3D Printing

Walker mobility aid gets multifunctional redesign

Walker mobility aid gets multi...
The half-scale 3D-printed multifunctional walker from Eliza Wrobel
The half-scale 3D-printed multifunctional walker from Eliza Wrobel
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Even the wheelsof the multifucntional walker prototype were 3D-printed using Flex filament
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Even the wheelsof the multifucntional walker prototype were 3D-printed using Flex filament
The multifunctional walker features switch-out shopping cart and baby seat add-ons
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The multifunctional walker features switch-out shopping cart and baby seat add-ons
The frame of the multifunctional walker was printed using Silver ABS, while components like the arm rest and brake lever were printed using yellow or black PLA
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The frame of the multifunctional walker was printed using Silver ABS, while components like the arm rest and brake lever were printed using yellow or black PLA
The half-scale four-wheeled multifunctional walker prototype was created using a ZMorph 2.0 SX multitool 3D printer
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The half-scale four-wheeled multifunctional walker prototype was created using a ZMorph 2.0 SX multitool 3D printer
The half-scale 3D-printed multifunctional walker from Eliza Wrobel
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The half-scale 3D-printed multifunctional walker from Eliza Wrobel
Computer aided design of the multifunctional walker prototype
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Computer aided design of the multifunctional walker prototype

3D-printing has been used to great effect in the development of custom prosthetic aids for disabled humans and animals, patient-tailored medical devices and replacement body parts. Now, biomedical engineer Eliza Wrobel has used additive manufacturing to make the humble walker even more useful for those suffering from limb disabilities who want to stay active.

Wrobel's half-scale four-wheeled multifunctional walker prototype was created using a ZMorph 2.0 SX multitool 3D printer as a proof of concept showpiece. Its frame was printed using Silver ABS for ease of production, while yellow and black PLA was used for parts needing to be tougher. Even the wheels, brakes and arm pads were 3D-printed using Flex filament.

The frame of the multifunctional walker was printed using Silver ABS, while components like the arm rest and brake lever were printed using yellow or black PLA
The frame of the multifunctional walker was printed using Silver ABS, while components like the arm rest and brake lever were printed using yellow or black PLA

Like many traditional walkers, you'll find hand-activated breaks, arm supports, a foot rest and a cup holder featured on the concept, but it also boasts switch-out shopping cart and baby seat add-ons – potentially offering users more independence and the opportunity to take an infant relative out for a stroll.

In all, over a hundred components went into the construction of the prototype, including 3D-printed parts, a handmade cushion, some wire, straps and screws. It's not clear whether the prototype will ever reach full size and make it into production, but ZMorph says that it serves as a good example of the important role of 3D printing in product development.

Source: ZMorph

2 comments
GaryA.CrowellSr.
Might be a nice printing experiment, but not impressive as a walker. Cupholder is on the outside, where it will catch on doorways, and it's too low to be practical. There's other protruding hardware too. No apparent provision for folding for transport, so it's totally impractical. I can't imagine any use for a footrest, since a disabled person with a walker tends to keep both feet on the ground; a fold-out seat would be much more useful.
JenniferPage
Wheels far too small for rough terrain and no ability to get over step. Much too heavy construction. Looks ugly. These engineers need to co op a designer. Why not beautiful curves and flashy pop art colours.