Wheelchairs are great mobility devices for people with physical disability but often, it is very difficult to get the exact wheelchair you need. Every person has a unique body shape, unique weight and a unique sitting posture. In order to meet the exact requirement of your unique body dynamics, you will soon be able to get 3-D printed custom wheelchairs.
An average wheelchair user spends almost 18 hours sitting on his or her wheelchair. If you’re able to get 3-D printed custom wheelchairs for yourself you can avoid back and shoulder injuries, body sores and even avoid toppling your wheelchair due to a skewed centre of gravity of your wheelchair, and causing further injury to yourself.
According to this Fast Coexist link, a body mapping software will take your 3-D measurements and then your seat as well as armrests and footrests will be 3-D printed according to those measurements.
Printing a 3-D custom wheelchair will be like “moulding something to the body rather than measuring something with a ruler,”, says Benjamin Hubert, founder of London-based design agency Layer. The agency spent six months working with different wheelchair users, doctors and a 3-D printing software company Materialise to design the new wheelchair.
The 3-D custom wheelchair prints according to your centre of gravity and your weight. The footrest, or the foot bay, is printed in titanium and is totally based on the way you place your feet while sitting on your wheelchair.
Per the link, the wheelchair will not be completely 3-D printed. It’s not like the complete wheelchair will come out of the printer. Only the shock absorbing and centre of gravity-based seat and the footrest will be printed because, according to the designers, these are the two most important components of a wheelchair.