Benjamin Hubert of experience design agency Layer has designed the world’s first 3D-printed consumer wheelchair. The GO wheelchair prototype is the rst project under Layer’s new research division, LayerLAB, and has been created in collaboration with Materialise, world leaders in 3D-printed software and solutions. LayerLAB is a new in- house division of Layer that facilitates experimentation and research into the future of physical and digital products.
The GO wheelchair is the result of intensive research with dozens of wheelchair users and medical professionals conducted by Layer over a six-month insight gathering period. During this time, the studio investigated how to remove the stigma associated with wheelchairs as medical devices and instead create a more human-centered vehicle to improve the everyday lives of users.
At Layer, we’re interested in understanding how people use and misuse the most important tools in their lives. With the GO wheelchair, we saw an opportunity to really progress the manual mobility category for users with disabilities, and to use 3D printing technology to solve signi cant and meaningful problems.
For the GO wheelchair, 3D printing for manufacture is the most appropriate and powerful technology available to capture each individual’s unique body shape to enhance the form and format of a very necessary product and provide exceptional performance.
We listened to the stories of wheelchair users and medical practitioners and then translated those stories into insights that helped us to transform the wheelchair as we know it today. Benjamin Hubert, Director Layer
The GO wheelchair will be launched during Clerkenwell Design Week at 155 Clerkenwell as part of an exhibition of Layer’s recent work.