Hope. A four letter word that means a desire or anticipation for something to happen. In life, we all have dreams and aspirations that we strive to achieve and try to accomplish. Some succeed, others fail. However, that doesn’t define who we are. What ultimately defines us is our determination and how we overcome those obstacles no matter how tough it may be to fulfill our dreams. This is where the word “hope” comes into play. It uplifts us, encourages, and is the light at the end of the tunnel that we cannot see or touch, but know that we can grasp one day. Hugo Riveros, an Australian 3D maker who has over a decade of experience working in the architectural industry, had a vision that would help disabled people in third world countries. After traveling to Chile and seeing “people on homemade boxes on wheels pushing themselves with their hands”, Riveros knew he had to do something to help. Returning home to Australia, he did some research about the homeless people in Chile and the difficulties that they face. To his astonishment, he found out that there was hardly anyone who was making wheelchairs affordable for the disabled. The homeless people in Chile “make do with what they have,” Riveros said. “Most of the time, they’ll use a cardboard box and place wheels at the bottom” to get around.
“I’m an architect, I’m a designer, and I like to design things all of the time. I thought what better thing to do than to do something good with the 3D printer. The idea was to create an easy and cheap 3D printed wheelchair,” Riveros explained.
From his own experience of battling an illness called spondyloarthritis which attacks the spine and joints, this has caused him to be in a “wheelchair off and on” for numerous years. Understanding the struggles of everyday life and what it’s like to be in a wheelchair, Riveros took his own personal experiences to design something for others.
Though not asking for much, all he wants to do is make “good things for good people and help mankind,” Riveros expressed. Although this is a worldwide problem, it is a start to helping others for a change and giving hope to the hopeless. Check out Hugo Riveros’ designs here.