Consumer ProductsMedical AM

LCS and Create it REAL 3D print custom wheelchair seats

The partnership enables LCS to incorporate 3D printed pressure relieving areas into carved foam systems

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A new partnership between LCS, a company working with the world’s leading wheelchair and seating providers, and Create it REAL has been formed to provide 3D printed wheelchair seating products to their customers in Ireland and the United Kingdom, with the first product being custom seating with the option to incorporate the WheelAir ventilation system.

“Heat and moisture are one of the contributing factors to decubitus ulcers, 3D printed cushions allow heat and moisture to be drawn away from the skin easily. When we add WheelAir to the cushion we create an active airflow through the cushion which provides a cooling effect for the cushion user. The 3D printed gyroid structure is perfect for distributing the air evenly so the temperature remains constant and the skin is non-humid,” said Luke Conway, Founder of LCS.

Currently, LCS manufactures custom seating using robotic milling arm technology, where different pressure areas can be added to the foam by cutting and gluing different foam densities to the seating.

Through this partnership, LCS will purchase the Embrace Seat maker to produce 3D printed seating. Not only will LCS be able to produce complete 3D printed wheelchair seating systems, but it will also be able to incorporate 3D printed pressure relieving areas into carved foam systems. This hybrid system will enable active airflow in carved foam seats and back.

“Programmable Foam is not just an alternative to traditional foam but represents a unique capability to produce seating with implemented softness and hardness zones to fit the user’s pressure and positional needs. It is not only a replacement for traditional foam but an enrichment with new features such as improved airflow, washability, fire resistance, and pressure distribution unlike anything else,” said Jacob Nissen, CEO of Create it REAL. “I am enthusiastic about the introduction to the UK and Irish markets and am happy to welcome LCS as a high-value partner keen to welcome the digital transformation and take their products to the next level.”

LCS will establish a local print hub to serve the needs for 3D printed seating products in the UK and Ireland, with dealers in the region having access to an online portal. The portal will offer the choice to either upload a custom design from a scan or choose a design from a range of predesigned cushions that can be tailored to suit their client’s pressure and positional needs.

“We all have a responsibility to consider how we produce and use resources, and for LCS, it is a natural choice to be a frontrunner both in technology and regarding comfortable solutions for the users. In the 3D printed material, we see characteristics that surpass what we can achieve with traditional materials,” said Conway.

A 3D printer will be installed in March and will be ready to deliver locally-produced seating products shortly after that. It is also possible to order from LCS and Create it REAL currently, with orders being produced at other print hubs.

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