A Gym Teacher seeks funds to make 3D printed wheelchair

Physical education is extremely important for achieving High-quality health of students and our younger generation. Unfortunately we are losing this fight to inactivity and obesity in our young people.We are building a generation of the unhealthiest individuals who will also be the first of their kind to not outlive their parents.

3D printed wheelchair for disabled children

Childhood obesity is now gained the status of an epidemic, it has more than doubled for preschool children (ages 2-5) and adolescents (ages 12-19), and it has more than tripled for children ages 6-11. The main reason of this is the lack of outdoor activities; our kids are spoilt with entertainment options available with computer and television screens.

Joe Kabes an Elementary school gym teacher from Webster, New York was well aware of the problems we mentioned above but he had a completely different set of issues at hand. He saw an increasing numbers of disabled students at his school in the past few years and when Physical education was so low between able bodied students he saw that it was complete unavailable for the disabled students.

3D printed wheelchair for disabled children

He decided to get these students into the main stream and decided to do something to fix the problem. He spent two months in his garage tinkering with every day products available at shops like Home Depot to make “The Overcomer”.

The Overcomeris a unique set of attachments which helps disable children involve in games like bowling, soccer and other physical activities. It can be used with wheelchair, braces, walker or gate trainer, and has seven different attachments for various sports.

3D printed wheelchair for disabled children

Taking about his unique invention Kabessaid “In physical education, when there are individuals in wheelchairs and things like that, it presents challenges trying to have them be as included as the general population. Most individuals take for granted the ability to kick a soccer ball or to dribble a basketball.”Kabeswho worked as a Personal trainer at a gym before taking a job as a gym instructor at a school added, "I am a physical educator and personal trainer by trade, so my area of expertise is in how to physically train the body, not mechanical engineering. "This venture and starting a business has taken me out of my comfort zone to say the least.”

Kabeshas taken to crown funding to make the initial prototypes and mass produce his Overcomer; you could find the campaign at GoFundMe. Kabes plans to raise $30,000 which will be used to register patents for the Overcomer and the remaining for the 3D Printed prototypes and working models. Kabes got the Idea of making 3D Printed prototypes from Denis Cormier from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He advised the young innovator that “if you have a 3D prototype that you can show people and demonstrate the utility of it, that's much more convincing,”

The Overcomer was displayed at New York Games for the Physically Challenged in Brockport in October, and it was received with a lot of enthusiasm and positivity. Susan Maxwell, director of the games was pretty impressed with the attachments and said "There seems to be a lot of interest in the product." Kabes has already raised $7,500 out of the projected funds and we hope this project gets funded and the 3D printed prototype of the Overcomers can be used to mass produce this noble device.

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