Wheelchairs are continuously redesigned and innovated by engineers and experts across the globe. Several parts or components are added or replaced to customize the chair to provide specialized qualities for its user. Students from NuVu did the same – adding parts to a wheelchair – but the parts were not purchased somewhere, they were 3D printed.
Mohammad Sayed, a 16-year-old, wanted his wheelchair to level up. Being a student in NuVu, a school that does not teach Algebra or Statistics but innovation and creativity, he thought of improving his mobility chair by utilizing cheap but useful parts.
As NuVu inspires their students to be creative and innovative, so Sayed and is group mates came up with a bright idea. They decided to transform Sayed’s wheelchair by adding some useful parts that were created through 3D printing.
The 3D printing technology enabled them to print parts without spending a lot of money. They added the 3D printed add-ons to transform or rebuild the lad’s wheelchair into something more useful. The parts they added included the following:
- Laptop tray – a tray wherein some of its components were created through 3D printing. It is attached to the wheelchair so that its user will no longer need a table to place his laptop. The tray also has a detachable food tray and a laminated top storage that allows the user to store valuable items like wallets.
- Canopy – it protects the user from the harmful UV rays of the sun when he goes out for a stroll in the park.
The team also made changes on how the user will wheel his chair. Instead of the traditional pushing motion, they rebuilt the chair so that the user will move it with a rowing motion. This rowing motion allows Sayed to propel his mobility chair without bending forward to reach and grab onto the wheel like he used to do with the traditional push. Sayed and his team radically transformed and rebuilt the former’s wheelchair through 3D printing.
3D printing is a process not new to the technological world. In fact, it has been around for some years and has already been in use to print hearing aids, jewelry, and even parts of NASA. Through it, one can produce or print cheap parts that are as durable and useful as those that are manufactured by big companies.
With this advanced technological process, anyone can just create or print anything they want. 3D printing can grant any person the ability to create, rebuild or transform just anything. Because of this technology, a lot of things are made possible, like building a better wheelchair.