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People with disabilities in developing countries often lack the basic equipment needed to assist them in their daily lives. International Nepal Fellowship (INF) is a Christian medical organization located in Nepal that provides medical care and assistance to people with disabilities and other conditions. Currently, INF imports expensive wheelchairs that undergo a prolonged border process before being received. INF has reached out to the Collaboratory to design a wheelchair that can withstand the challenges of Nepal’s terrain and can be manufactured from local materials. The Nepal Wheelchair team has set out to design a wheelchair that can fulfill their needs. In previous work, the team researched wheelchair designs and took a trip to Nepal. From this trip, more information was gained, an initial prototype was constructed, and locally available materials and parts from Nepal were brought back. This year, as a result of knowledge gained through constructing the second prototype, many design changes were tested and implemented. The team researched standards and created testing procedures to ensure the changes to the rear wheel mount, caster wheel mount, footrest, and seat design would uphold the strength and durability of the wheelchair. These design changes have enhanced patient safety and experience in the wheelchair while still keeping the design easily manufacturable. The team also researched options for adding push rims and through using a roller bender were able to construct them. Moving forward, the team will continue to finalize manufacturing documentation and take a second trip to Nepal this May.

Funding for this work provided by The Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research.

Publication Date

Spring 2022


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The work presented in this document has been provided solely for educational and edification purposes. All materials are composed by students of Messiah University and are not certified by any means. They do not constitute professional consultation and require the examination and evaluation by a certified engineer through any product development process. The contents documented are the produced work by the student design team but do not necessarily represent the as-built or as-assembled state of a complete and tested design; faculty, staff, and other professionals involved in our program may have augmented the student engineering work during implementation, which may not be recorded within this document.

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Designing a Locally Manufacturable Wheelchair for Nepal

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