The Manufacturer Podcast: A new wheelchair seat design

In this addition of the Manufacturer Podcast, Tom St John sits down with global disability charity, Motivation, to discuss a new sustainable wheelchair seat made of green composite materials.

In this addition of the Manufacturer Podcast, Tom St John sits down with global disability charity, Motivation, to discuss a new sustainable wheelchair seat made of green composite materials.

Motivation is a charity providing wheelchairs to lower and middle income countries across the world – and with the help of engineers at The National Composites Centre (NCC) it has set out to design and manufacture a wheelchair seat pan made entirely from sustainable, green composite materials that are not only better for the environment but could significantly improve the quality of life for disabled people in developing countries.

Motivation, approached the NCC for their expertise in design, and together they got the wheels in motion for this new wheelchair seat pan concept. The product will be robust to cope with rough terrain, affordable to produce, and made from bio-based materials that can be locally sourced within the countries that Motivation work.

Listen below to Tony Rush, the charity’s business development director and communications manager Anna Reeve, as they discuss how this seat concept could drastically improve a user’s experience.

Sustainable Composites is a national initiative that is building a supply chain – from raw material suppliers to end-of-life recycling – with the ability to deliver the next generation of sustainable composites by 2040. Led by the National Composites Centre and CPI, it brings together industry, academia and government to accelerate the UK’s progress to zero impact carbon through the use of sustainable composite materials.

In the podcast we find out:

  • What challenges disabled people in these countries face
  • Where the design idea came from
  • Why the design had to match specific criteria
  • Why it could be so useful to people
  • How Motivation have helped people so far with their wheelchair designs

The Manufacturer interviewed two engineers from the NCC previously, to find out about the design and manufacturing of the seat.