Wheelchairs are undoubtedly useful for all disabled and people with special needs. The original design had only one goal: to bring a person with a disabled from one point to another. Dozens of innovations have already been applied over the centuries and with each step come improvements in the lives of users.

GRIP is a project of three designers: Lorcan Looney, Bryce Cormack and Leah Deegan. They wanted to tackle common problems around the world with practical solutions. Grip goes beyond aesthetics as the main purpose is to improve wheel “grip” for wheelchair users.

Creators: Lorcan Looney, Bryce Cormack, Leah Deegan

Rendering of Wheelchair Grip

Grip is primarily a rim cover that provides ease and comfort to users. It is a “comfortable and durable hand protective cover” that allows you to push the wheelchair more easily. With the lid, the problem of fingers stuck between the wheel and the thrust rim is eliminated.

Project Grip DIY Wheelchair Design

The Grip is not a product sold on the market. It’s something you can actually do yourself as a downloadable pattern and instructions are provided by the designers. The step-by-step guide is easy to follow so you can assemble the Grip with easily accessible materials and components.

wheelchair design

It is common to get your fingers caught when pushing the wheelchair. Users know this but there are solutions like the Grip. You don’t even need to use gloves. The Grip will be sufficient to avoid tensions and reduce the risk of deterioration.

Project Grip Wheelchair

Grip is offered as an open-source design. It was designed to help David Tait, a paraplegic, so he wouldn’t have to suffer. Pushing on the rim can sometimes be uncomfortable, not only for David, but also for many other wheelchair users. The designers stepped in with the Grip project.

Project Grip Wheelchair Production 2

Project Grip Wheelchair Production 2

Project Grip Wheelchair Production 3

Before launching the final design, several prototypes were made. Different materials have been tested to cover the edge: cotton fabric, leatherette and pipe insulation. The winner was faux leather for several reasons. It’s the choice of the material because it was waterproof, offered an easy catch and was easy to work. Faux leather can also be found everywhere as you can easily buy it at most craft or fabric stores.

Project Grip Wheelchair Prototyping

Creating the Grip rim cover can be messy. During production, the creases were present, but when the designers looked at the craftsmanship of the steering wheel covers, they were able to smooth them out. The final rim cover was done and David loved it. If you want to make your own GRIP, you can follow what the designers have done. The Do-It-Yourself rim cover can be made at home with minimal materials and the use of hand tools only.