Los Angeles, CA Thursday, June 24 2015 - During The Angel City Games at UC Los Angeles from June 19-20, Eezitec founders Ray Dipasupil, Mitchel Dumlao, and David Rodriguez announced their collaboration with Sports & Social Change and UCLA Adaptive Recreation to bring 3D Printing to the world of Adaptive Sports, as well as revealing two 3D Printed Footplates they designed and printed for sports wheelchairs.
The project was part of a 14-week-long research report by Howard K. Brodwin (Founder of Sports & Social Change) and UCLA Anderson School of Management on 3D printing technology and how it can be used to reduce costs and help introduce people with disabilities into the world of adaptive sports. The study was conducted by a team of six UCLA Anderson School of Management students, in which Eezitec had a hand in contributing in. The resulting report highlighted the potential impact of 3D printing on the development, design and manufacturing process of adaptive sports equipment.
According to the report, the challenge for people with disabilities interested in adaptive sports was the cost of obtaining equipment. The study was principally focused on adaptive sports equipment such as wheelchairs for basketball, tennis, and racing, as well as skis, hand-cycles, and a range of prostheses.
Brodwin says most adaptive sports programs operate as nonprofits, and that means they have limited financial resources, which make it difficult for them to purchase and maintain equipment. This is where Eezitec came into the picture to bring a 3D Printed prototype to life.
Working with Michael Garafola of UCLA Adaptive Recreation, Eezitec visited their facilities and examined their sports wheelchairs for parts that had the potential for being 3D Printed. Garafola explained that the cost of replacing and buying parts was a burden, and finding a fast and affordable solution would take a huge strain off the sports program.
Eezitec decided to 3D Print the platform in which the adaptive sports player would rest their feet (footplate), as it was the part that was replaced often and had room for customization. Eezitec’s CTO, David Rodriguez, then designed two 3D Models of the footplates for double and single-legged players, exhibiting the quick and easy customization capabilities of 3D Printing.
The Eezitec team debuted the 3D Printed footplates at the Angle City Games - the only multi-sport event for Youth, Adults and Military with physical disabilities in Los Angeles. Along with Brodwin, Eezitec plans to help other adaptive sports organizations with the advent of 3D Printing into their programs. Their hope is to reduce the costs of equipment and replacement parts so that anyone with a physical disability can enter into the world of adaptive sports.