London-based design studio Layer just unveiled plans for the world’s first personalized, made-to-measure 3D-printed wheelchair. The Go wheelchair will make its debut at the upcoming Clerkenwell Design Week at the end of May. Made of semi-transparent resin, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) and titanium, the Go is the first wheelchair of its kind intended for everyday users.
Not only can the 3D-printed chair be customized for the measurements of each potential customer, but the chair also features some innovations meant to aid mobility. Prior to designing the prototype, Benjamin Hubert and his team spent six months working with wheelchair users and medical professionals to learn how they could improve upon existing designs.
One of the main concerns their research uncovered was how wheelchair users often struggled to propel themselves, particularly during wet conditions. To solve this common issue, Layer has developed a system of lightweight carbon fiber spokes that fit within the chair’s wheels to make movement easier. To help users maintain a better grip, the studio developed wheels with a special surface designed to lock into a pair of custom-made gloves. The glove system is the first of its kind, and is intended to decrease the risk of injury.
Other features include an easy-to-access handbrake, a made-to-measure titanium footbay supported on caster wheels, and an app that allows consumers to easily order a custom wheelchair. Users can simply enter their biometric data to design the perfect fit, then they can select optional elements and custom colors. Once their order has been placed, the ease of manufacture will allow the finished product to be delivered in under two weeks.