Made by design studio Get Models Now using ZMorph Multitool 3D Printers, the Age Simulator is suit that replicates the physical sensation of being 75 years old. Wearing one will help designers to better understand the needs of the elderly.
The Age Simulator is a multi-part, multi-stage project campaigning for a brighter and fairer future for the elderly. How? By asking non-senior citizens to don a suit which simulates the physical sensation of being 75 years old.
Age Simulator is the result of a collaboration between design studio Get Models Now and the Faculty of Wood Technology at the University of Life Sciences in Poznan, Poland.
To design the suit, the team would analyze the daily movement of a 75 year old woman; she performed activities like walking, bending, crouching, sitting on a chair, getting up, climbing stairs, or reaching for objects from the shelf. They captured every smallest detail in her movement.
Next, the suit was visualized using a series of mixed techniques, including 3D scanning, 3D modeling and plastering. Finally, the majority of the components were prototyped and fabricated using ZMorph multitool 3D printers.
The whole of the Age Simulator suit consists of a dozen or so elements, each of them compelling the body to conform into a particular shape. After putting on the Age Suit, the wearer develops a stoop through weighted loads, and movement becomes difficult.
Elsewhere, the shoulder pads cause a dramatic reduction in the movement of the hands by reducing its angle. Items placed on the thighs and calves simulate the fatigue of our tendons and joints, which in old age affects people more and more often.
And there’s a pair of glasses that, when worn, simulate the most common eye conditions in the elderly. The suit comes with six pairs of glasses, each representing ailments like cataracts, glaucoma and tunnel vision.
Taken all together, simple movements while wearing the suit will require much more concentration and patience.
The Age Simulator project was made possible through funding from the Interreg Baltic Sea Region, which seeks innovative solutions to improve the comfort and safety of elderly people at home.
Educational institutions cooperating with the Interreg Baltic Sea program will receive digital blueprints to the Age Simulator for free. With access to a 3D printer, they will be able to fabricate their own suits.
But for companies unrelated to the program — and for whom such a tool would be useful — they can purchase a ready-made suit from the University of Life Sciences in Poznań and the Get Models Now design studio.
Furniture designers, for example, can use it to better understand the needs and limitations faced by older people. It could enable the production of more ergonomic furniture, and the life of seniors would become more comfortable.
But furniture isn’t the only field in which the suit may find its application. It’ll also prove to be an ideal working tool when designing public transport vehicles, homes, clothes or cars. It will also be helpful in arranging the surroundings of the urban space.
License: The text of "This 3D Printed Age Simulator Will Make You Feel 75 Years Old" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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