3-D printed wheelchair built to conform to body and disability

Science and Tech

3-D printed wheelchair built to conform to body and disability

It’s the first of its kind in the world: a 3-D-printed wheelchair. The device was recently unveiled by a London-based design company.
As CCTV’s Frances Kuo reports the hope is to change the lives of wheelchair users for the better.

3-D printed wheelchair built to conform to body and disability

3-D printed wheelchair built to conform to body and disability

Designer Benjamin Hubert is creating a 3-D printed wheelchair with a more personal touch. Its seat and foot bay are made to conform to the user's individual body shape, weight and disability. As CCTV's Frances Kuo reports the hope is to change the lives of wheelchair users for the better.
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Designer Benjamin Hubert is creating a 3-D printed wheelchair with a more personal touch. Its seat and foot bay are made to conform to the user’s individual body shape, weight and disability.

Computer technology allows each device to be tailor-made. The user’s body is scanned and the data recorded and mapped. Computer algorithms tweak the information to maximize the wheelchair’s comfort, flexibility and performance. Then, 3-D printing creates it.

The framework that can also help reduce the risk of injury. It took two years for Hubert to create his prototype with 3-D printing specialists.
And with time he hopes to dispel stigmas, too. The makers are working with wheelchair manufacturers on how to integrate their design.

3-D technology is also spurring wheelchair innovation in Brazil. Researchers there say their prototype enables users to fully control a wheelchair through small movements of their head, face and eyes detected by a 3-D camera. It’s a true breakthrough for people who have limited use of their hands and arms.