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Are 3-D Printed Wheelchairs the Future?

Benjamin Hubert and his London-based Layer design firm have created a 3-D printed wheelchair.

Qmed Staff

3-D printing appears to be especially useful for medtech because it offers the possibility of medical devices individually tailored to users.

Case and point is the wheelchair--with a 3-D printed version created by Benjamin Hubert and his London-based Layer design firm, which partnered with 3-D printing company Materialise on the project. The GO wheelchair is a "made-to-measure 3-D printed consumer wheelchair that has been designed to fit the individual needs of a wide range of disabilities and lifestyles," Layer says on its website.

Each user's biometric information is mapped into 3-D digital data that is then used to print a custom seat and foot bay. 

The seat is made of a semi-transparent resin and thermoplastic polyurethane plastic to provide shock-absorption, while the foot bay is made out of titanium, according to Dezeen

Layer is now shopping around for manufacturers interested in making the wheelchair, Dezeen reports. 

Check out a video from Layer about the wheelchair's features:

Don't miss the MD&M Minneapolis conference and expo, September 21-22, 2016.

Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.

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