and TPU suspension sitting upon an aluminum insert and rolling on uniquely spoke design wheels. The design is beautifully modern and sculptural, but not necessarily a solution born out of decoration, but rather one reflecting the LayerLAB’s goal of incorporating user biometric information to provide an ergonomic experience fitting an individual’s body shape, weight and disability to reduce injury and increase comfort, flexibility, and support.
The accompanying GO app allows users to participate in the design process by specifying optional elements, patterns and colourways, and to place orders.
The GO Gloves were designed to reduce strain involved while self-propelling the wheelchair, while improving the level of grip between a rider’s hands and the wheelchair’s push rims. The gloves’ positive triangular pattern fits into the wheel’s negative imprint grip.
GO is the result of an intensive, two-year research period during which the studio interviewed dozens of wheelchair users and medical professionals to establish how to remove the stigma associated with wheelchairs as medical devices and create a more human-centered vehicle.