The magnesium walker is the result of a course focused on industrial production techniques, in which we were required to design a product based on a previously chosen industrial manufacturing method. We chose metal extrusion and ended up working with MIFA to create a realistic part that can be produced.
Working in a team of 5, we chose to tackle a problem with walkers. With an average weight of 9kg, current walker designs are often almost twice as heavy as the maximum load elderly people can safely carry. This means stairs and curbs prove to be a dangerous hurdle. By cutting the weight in half and making the walker foldable, our aim was to create a walker that offers true mobility to the elderly. Although there was no time for user research, we conducted a brief market research and based our design on TU Delft ergonomic research. Working iteratively, we sent design proposals to the manufacturer and adjusted the design based on their feedback and suggestions.
After 10 weeks of part time work, we delivered a design concept that consisted of the overall design and shape of the walker and a complete production-ready design of the metal extruded parts. By using our manufacturer's facilities for magnesium extrusion, we were able to cut the weight of the walker in half, which resulted in a theoretical design weighing just 4.5kg. The walker can also be folded together, enabling it to fit in the smallest of cars. Further development of the product would consist of detailing all plastic parts to be production-ready and conducting market research.