Parametric design systems can produce a customizable, 3D-printed wheelchair for aging dogs

Alive is a customizable, 3D-printed wheelchair for dogs suffering from joint-related body ailments.

As our dogs grow older, age-related body issues, such as arthritis, hip dysplasia, and paralysis make it difficult to enjoy life. When even moving feels hard, aging dogs are less likely to spend time with family members and take care of bodily needs, leading to psychological stress.

Designer: Martin Tsai

While technical accessories and equipment do exist to offer some relief, antiquated building methods make it hard for dogs to adapt to wheelchairs and other assistive appliances. Revolutionizing the canine assistive appliance game, industrial designer Martin Tsai conceptualized a wheelchair for dogs called Alive that can be 3D printed to fit your dog’s body data and needs.

Noticing room for improvement within the canine assistive appliance industry, Alive represents Tsai’s attempt in combining modern technologies with canine health and wellness. Speaking on the design in his own words, Tsai mentions,

“The parametric design system uses 3D scans of the dog’s body data to generate an optimized wheelchair for each dog. Alive creates value through customized accessory options while eliminating the high cost of traditional, manual manufacturing processes. Alive also adopts a zero-waste production process, with each part being 3D-printed.”

Providing an interactive, customizable process for fitting, Alive offers individualized attention to each dog according to their needs. As dogs develop symptoms of arthritis, hip dysplasia, or any other joint-related ailment, dog owners can choose between a four-wheel- or two-wheel-chair for their dog. From there, Tsai’s 3D scanning technology generates data to inform the wheelchair’s structural design and shape.

Once the body data has been collected, it can then be applied to the parametric design system to construct a wheelchair that’s truly unique to your dog and their body. Constructed from fully-reusable, thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), the entire wheelchair is 3D-printed for your dog to hit the road.

The final product of Alives forms a customized, lightweight wheelchair for your dog to use in the home and on outdoor walks.

Dog owners can choose between a wheelchair that has four wheels or two wheels.

Alive fits over your dog’s frame the same way a harness might.