Back to the Futures

20 May 2020

Here we take a moment to look back over past projects and remind ourselves of all the great work that young disabled people have achieved at the Chailey Heritage Foundation Futures Life Skills Centre over the years.

First up, Ben.

Ben has Cerebral Palsy Quadriplegia which results in him having issues with movement, stability and co-ordination of his limbs as well as some involuntary movement. Ben uses a powered wheelchair to get about and access the community.

Ben is an intelligent and well qualified young man having formally studied Design and Technology in the past and in coming to the Life Skills Centre was looking to gain direct access to and more experience in using specific CAD (computer assisted design) software and the CNC (computer numeric control) devices, including the Makerbot Replicator 3-D printers and Techsoft RotaCAMM MDX-40A milling machine that we have here at the multimedia suite.

Over the course of about a year Ben completed two fantastic personal design projects at the LSC. In collaboration with and support from our expert ICT Activity Co-ordinator Paul, Ben took his initial ideas and turned them into real world objects and items, of which he was rightly very proud.

The first project idea was to make a more accessible and playable version of the classic Noughts and Crosses game. This involved designing and making an oversized board and pieces that Ben could then comfortably handle given his levels of manual dexterity and control. The board itself was made from a single piece of 5mm yellow acrylic with precisely recessed square spaces milled in a 3x3 matrix so as to snugly accommodate the green nought or red cross pieces that Ben had drawn in SketchUp 3D Design software and then 3D printed using our Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer.

The second idea shown is an accessible version of Snakes & Ladders engraved into gold acrylic. Ben painstakingly drew the design on the computer and 3D printed the playing pieces and an oversized dice that he could more easily hold and throw.

Ben said of his involvement in multimedia at LSC,

“I have benefited greatly from the sessions by having access to equipment which you would not get elsewhere. This has led to an increased understanding of how CNC/CAD works which I can take forward into future jobs in time. It is also nice to see a design go from screen to a physical CNC piece and discovering the full potential of the equipment.”

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