We are not sure whose hands wheelchair handles grips are made for but they are not very comfortable.
Any solution had to be soft, flexible and comfortable for small and large hands. Was there a way we could add color and make it unique?
How can we design grips that meat our criteria but could be produced on an as-needed basis? Grips are normally mass produced at a great startup cost.
The final design printed on a 3d printer using a flexible filament called TPU. This material can stretch up to 600 times before it will deform. It is both flexible and strong.
The project focused on comfort and usage. Getting the size right for both small and large hands meant that we tested a number of different diameters until we found one that worked. The next challenge was creating a print file that was going print a durable and strong grip but still be soft enough to be comfortable
It was clear early on that we would be 3d printing grips instead of the traditional molding and casting. This is a great example of where 3d printing shines; we experimented with infill, the amount of plastic used for the support structure inside the print until we found the right balance. Traditional manufacturing would not allow us to control the density of the inside of the grip.