Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Assistive Technology

Engaging young people with assistive technologies using 3D printing technologies and computer aided design (CAD) software.

Students with learning difficulties and disabilities at Hereward College in Coventry have expert knowledge of disability and what assistance is needed by young people living with disability. This project is about enabling them to tailor the design of tools and accessories to their own requirements and to investigate how they can share their designs and expertise with the wider community. By providing this opportunity we aim to raise aspirations of Hereward students, as they are currently unlikely to go into STEM areas.

Initial WMG research & design work with Hereward College

Over the summer months, WMG worked with Hereward College to design and 3D print an iphone mount with a bespoke attachment for a student's wheelchair. There are numerous different wheelchair designs and different users require items such as iphones to be attached in different positions, so this work provided an excellent example of how 3D design and print can help to produce bespoke user solutions. The design and 3D print process can be seen below:

Assessing user needs Producing 3D CAD drawing Printed iphone mount in use

The wheelchair user was consulted regarding required poistion, angle and anchoring point for the iphone mount. Photographs and measurements were taken and used to produce the 3D computer aided design of the iphone mount ready for it to be 3D printed at WMG.

The finished printed iphone mount was delivered to Hereward College and installed on the student's wheelchair. The position and angle were correct and the product was left with the user for evaluation.

Over the summer months further project work with Hereward College was completed by James Atkinson, WMG Student Intern - click here to see the Academic Poster produced by James.

Project Team

WMG Computer Science Hereward College Student Tutors
Margaret Low
Research Page link
Dr Claire Rocks Paul Doyle Isobel Ferguson

Diane Burton
STEM Outreach Project Officer
Current project page link

Dr Alexandra Cristea
Research page link

Howard Knight James Atkinson
Dr Greg Gibbons
Research page link

Dr Jonathan Foss
Research page link

  Russell Smith
Evaluation: Sarah Jenkins, Jenesys Associates  
Take a look at our Project Video

Project presentation at TCT Show

BBC News Website project coverage

Wall Street Journal online project article


Link to new project Engaging Young Learners
in CAD and 3D Printing



The project was led by The University of Warwick Computer Science Department and Warwick Manufacturing Group working in partnership with Hereward College.
The Cubex Trio 3D printer for this project was kindly donated by 3D Systems Ltd
3D systems

For further information contact:
Diane Burton,
Margaret Low,


Spring 2014
See the range of assistive technology products developed during the project

January 2014

Hereward student designs assistive technology straw support.

November 2013
Hereward students make excellent progress learning 3D CAD software

Friday 4th October 2013
Professor Les Ebdon, Director of the Office for Fair Access visited Hereward College to find out about this Project.

Wednesday 25th September 2013
Launch event for Hereward students taking part in the project, to be held at the University.

Wednesday 18th September 2013
The First project workshop held at Hereward College. Students learned how 3D printers work and printed their first product on the new Hereward 3D printer.