Conference Paper

Exploring Downloadable Assistive Technologies Through the Co-fabrication of a 3D Printed Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Dog Wheelchair

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

This paper explores Downloadable Assistive Technologies (DAT) and the possibilities as well as the limitations of publishing and fabricating DAT through online 3D printing communities. A design probe was used for this research within the context of Thingiverse, in the form of a 3D printed dog wheelchair design probe – the FiGO Dog Wheelchair. FiGO enabled an exploration of co-customization of tools and processes for DAT, issues of design and communication around modification and personalisation, with several other themes emerging from the research. It is concluded that implementing communication guidelines for publishing DAT on Thingiverse by involving both end users as well as health professionals in the research process is vital to the process of co-fabrication and modification in an open design context.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Several studies with made artifacts, particularly assistive devices, emphasized working with end-users on product development, thereby aligning with co-design practices and seeking openness either in end-user input in making and/or designing, or openness of the solution. In one rather charming example, that of a wheelchair for injured dogs, the authors emphasized the importance of synchronous work: working together face-to-face on design (Charbonneau et al., 2016) which is presumably important for projects that are more intimate, dealing with bodies, health, and vulnerable populations. Several studies on making, particularly from the field of design, espoused the empowerment potential (and at times sustainability potential) of craft and materiality, invoking the legacy of William Morris (e.g. ...
... The potential of open prototyping as an example of making practices was articulated through creating open solutions that enable independent living for disabled people (Sánchez Criado, Rodríguez-Giralt, & Mencaroni, 2016). The difference between completely online, open-to-participate design processes and a local co-design process was also questioned, favoring the latter for generating greater value for contributors (Charbonneau et al., 2016). However, it was also argued that any locally developed open solution should be iterated for sharing in an adaptable manner, in order to facilitate its adoption (Ostuzzi et al. 2016). ...
... ideation(Charbonneau, Sellen, & Veres, 2016;de Couvreur et al., 2013;Fleischmann et al., 2016;Kuk & Kirilova, 2013;Schneider, Richter, Petzold, & König, 2010;Tamminen & Moilanen, 2016), • decision-making(Tamminen & Moilanen, 2016), • detailing(Charbonneau et al., 2016;Kostakis, Fountouklis, & Drechsler, 2013), • prototyping (de Couvreur et al., 2013Hamidi, Baljko, Kunic, & Feraday, 2014;Tamminen & Moilanen, 2016), and • reflection and review(Tamminen & Moilanen, 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
OPEN ACCESS: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07370024.2019.1574225. This study reports on the results of a systematic literature review on ‘open design’ in academic fields including and beyond design and HCI. The review investigates how studies are framed as open design and open-source design (including ‘open hardware’): how researchers contribute to conceptual theorizing about open design or study its practical operationalization, in do-it-yourself ‘making,’ manufacturing and practices in-between these domains. Most of the papers reviewed were empirical studies from diverse fields. Open design was analyzed not only as contributions and solutions, but also as open-to-participate processes, openly shared processes, and open, closed, and modular (open and closed) outcomes. Various research fields presented an open design framing as an alternative to the status quo: new ways to do business and/or to foster socio-environmental sustainability. On the manufacturing side, open design was sought especially to accelerate innovation cycles; on the making side, it was espoused to foster democratization. However, the studies reviewed indicated that companies do not appear to develop much beyond business-as-usual. From the research perspective, the conceptual potential of open design to promote sustainability saw little practical exploration. Additionally, issues around open design community governance and ownership, safety and reliability of open outcomes require further investigation.
Article
Full-text available
The term Do It Yourself Assistive Technology (DIY-AT) refers to the creation and adaptation of AT by non-professionals, including people with disabilities and their families, friends and caregivers. Previous research has argued that the development of technologies and services that enable people to make their own DIY-AT will lead to the rapid and low cost development of assistive devices that are tailored to meet the complex needs of individual people with disabilities. We present the results of a qualitative study that explored challenges related to the process of making DIY-AT for children with disabilities. A series of eleven semi-structured interviews with a broad range of stakeholders involved in the current use, provision and adaptation of AT for children with disabilities revealed a number of challenges relating to the prevalence and scope of ongoing DIY-AT practice, barriers to participation, and the challenges faced by makers and users of DIY-AT.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Feedback from software users constitutes a vital part in the evolution of software projects. By filing issue reports, users help identify and fix bugs, document software code, and enhance the software via feature requests. Many studies have explored issue reports, proposed approaches to enable the submission of higher-quality reports, and presented techniques to sort, categorize and leverage issues for software engineering needs. Who, however, cares about filing issues? What kind of issues are reported in issue trackers? What kind of correlation exist between issue reporting and the success of software projects? In this study, we address the need for answering such questions by performing an empirical study on a hundred thousands of open source projects. After filtering relevant trackers, the study used about 20,000 projects. We investigate and answer various research questions on the popularity and impact of issue trackers.
Conference Paper
The term Do It Yourself Assistive Technology (DIY-AT) refers to the creation and adaptation of AT by non-professionals, including people with disabilities and their families, friends and caregivers. Previous research has argued that the development of technologies and services that enable people to make their own DIY-AT will lead to the rapid and low cost development of assistive devices that are tailored to meet the complex needs of individual people with disabilities. We present the results of a qualitative study that explored challenges related to the process of making DIY-AT for children with disabilities. A series of eleven semi-structured interviews with a broad range of stakeholders involved in the current use, provision and adaptation of AT for children with disabilities revealed a number of challenges relating to the prevalence and scope of ongoing DIY-AT practice, barriers to participation, and the challenges faced by makers and users of DIY-AT.
Conference Paper
Makers participate in remixing culture by drawing inspiration from, combining, and adapting designs for physical objects. To examine how makers remix each others' designs on a community scale, we analyzed metadata from over 175,000 digital designs from Thingiverse, the largest online design community for digital fabrication. Remixed designs on Thingiverse are predominantly generated designs from Customizer a built-in web app for adjusting parametric designs. However, we find that these designs do not elicit subsequent user activity and the authors who generate them tend not to contribute additional content to Thingiverse. Outside of Customizer, influential sources of remixing include complex assemblies and design primitives, as well as non-physical resources posing as physical designs. Building on our findings, we discuss ways in which online maker communities could become more than just design repositories and better support collaborative remixing.
Article
We present an evaluation of a DIY-toolkit, designed to empower caregivers to create tailor-made, unique assistive solutions for their clients. More specifically, the toolkit aims to enable occupational therapists to turn everyday soft objects into smart devices that can be programmed to recognize certain manipulations. These smart objects can then be used to control applications or to play certain games. Our evaluation reveals that occupational therapists were able to make use of the toolkit without the aid of a technical expert. The therapists hacked everyday objects such as cushions, socks, cuddly toys and repurposed them for therapy. They computationally augmented them and tailored them to clients' needs and desires. From our evaluation, we also derive five guidelines that can inform others when creating DIY-toolkits for assistive technology.
Article
Assistive Technologies empower individuals to accomplish tasks they might not be able to do otherwise. Unfortunately, a large percentage of Assistive Technology devices that are purchased (35% or more) end up unused or abandoned [7,10], leaving many people with Assistive Technology that is inappropriate for their needs. Low acceptance rates of Assistive Technology occur for many reasons, but common factors include 1) lack of considering user opinion in selection, 2) ease in obtaining devices, 3) poor device performance, and 4) changes in user needs and priorities [7]. We are working to help more people gain access to the Assistive Technology they need by empowering non-engineers to "Do-It-Yourself" (DIY) and create, modify, or build. This paper illustrates that it is possible to custom-build Assistive Technology, and argues why empowering users to make their own Assistive Technology can improve the adoption process (and subsequently adoption rates). We discuss DIY experiences and impressions from individuals who have either built Assistive Technology before, or rely on it. We found that increased control over design elements, passion, and cost motivated individuals to make their own Assistive Technology instead of buying it. We discuss how a new generation of rapid prototyping tools and online communities can empower more individuals. We synthesize our findings into design recommendations to help promote future DIY-AT success.
The aims of this paper are to analyze the role of medical and health professions in creating and establishing the disability category. We also explore how the diagnosis, measurement, and treatment of disability have contributed to stigmatization and promoted social, political and economic inequality. Theories from a variety of disciplines are used to examine the ways that medicine and the health-related professions have contributed to the oppression of people with disabilities, including the maintenance of a 'medical/knowledge power differential,' reinforcement of the 'sick role,' and objectification of people with disabilities. We also explore opportunities for empowerment versus 'sick role' status. The medical and health professions are uniquely positioned to promote the empowerment of people with disabilities as active partners in their own health care. Replacing the biomedical model of disability with a socio-political model that prioritizes disease/health care management, wellness and prevention of further disability as opposed to treatments aimed at curing disability could facilitate the empowerment process.
Sharing is caring: assistive technology designs on thingiverse
  • E Buehler
  • S Branham
  • A Ali
  • J J Chang
  • M K Hofmann
  • A Hurst
  • S K Kane
Buehler, E., Branham, S., Ali, A., Chang, J. J., Hofmann, M. K., Hurst, A., & Kane, S. K. (2015, April). Sharing is caring: Assistive technology designs on thingiverse. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 525-534). ACM.
Open design now: why design cannot remain exclusive
  • B Van Abel
  • L Evers
  • P Troxler
  • R Klaassen
van Abel, B., Evers, L., Troxler, P., & Klaassen, R. (2014). Open design now: why design cannot remain exclusive.
How Much Can You Print with a Single 1 kg Spool?
  • A Matter
  • Scales
A Matter of Scales: How Much Can You Print with a Single 1kg Spool? (2012, February 24). Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.makerbot.com/blog/2012/02/24/a-matter-of-scales-how-much-canyou-print-with-a-single-1kg-spool
Empowering individuals with do-ityourself assistive technology
  • A Hurst
  • J Tobias
Hurst, A., & Tobias, J. (2011, October). Empowering individuals with do-ityourself assistive technology. In The proceedings of the 13th international ACM SIGACCESS conference on Computers and accessibility (pp. 11-18). ACM.
Empowering occupational therapists with a DIY-toolkit for smart soft objects
  • A Moraiti
  • V Vanden Abeele
  • E Vanroye
  • L Geurts
Moraiti, A., Vanden Abeele, V., Vanroye, E., & Geurts, L. (2015, January). Empowering occupational therapists with a DIY-toolkit for smart soft objects. In Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (pp. 387-394). ACM.