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Mass Customization Monday #24

We sought high and low, sieved through bit and byte, to find for you the most relevant mass customization news of the week.

Body Steerable Wheelchair uses 3D Printed Parts 

Reagiro is a customizable wheelchair that lets the user steer by using upper body movements. The innovative chair was developed by Reto Togni.

Its fully mechanical, patent pending steering system allows a user to control the movement of the chair through upper body movements rather than through braking and pushing, making it easier and more pleasurable to use, improving body awareness and stimulating muscles that are not otherwise used.

The wheelchair uses 3D printed lugs combined with off the shelf steel and carbon fiber tubes. The individual lugs can be made inexpensively on 3D printers while the tubes can be cut to size. This allows for affordable customization of the wheelchair.

reagiro_exploded-3D-printed-wheelchair

Togni says of his innovation,”The perfect fit to the requirements, preferences and measurements of a particular user is absolutely key to people with disabilities. Conventional methods of manufacturing wheelchairs are very slow and expensive, which is the reason why digital methods are only appropriate in my opinion.”

The solution of combining off the shelf cut to size components with 3D printed lugs is something that we’ve seen a number of times. In furniture, bikes and construction people are looking at doing similar things. We think that this is a very smart approach. 3D printing can inexpensively make small things well but is often cost prohibitive for large items. The combination of having a small 3D printed custom part and a cheap tube could lead to people using a similar custom process to develop all manner of items. This type of construction would be very simple and very low cost. Extruded aluminium profiles combined with 3D printed caps and other parts are also being used to construct machines and other small structures. We think that this combination will let many designers make larger scale mass customized things. Reagro_evolution_3D_printed_chair

The mayor steps in Togni’s design process illustrated by the prototypes.

Whereas a lot of news has come to us about 3D printing implants and organs there will be significant 3D printing impacts in other areas of healthcare as well. Medical and therapeutic devices are expensive and often very inefficient. Highly regulated markets have brought safety but also limited vendors and kept prices high. Customized wheelchairs, casts, grips for all manner of things will be made possible through 3D printing and other digital manufacturing technologies. It will take time for these innovations to percolate through health systems. Once they do however a whole host of comparatively low cost mass customized healthcare devices may find their way to market.

GQ finds 15 Labels in Bespoke Casual Wear 

SonofaTailor_bespoke_tshirt

Son of a Tailer offers web based customization for custom made tshirts.

GQ Magazine has made a selection of 15 casual wear brands which offer bespoke clothing. Couture was only for the wealthy few. A larger number of people have had custom shirts, suits and shoes made for them. Now an emerging trend is that casual clothing such as sweaters, t shirts and bathing suits can be customized. Is this a portend of a wider adoption of mass customization in fashion? Or is this just a momentary fad? havelockbay_bespoke_bathing_shorts

Havelock bay can customize a unique pattern or image just for you and fit it to bespoke bathing shorts.

Bespoke-You Kickstarts Custom Made Wallets 

Leather-workshop-handmade-bespoke-own-design-wallet

Bespoke You makes wallets out of ostrich, alligator or deer leather.

Bespoke You is now offering its customized wallets on Kickstarter. The company is offering custom leather wallets from $99.

Co-Founder Tharini Rajamohan has said that:

We believe that today’s customers want more from the purchasing experience than simply settling for mass produced products. Our brand’s name, vision and products aspire to put the customer back into the driver’s seat. With Bespoke products, each customer is able to create a product that meets his or her individual tastes and preferences.”

Bespoke_You_online_customizer_wallets

You can select a type, a layout and have your initials embossed on the wallet in their online customization tool.

The wallets are handmade in Florence and there are over a 1000 combinations possible. They come with a RFID shields as well. The team say they’ve worked with suppliers for a year to iron out all the possible problems. This seems like a classic combination of mass customization through working with established processes and artisans. There could be many more products that could benefit from a similar approach.

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