Kitty having a hard time getting around? Then just print up a wheelchair for the kitty. That’s what 8th graders did at Portsmouth Middle School in Salem, MA.
Ray was adopted by Carrie Barron, who came across the kitten at the Odd Cat Sanctuary in Salem, Massachusetts. In spite of the cat’s condition, Barron was charmed by the kitten’s spunk and undeniable cuteness.
It was Barron’s neighbor, Erin Bakkom, a school teacher at Portsmouth Middle School, who suggested that her students design and 3D print a wheelchair to help give Ray some extra mobility. The project was meant to be both helpful for the kitten and educational for the students.
Bakkom’s eighth-grade students were put into two teams, each of which was tasked with designing and 3D printing a cat-friendly wheelchair. The students worked in cooperation with the local public library, which houses a 3D printer that is open to the community.
Michaela Pugh, a technology assistant at the Portsmouth Public Library, expressed her enthusiasm about the project to ABC news, saying: “I was obviously very excited when [Bakkom] emailed me. This is what our goal was, to have people come up with real world applications and it gave us a chance to work with students and help them with their designs so they could see the whole 3D printing design and redesign process.”
Last month, right before the summer holidays kicked off, the two teams of students brought their 3D printed wheelchair prototypes to Ray so he could try them on for size. Both designs consisted of a 3D printed frame and wheels taken from a Razor scooter.
A group of dedicated eighth-grade students from New Hampshire has 3D printed a wheelchair for a kitten with mobility problems. The 6-month-old cat, a Maine coon named Ray, was born with eyes too small to see and a spinal condition that makes it impossible for him to move his hind legs.