Changing lives with 3D printing We're using advances in technology to transform the way we produce and provide our wheelchairs. Our wheelchairs have been a sector changing success for over 15 years, giving quality, durability and a tailored fit to disabled people across the developing world. In recent years, we've started to explore how advances in technology and materials can be used to transform the way we design, manufacture and provide our assistive technology products. We first started researched 3D printing with support from Google.org. Our first project was a pilot that produced Postural Support Devices (PSDs) in India We printed PSD components and custom fit them to individual wheelchairs. Although every chair we provide at Motivation is already prescribed and fitted for each user, 3D printing gives us an opportunity to make wheelchairs even more personal. The outside and inside of our "Google Pod", where wheelchair users can be assessed and measured, before 3D printing is carried out. Alongside our expert therapist team, our designers developed software systems that are intuitive to use and inexpensive to make. They allow us to accurately record and recreate our clients posture, so that each piece of printed kit is more customised than we had ever achieved before. What’s more, 3D printing will allow our services to become more sustainable. A base-level 3D printer and inexpensive filament can be used not only to produce PSDs, but a whole host of other wheelchair spares and daily living aids like splints and crutches, which can be sold for extra income. So as well as improving our services for wheelchair users, 3D printing will enable our workshops to become more financially sustainable and robust. The role of the clinician remains central so we achieve the very best seating position for every user. Using 3D printing will give ownership of the projects to clinicians and other staff who fully understand the local environment and context, and put the user at the very heart of the whole process. What's next? By testing this technology in India, we found that 3D printing postural support devices in developing countries is viable. It was welcomed by the local communities who we worked alongside. This gave us the impetus to test just how far we can use digital technologies to inform not just the design of new products but the wider system of wheelchair provision. Check out our Motivation InnovATe project to see how we are taking our initial learning to the next level. Support Motivation Our design innovation is dependent on future funding. If you are an individual or business who would like to support Motivation, please contact Vickie Wood.