Tech wheelchairs are cheaper
For those that did not know, particularly those who need to get around in wheelchairs, there is a new product on the market which will save the disabled money in the long run. The 3D printed wheelchair Hand Drive, as it is known, is believed to be both more affordable and technologically-advanced than the traditional lever-powered versions.
This is indicative of the trend in advancing 3D printing as a better option than traditionally-manufactured goods. Invariably, because the expense in the design and development processes of three-dimensional printing is much less than conventional methods, the finished products are also much cheaper.
It is believed that when these technologies are more commonly used in the future, the cost of many new products will be greatly reduced. The analogy is that marketing and transport costs are also reduced because associated costs of transporting manufactured components are alleviated. In the arena of developing medical equipment there are extended benefits. Medical equipment in its present form is already very expensive. Also, it is believed that the application of three-dimensional printing technology will reduced medical insurance costs.
Bostonian Kate Reed is a keen unicyclist. Her partner, Nathaniel Tong, is a competitive fencer and entrepreneur. Together they embarked on a mission which eventually saw them claim the 2015 Best Product prize from Hackaday. By completely overhauling and redesigning wheelchair mobility, they invented the 3D printed wheelchair Hand Drive. It is merely a small attachment replacing levers, fitted to the chair and powering it in a rowing motion.