wheelchair design

Modern wheelchairs are the result of extensive research and development, aiming to meet diverse user needs with innovative solutions.

improve quality of life

The product development of wheelchairs is a multidisciplinary effort that seeks to enhance mobility, comfort, and independence for users.

By focusing on user-centered design, leveraging advanced materials and technology and continuously iterating based on feedback, our designers can create wheelchairs that significantly improve the quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges. As innovations continue to emerge, the future of wheelchair design holds promising potential for even greater advancements in accessibility and functionality.

understanding the needs

Wheelchair users vary widely in terms of age, physical condition, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Product development must therefore cater to different needs, from pediatric users requiring adjustable growth features to active adults seeking high-performance sports wheelchairs.

Comfort is paramount. Our designers focus on ergonomic seating, adjustability, and ease of use. Features like custom-fit cushions, adjustable armrests, and intuitive control systems enhance the user’s experience.

Wheelchairs should enable users to navigate various environments with ease. This includes maneuverability in tight spaces, stability on uneven terrain, and compatibility with public transportation systems.


The choice of frame material is critical. Aluminum and titanium offer a balance of strength and weight, while carbon fiber provides ultra-lightweight options for sports and active use. Also wheels and tires are designed for specific purposes. Pneumatic tires offer a smooth ride on rough terrain, while solid tires are puncture-resistant and suitable for urban environments.

Modern wheelchairs often feature modular designs that allow for customization and upgrades. In such a way users can choose from various seating systems, wheels, and accessories to tailor the wheelchair to their needs.

Key components such as the seat height, backrest angle, and footrest position are adjustable to accommodate different body types and postures.

Electric wheelchairs and power assist units enhance mobility for users with limited upper body strength. These systems often include advanced control interfaces, such as joystick or touchpad controls.


We start off with research into the use of the wheelchair on location, observations of users, technological limits, innovation opportunities, company identity and many other factors that are important for a successful design project.

When it comes to mobility of elderly, like in the case of wheelchair design, ergonomics is playing an important role in our research and testing.

We develop detailed idea’s about geometry, kinematics, drivetrain, components and sizing strategy.

The research leads to a 60 – 80 pages strategy document with a clear innovation focus, potential risks and visual identity of the new product. This document serves as a strategic guide throughout the total project.


Kinematics and folding is an important aspect of the development of wheelchairs to make sure they fit in the booth of a car or in the plane.

We use powerful CAD software, simulations and mockups to test the folding principles of the new product and check the dimensions in folded position.

concept development

Through rapid cycles of sketching our senior designers investigate many potential design idea’s and test this with early mockups.

We identify and choose the best concept design directions from all the possible ideas and always make choices based on testing, experience and strategy.

During the concept design phase, we hold a ‘look-in-the-kitchen’ session with your team. We present directions in sketch-form, functional and technical solutions, manufacturability solutions and mockups.

Together with your team we discuss focus, risk, level of ambition and push the design direction further into a wheelchair concept that will be developed further.


The first important milestone of the engineering is to bring the concept to a first fully functional prototype. This first prototype we call the P1.

In the next step we start using powerful 3D CAD software to develop the product. We design all parts and select materials, production methods, treatments, possible coatings and colors.

We use 3D CAD simulations and tests with prototypes to achieve maximum performance at minimum weight.

In addition to a set of 3D CAD files, we create a bill of materials and a first brief 2D package of drawings during the transition to production of the first P1 prototype.


Both during the concept and engineering phases we build prototypes. Early prototypes are mostly 3D printed mockups. We use them mainly for testing shapes, ergonomics and engineering solutions.

At the end of the engineering stage we build the first P1 full functional prototype. These prototypes are high quality, often CNC milled, coated, with graphics and fully functional.

The fully assembled P1 prototype is now ready for testing, both on functional, ergonomic and performance aspects. We document all the learnings and develop improvements in stability, cost, weight and performance. Mostly this leads to an updated prototype P2.

After one or sometimes more cycles of improvements the product is ready for manufacturing on a larger scale.

We are a product design firm based in Amsterdam, specialized in bicycles, ebikes, mobility, sports and medical products.

Our products were tested, manufactured, won races, won awards and are used worldwide.

We can support from an early idea, through research, strategy, ergonomics, kinematics, component testing, concept design, full detailed engineering, prototyping till production.

We invest in our people and will not hire specific people for a project. Because we want to keep valuable knowledge inside of our own team.

Apart from that we fully finance ourselves. We are not part of a group, we have no bank loans and no investors. All with one reason: to be a stable, independent industrial design partner for you.

This makes that both start-ups as well as multinationals love to work with us.

get our free designguide

Fill out the form and get our Designguide in your email box. It will help you to prepare and run a product design project successfully.