There are countless 3D printing stories that give me a shot of inspiration. Among them is that of Hung Cheng-ching. Hung has a spinal cord injury, which is why he invented a modular 11-kilogram electric tricycle headset using 3D printed components. The tricycle headset attaches to different types of wheelchairs to convert them into electrically powered scooters, while also preventing people from moving backward when going up an incline or slope. For that reason, it was dubbed the Sherpa Bike.
Last Thursday, at an event hosted by the Development Center for the Spinal Cord Injured in Taoyuan, Hung spoke about the process of inventing the Sherpa Bike, and encouraged attendees to innovate and invent in a similar fashion. Using Solidworks, a man named Hsu Tai-yuan helped Hung realize his vision of the Sherpa Bike. To empower others at the center to come up with similar inventions, Tai-yuan donated a copy of the software to the center. He hopes that people at the center with spinal injuries will learn Solidworks and eventually begin to envision, design and realize their own concepts, models and inventions.
Lin Chin-hsing, Chairman of the center, mentioned that the facility has “provided life recovery assistance and job training to about 1,000 people with spinal injuries,” in order to help them reenter the job market. He spoke about his admiration for Hung and 3D printing, and how he hopes to see many similar stories in the future.