How 3D Printing is Changing the Shape of Ergonomics: Making Products More Comfortable

The web is full of interesting articles about how 3D printing is changing the world. It’s not just a quirky new thing for paper lovers and people who like to say “I printed that”–it makes life easier for every day people. One article was focused on ergonomics, which mentioned how 3D printing has changed its shape in recent years. The article discusses the implications of this shift on how products are designed, customized, and made available. Here are some tips for designing products to be more comfortable and improve ergonomics.

How 3D Printing is Changing Ergonomics

The human body has two main stabilizing structures: the skeleton and the musculoskeletal system. They work together to make up our bodies. The former help us stand and the latter control our movements.
As people age or get injured, the musculoskeletal system can become less efficient. By contrast, the skeleton and the muscles can be made more efficient by using new technology.
This is the main reason why 3D printing is being used in ergonomics. One method of creating more ergonomic products is by using the truss system. This means that rather than trying to design in joints and buttons, manufacturers are trying to mimic the anatomy of the human body.

Ergonomic Design Tips For Furniture, Appliances, and More

The more a product is customized to suit your needs and preferences, the easier the task becomes. While it’s easy to dismiss a too-long flat-pack design as a pain in the ass, it does have some key benefits:
  • Reduces shipping costs: Eliminates unneeded parts that could be costly to replace.
  • Emphasizes your niche product: Your brand name may not appear in the product box, but it will definitely be in the user experience.

Noise, dust, and stains are all reduced by making customized parts. Depending on your niche, this may be a big advantage. If you’re the type that doesn’t want to admit that the phone charger that shipped with your phone is too short, you may be inclined to say “I am customizing to meet my needs and you just cannot understand.

  • Build on Stigma of Weight Concerns – Studies have shown that people pay a lot of attention to their weight, whether they’re conscious of it or not. They care about the number on the scale and the length of their limbs. In fact, many people actually hold back from using a product if they think it might be uncomfortable or restrictive. That means that manufacturers can now design a product that’s more accommodating to the user.
  • Create Relaxation Through Position – People don’t like to be uncomfortable. A classic study found that people would walk with cushions and back massagers if it meant they could keep their posture erect. 

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