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Adaptive Canoeing

Enabling Engineering

The Need

The motivation for this project was to adapt the seat of a canoe in order to provide more back support for disabled users. This adaptive seat is unique because it is custom to the canoe supplied to us by Ross Lilley from AccesSportAmerica. To approach this problem, we defined all the needs and constraints for the seat. It has to be lightweight, supportive, comfortable, and not hinder the motion of the user while canoeing.

The Project

We held brainstorming sessions in order to gather possible solutions to our problem. After down-selecting our ideas, we ordered a seat that would fit into the size and shape of the base of the canoe. We then retrofit the canoe by trimming the seat and taking pictures and measurements of how the seat fit onto the canoe. After this, we started to model in SolidWorks possible parts that we were interested in 3D printing. We 3D printed several prototype parts and ordered additional parts that we started to use to assemble the back support. We finalized a method for securing the chair backing to the canoe with wooden blocks and a metal rod connected with 3D printed components. The completed design allows athletes with weak lower bodies to use this outrigger canoe comfortably and safely.