Development of Customised Wheelchair Racing Gloves Using Digital Fabrication Techniques

Derek Covill, Rob King, Joe Townsend, Gary Brickley, Jean-Marc Drouet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wheelchair racing gloves are typically solid 3D structures held in a clenched fist which help to propel the chair by pushing the glove against a rotating rail which is attached to the wheel to drive the wheelchair forward. There has been a recent movement towards developing customisable gloves using 3D scanning technique, however, currently there are no commercial offerings which allow for product customisation without being prohibitively expensive. The aim of this project, therefore, was to develop a scalable method for producing customised wheelchair racing gloves in a cost-effective way. The generated 3D forms were 3D printed in a variety of infill densities and finished with a grip liner. These 3D printed gloves were compared in terms of fit and perception of performance, and for their mass, cost and energy/power cost. The 3D printed gloves provided a substantially reduced mass with only a minimal reduction in overall strength at a comparable cost to the solid equivalent.
Original languageEnglish
Article number44
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020
EventConference of the International Sports Engineering Association - Toyko, Japan
Duration: 22 Jun 202026 Jun 2020
Conference number: 13

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited


  • wheelchair racing
  • 3d printing
  • 3d scanning
  • mass-customisation
  • gloves


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