Ford de México Designs 3D-Printable Wheelchair for Dogs
The design file will be available for free downloads worldwide
Engineers at Ford de México are taking the concept of increased mobility to a whole new level with plans to launch P-Raptor, a wheelchair for dogs.
After all, the firm notes, like us, dogs can be born with limited mobility or have it compromised due to age, disease or accidents. Accommodations for pets can be hard to come by and may not fully meet their needs.
Ford won’t make the product but rather intends to post the digital design file online for anyone who wants to download it for free and 3D-print the “vehicle” themselves. The firm notes that the concept was conceived by VMLY&R, an advertising and brand strategy agency, and executed by Mexican engineers.
“The biggest challenge was landing a creative idea on the real need for mobility in different dogs, which is why P-Raptor is a modular design, so it can be adapted to different sizes and needs,” said Benjamín Dueñas, a Ford de México product development engineer.
Electric Motor Boosts Traction, Mobility
Like Ford’s popular line of high-performance Raptor pickup trucks, the P-Raptor device is said to offer off-road capabilities to help a dog navigate any terrain. It is designed to contain an electric motor for more traction when moving.
P-Raptor also features a front grill, with Ford’s distinctive blue oval logo, and lighting, to allow for nighttime use.
Product development engineer Santiago Muleir said: “The objective of using 3D printing technology is that a greater number of people and associations can have access to P-Raptor, taking into account that this type of printing has become more popular in recent years and the costs have gone down, making it a more accessible product.”
Ford did not respond to questions asking about the preferred material for the device, the launch date, or the price of the motor or lights.
The company said the model has adaptable modular traction and a special support that allows the use of the front or rear axles. It also has a space dedicated to legs with little mobility and modular tires with sufficient distance and dimensions to prevent tipping and overcome obstacles.
The firm said in a release that the chair will be available for 3D printing “anywhere in the world soon.” One public report says it will be released next year. Once available, interested parties need only enter the measurements of the dog and then download the design file to 3D-print parts that Ford says are easily assembled.