3D Printed Aging Simulator Allows Designers to Help Seniors

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While you may still be enjoying those vibrant younger years before the inevitable aches and pains of old age begin to arrive, you probably wonder what it will feel like as you begin aging. This type of thinking often comes about not only as we consider our own mortality, but also as we spend time with aging parents and grandparents. They may still be quite active, but suffering from arthritis, recovering from illnesses, or just dealing with muscles and joints that become sore so much more easily.

Now, 3D printing technology is not only allowing us to simulate how being older feels, but it is assisting in improving the quality of life for those in the 65 and over range. This is especially important today as we begin to live longer, thankfully.

“Aging is an inseparable element of every human existence, regardless of skin color, sex or place of residence. It was, it is and will always be. In recent years, the intensity of this phenomenon has dramatically increased, which, with the simultaneous decline in the birth rate, means that the percentage of older people in society is constantly growing,” states the Get Models Now team in a recent press release.

They also go on to point out that the percentage of individuals over 60 around the world has increased substantially, comprising 11 percent of the population. By 2050, that part of the population should increase further to 22 percent.

“As a result of the improvement of the quality of life and the progress of civilization, the duration of human life will be longer,” says the Get Models Now team.

Because of that, they were motivated to create the 3D printed Age Simulator Suit, with the cooperation of the Poznań University of Life Sciences and the Baltic Senior Association. The project is being completed in multiple parts and in different stages. Initially, the idea came about so that furniture designers could understand the needs of the elderly and make comfortable contoured pieces. The simulator allows for much deeper planning than just comfort and contours, however, as they can work toward helping create innovative new mechanisms such as drawers that open and close automatically or cabinets that move up and down.

“It is entirely designed by our team and printed in 3D printing technology. The combination of hard (PLA) and elastic materials has allowed to create needed restrictions while maximizing comfort. Simulator is used in combination with architectural, construction and design industries and can significantly contribute to the quality of life of older people when designing the future,” the Get Models Now team tells 3DPrint.com.

 

The designers spent hours observing a 75-year-old woman as she performed typical daily activities like moving, sitting, getting up, and going up and down stairs.

“Every smallest detail noted in her attitude allowed for perfect refinement of this project,” stated the team.

3D scanning and then 3D printing with multiple materials and techniques allowed them to create a functional suit which is effective as it adds weight, restricts movement, and causes fatigue. The team employed ZMorph technology in creating the simulation suit, as they had previously seen success in creating detailed designs using ZMorph tools.

The design also comes with different pairs of glasses for simulating the following:

  • Diabetes
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Tunnel vision
  • Loss of visual acuity

“The universality of the Age Simulator will contribute to raising public awareness of the ailments and limitations that come with age. People after wearing it will become more empathetic and understanding towards older people,” states the Get Models Now team.

The innovative team also sees the 3D printed age simulator as being useful for numerous other applications like car design, home construction, and fashion. Find out more about Get Models Now here.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below. 

[Images: Get Models Now]

 

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