Move faster in wheelchair tennis
Paralympics Australia was interested in exploring innovative solutions for improving athlete-equipment interactions through wheelchair push-rims in sports like wheelchair tennis.
This project aimed to develop and test wheelchair push-rim designs which could have a positive impact for on-court performances.
Current push-rim options were benchmarked following a review of the literature which included previously developed prototype designs. This aided the refinement of the design criteria. These concepts were further developed through a systems engineering approach, material testing and FEA. To ensure the products fitted the desired specifications and constraints, the designs were visualised and tested via prototyping and manufactured using 3D printing.
The final push-rims were then tested via on-court trials to simulate the demands of wheelchair tennis. These tests assessed how each design affected the athlete-push-rim interaction and performance outcomes. Comparing the theoretical and experimental results during testing the designs were validated.