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Icon Wheelchairs - wider front end CAD concept and prototype

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    Icon Wheelchairs - wider front end CAD concept and prototype

    Here's the design to date of the wider front wing:









    This guy is able bodied, with big legs, 6'2" and has size 14 steel toe shoes with wide soles on, and is sitting with his feet not touching - in fact about a 1.5" gap between them.

    Please ignore the bolts, it's a rough prototype - the drawings above are reflective of how it will be when it goes to production.



    The way we'll fabricate this will also allow us to make smaller wings too, with smaller footrests, and we're working on parts that will clip onto the front and "cup" people's legs for comfort - sort of like how the arm rests on aero bars on a time trial bike work.

    #2
    Originally posted by JeffAdams View Post
    Here's the design to date of the wider front wing:
    .
    Why you don`t contact guys like Oracing or others and offer the front part customized like customer would like, i don`t think that would increase you much the price, like that way a customer could have his Icon with the front frame made exactly to his specs.

    Comment


      #3
      Nice work, Jeff. I think it looks good, (fits the design aesthetic), and will help the Icon fit...more.

      Cheers!
      "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it." - Edgar Allen Poe

      "If you only know your side of an issue, you know nothing." -John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

      Comment


        #4
        It looks like the ability to adjust the wheelbase also improves a little. It seemed that nearly all the early recipients brought their front wing all the way in. This design looks like one could telecope it out a bit more without the cross bar being an issue. Nice job figuring out some complex curves.

        Comment


          #5

          Look forward to getting that for my A1!

          Comment


            #6
            Hey Jeff do you know how much wider it is? I like the width of the foot plate as it is now just need it a bit wider up top. Might be one of those things a guy will have to try to know for sure. Looks good!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by totoL1 View Post
              Why you don`t contact guys like Oracing or others and offer the front part customized like customer would like, i don`t think that would increase you much the price, like that way a customer could have his Icon with the front frame made exactly to his specs.
              For a couple basic reasons - first, because I don't control the quality in that scenario, but more because I disagree fundamentally with fabricating parts or whole chairs to the specifications of consumers who are not trained designers or engineers.

              I know that it works in practice, and that the custom wheelchair industry has traditionally let consumers help drive changes and innovation, and there have been some great inventions by consumers who aren't formally trained. Having said that, there have also been a lot of experiments that went really, really badly. I've seen racing chair forks snap because the consumer/athlete/market was all about making it lighter and lighter, and the guy building it was ok with trial and error fabricating - a good friend of mine from New Zealand had to have reconstructive facial surgery because of that.

              It's a fine scenario and business model for outfits like Oracing (they build great chairs), and fine for consumers who have a specific need, don't really care about testing, and are willing to take a risk. There are some scenarios where it's probably ok to do trial and error fabricating, but others where it's just not.

              As a wheelchair user, I agree with building things that are perfectly fine as custom equipment, and because of the nature of adaptive equipment, sometimes the only way to get something exactly right is to do a totally custom build, but for Icon, it just doesn't work.

              If Oracing wants to build a front end that goes on the Icon, they're welcome to do it, but they'll never get an official stamp of approval from Icon or from me personally to do it. If someone else builds things, I don't control the quality, I don't control the design, and anything can happen, in the sense that when you build a "one-off" part without proper testing or engineering, you can be very confident in your guts with it (because of experience, or history, or a bunch of other elements), but you can't ever be sure if and when it's going to fail.

              (You may be noticing that I have a bit of a "thing" for controlling what I can)

              If a consumer wants to assume that risk, then they have every right to do that, but I'm not willing to, and Icon won't put anything out into the market that hasn't been tested and gone through our engineering process.

              @PeteSchick - you'll be getting a little brown box as soon as we start cranking them out, and anyone else who bought an Icon and wants the wider wing will also be given one to replace their current front end.

              @SCI_OTR - you are correct, sir. Thanks for the compliment, I'll pass it along to the people who did the actual figuring out of the curves.

              Comment


                #8
                Well said.
                And the truth shall set you free.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by SCI_OTR View Post
                  It looks like the ability to adjust the wheelbase also improves a little. It seemed that nearly all the early recipients brought their front wing all the way in. This design looks like one could telecope it out a bit more without the cross bar being an issue. Nice job figuring out some complex curves.
                  Exactly.... I can't extend the front to increase wheelbase without crunching my calfs.... I'm 6'2" with size 11 shoes

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by totoL1 View Post
                    Why you don`t contact guys like Oracing.
                    I told guys like oracing, not oracing, is not the same, i suppose you`ve got guys in Canada that know how to weld aluminium, and your engineres could control the front ends.
                    But dosen`t matter for get it, i must not tell you how to do or try to improve, seem like you are only interesting in production in series.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You're exactly right - we're not interested in doing custom work - there are many artists out there who do it, and do it very well - Oracing ranks among the best, in my opinion. We want to make the same chair many, many times - doing that allows us to do very deep and very sophisticated engineering, which is really not possible in a practical way with custom chairs that are all different - sometimes in very small ways, but sometimes pretty drastically.

                      Building something over and over with very precise tooling, repeated processes (that get better and better over time), and high level engineering is really the only way to hit a high level of quality with real consistency.

                      Multimatic pulls random frames out of production, cuts them apart, and x-rays the welds to check for penetration and other metrics to judge the quality, and if anything is not satisfactory, we change whatever needs to change to make it better - that is high level quality control.

                      This isn't a criticism, but just a reality - you just can't do that in a custom shop, and the quality is dependent on the kind of day the fabricator is having. In the same way as the best athlete can have an off day, the best welder/fabricator in the world is just a person, who has good days, and bad days. The flip side to that (and again, it's not a criticism, just a reality) is that we can't solve everybody's seating issues - we just aren't set up to make something as a special request.

                      We do what we do, and we do it really well, and the custom shops do what they do, and some of them do it really, really well.

                      I've done both - I hand built (with my own hands) a few of my carbon fiber frame racing wheelchairs, and took them down mountains in Europe at 50mph (90kph), and I've built hundreds of everyday chairs in the last few years. I have an enormous amount of respect for people who build things - people who don't have a hard time understanding how difficult it is.

                      Believe it or not though, building the same thing exactly the same over and over and over is way more complex (and can be harder) than building things one at a time.
                      Last edited by JeffAdams; 3 Feb 2012, 12:44 AM.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by JeffAdams View Post
                        For a couple basic reasons - first, because I don't control the quality in that scenario, but more because I disagree fundamentally with fabricating parts or whole chairs to the specifications of consumers who are not trained designers or engineers.

                        I know that it works in practice, and that the custom wheelchair industry has traditionally let consumers help drive changes and innovation, and there have been some great inventions by consumers who aren't formally trained. Having said that, there have also been a lot of experiments that went really, really badly. I've seen racing chair forks snap because the consumer/athlete/market was all about making it lighter and lighter, and the guy building it was ok with trial and error fabricating - a good friend of mine from New Zealand had to have reconstructive facial surgery because of that.

                        It's a fine scenario and business model for outfits like Oracing (they build great chairs), and fine for consumers who have a specific need, don't really care about testing, and are willing to take a risk. There are some scenarios where it's probably ok to do trial and error fabricating, but others where it's just not.

                        As a wheelchair user, I agree with building things that are perfectly fine as custom equipment, and because of the nature of adaptive equipment, sometimes the only way to get something exactly right is to do a totally custom build, but for Icon, it just doesn't work.

                        If Oracing wants to build a front end that goes on the Icon, they're welcome to do it, but they'll never get an official stamp of approval from Icon or from me personally to do it. If someone else builds things, I don't control the quality, I don't control the design, and anything can happen, in the sense that when you build a "one-off" part without proper testing or engineering, you can be very confident in your guts with it (because of experience, or history, or a bunch of other elements), but you can't ever be sure if and when it's going to fail.

                        (You may be noticing that I have a bit of a "thing" for controlling what I can)

                        If a consumer wants to assume that risk, then they have every right to do that, but I'm not willing to, and Icon won't put anything out into the market that hasn't been tested and gone through our engineering process.
                        Kind of like this Top End racer fail posted by a friend of mine yesterday on FB. Fortunately he wasn't hurt.

                        stephen@bike-on.com

                        Comment


                          #13
                          How did he not get hurt?! Geez. Sorry about the chair, that's a lot of money but very happy for your friend not being injured.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Personally I have a tilite ZR with a few custom made options. However the design of the icon is growing on me. Also I can totally get the point of making things totally standard for testing and quality control. I'd love to try out one of these chairs for a bit to see how it is. I love my ZR for being so light but i'd give up a little if the design of the chair was a lot more to my liking.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              That's why we listen to our engineers when they insist on heat-treating our aluminum after we weld it.

                              Welding aluminum weakens it - in the area around welded 6061-T6, aluminum weakens down to the strength of T4. Heat treating it after welding brings it back up to T6 condition, and is critical - for us, it's mandatory.

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