Design of the Week: Wheelchair Defense Spikes

By on October 2nd, 2023 in Design, news

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Wheelchair defense spikes [Source: Thingiverse]

This week’s selection are the Wheelchair Defense Spikes by maker Ryan Beal.

This is an unusual 3D model with an interesting background story. At first, you might think having spikes on wheelchair handles would be entirely unhelpful. But it turns out that’s actually the plan.

The idea here is to deter people from grabbing the handles of the wheelchair and push the occupant. That’s because in the majority of situations, the occupant does not want to be pushed.

However, able passersby often feel obligated to “help” the disabled person in the wheelchair by giving them a push. Sometimes this is done without even asking the wheelchair person, as if the helper knows best.

This “help” is actually not helpful because the disabled person is usually perfectly able to proceed through with their own resources. Having someone push them takes away their agency and is viewed negatively.

Some will even say they think of the wheelchair as “part of their body”. Therefore, having an uninvited person take hold of the wheelchair is seen sometimes as a personal violation.

In spite of that, do-gooders are compelled to help.

Except they can’t if the defense spikes are installed.

It gets even better. When a do-gooder approaches the wheelchair and notices the spikes, they will stop, but then hopefully think about what they are doing. They may gain a different viewpoint and appreciate wheelchairs in a different light.

The wheelchair spikes are a very interesting 3D model. While many of you might not be in a wheelchair, perhaps you have friends or relatives who are. If so, ask them if they’d like you to print the defense spikes for their wheelchair.

Print two.

Via Thingiverse

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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