Researching inclusive design so my ecovillage community designs are accessible...
I wonder if you can 3D print outdoor wheelchairs 🧐 for making gardening more accessible
I feel like I wouldn’t want to take my everyday wheelchair out in the bugs and mud but idk I would have to survey people (obviously)
Super excited to look into accessible wayfinding too 🧭
Kind of blows my mind that everything isn’t wheelchair access in 2021 some of us would just have to bend down more often or use stools while we worked
Okay I want to try this with eco materials 🧐
Fungus 🍄 The Plastic of the Future
We could 3D print outdoor wheelchairs and compost them in the garden later 🌿
“This thread-like substance can bind together various substrates, such as woodchips, and the resulting mixture can be molded into things like bricks, panels, packing chips, furniture and a host of other objects.”
“This idea came up when we met with architecture students at our school to develop an original, innovative alternative to existing building materials, which generate a lot of pollution,” says Gaël Packer, an environmental engineering student at ENAC.”
“As future architects and construction engineers, they realize that, as a result of resource depletion, some of today’s building materials won’t be around forever, and that existing materials generate a lot of emissions throughout their life cycle, from production to disposal.”
“Mycelium-based materials offer a promising alternative because not only are they light, cheap and easy to make, but they also provide a way to recycle waste products and can be biodegraded in just three months.”
“Today a number of grow-it-yourself kits are available online; all you need is mycelium, a substrate and a bit of patience (not included in the kit).”
“The first step is to grow the “mushroom roots” in a sterile or pasteurized environment together with the substrate and some flour and water. The resulting mixture is then poured into a mold.”
“Once it has set – which takes about a week – it needs to be baked at a low temperature to stop any further growth and consolidate the object’s shape. The result is a light, low-density, solid, and resistant object – much as if it had been produced using 3D printing.”
“Rather than use a grow-it-yourself kit, the students made their own version of the mixture using mycelium from local oyster mushrooms and fibers from hemp grown in the Jura region.”
“We worked with several EPFL labs to test the material’s key properties: thermal insulation, acoustic absorption, compressive strength, and water- and fire-resistance,” says Packer.”
“They found that its thermal insulation capacity was on par with other insulating materials, that it could easily withstand the weight of a human body, that it floats and is watertight, and that it is fairly fire-resistant. Acoustic absorption tests are still under way.”
“Although further testing is needed, the results so far are highly promising and show that the material’s properties are similar to those of expanded polystyrene.”
“We can certainly improve those properties further by adjusting the composition of our mixture, whether in terms of the substrate or the mushroom feed.”
“The software has the ability to learn from each print job via closed-loop processing, enabling it to improve the quality of 3D printed parts on a rolling basis.”
“By gradually building up a centralized scan library of print quality data, users are able to more intelligently modify print parameters based on previous results.”
“Since the in-process part inspection system performs scans on every layer, complex inner structures which would otherwise be impossible to measure can also be captured with ease.”
“As a bonus, Blacksmith enables organizations to compare single part printing data across multiple locations, which is crucial for multinationals that may have manufacturing facilities worldwide.”
Oop 👀

“Elsewhere, the company is also helping a team led by the NASA JPL take on the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Subterranean Challenge.”
“As part of the project, Markforged 3D printers will be used to help create fully autonomous robotic systems capable of traversing underground environments such as caves during planetary explorations.”
When I tell you my weird research finds ME?!
And tell me why have I been researching cave dwelling designs and underwater facility building
“In the same way that spectacles are a medical aid but they’ve become a fashion item - why can’t we do the same for wheelchairs?”
“It’s comprised of five interchangeable modules, customised in accordance to her measurements and preferences, puts the user forward and itself in the background, and the potential to be retailed under the 2,000 GBP price point of typical personalised models.”
“For those working on the project, the lightweighting of a wheelchair is as important as it is in the automotive/aerospace industries. It means less material usage, and less cost in both the production and shipping stages, but most importantly it makes life easier for the user.”
“In a world where they are continually restricted, be it through accessibility, stigmatism, mobility, making life easier is Disrupt Disability’s motivation, and through a range of collaborators has the technology at its disposal to achieve that.”
“DD was born out of a series of hackathons, taking on board the suggestions from wheelchair users and professional designers, and is aiming to serve the 70 million people worldwide who require a wheelchair, of which around 14 million feel their requirements are not met.”
“It operates with a mantra of ‘able-bodied people don’t wear the same shoes every day, so why should wheelchair users use the same wheelchair every day?’ If the user wants to go to the beach, the wheelchair should be able to do so without its front wheels sinking into the sand.”
“That’s why the five core modules: the seat, backrest, rear wheel axle, cast support and footrest, can all be swapped out to better suit the function at any given time.”
“3D printers eliminate the need to invest in fixed tooling capacities to produce complex or custom, functional prototypes in various quantities. Manufacturers can now save money and time by testing, verifying, and validating designs before production.”
Prototyping Product Designs at Bhold Design Studio
Should I pivot to product design?
The people who need design ingenuity the most, the poorest 90% of the global population, have historically been deprived of it.

Alice Rawsthorn
I forgot to add alt text to images before but I remembered on this one, hope they’re not too bad
I just believe that poor and disabled people deserve community and luxury too, and they should have access to that and secure, affordable housing. I want these ecovillages to solve as many issues as possible for folks while also being beautiful
“One in 4 U.S. adults – 61 million Americans – have a disability that impacts major life activities, according to a report in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.”
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