Whizz-Kidz have 3D plans

Hattie by Hattie
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Whizz-Kidz partnered with four leading organisations, Fab Lab London, Autodesk, Ultimaker and Goldsmiths University at Goldsmith’s Church in New Cross Gate, London to use their collective talent and knowledge to help rapidly prototype new products for to make life easier for disabled people.  Whizz-Kidz Ambassadors led the event, known as a Hackathon (with the Twitter hashtag #Hackcess) to give their ideas and perspectives on the challenges faced by wheelchair users, and to give advice on the products being developed. Hattie, one of the young people who attended, shares her experience of the event: 

Hattie and Nathan get to work

On the weekend of the 21 and 22 of November, Whizz-Kidz took part in their first ever Hackcess event. On the first day George Fielding and Nathan Mattick where there to have and look at what was going on and get stuck in, and get stuck in they did!!

Nathan got talking to one of the designers about what he found difficult to do because he is a wheelchair user, and he said that one of the things which irritated he the most was not being able to put shopping bags on his chair because he is unable to reach the back of his chair. Meanwhile, George was coming up with a design of a cup holder to attach to his chair to make carrying a hot drink a whole lot safer than carrying in between his legs.

George checks out the 3D printing

On the Sunday, I arrived and George and Nathan came back. I got put with a designer called Steve and together we came up with a design for a bag carrier to attach to a manual wheelchair so that shopping bag do not drag on the floor. While Nathan continued with his electric wheelchair bag holder. George, in the meantime was modeling his cup holder he designed the day before and had been printed the night before.

After just 2 hours of design work on the computer mine and Steve’s bag holder was starting its 3D printing. However, the 1st time was not meant to be – this was due to the printing plate not being flat. Second time lucky? Sadly, not – this time it didn’t work due to it not being hot enough for it to work. So was it to be third time lucky? Finally, it was to be! Steve had got it, we only had to wait 1 hour for the whole thing to print!

A cup holder prototype is fitted to George's wheelchair

While I was doing this over on the other side of the room Nathan was being fitted up. The team had made his prototype of his bag carrier and it fitted great.

After the hour the first and main part of my bag holder had been printed. After just another hour and a half the final part had been printed and I too had a prototype of my bag holder.

Sadly, the end of the day came round fast and it was time to say fair well. But first we had to show off our prototypes. Everyone loved them and thought that they would help a disabled persons’ life 100%. They all agreed that they wanted and thought that people would attend if they held another Hackathon.

Whizz-Kidz hopes to partner with Fab Lab London for another #Hackcess in Spring 2016.

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