Strabane entrepreneur and founder of Marshall Innovations, Roy Marshall, has developed an innovative wheelchair and golf kart handy ramp with help from North West Regional College’s (NWRC) Product Design Centre (PDC).
Mr Marshall explained how the project came about: ‘’I was investigating novel ideas around accessibility ramps for wheelchairs and golf karts when I had an idea to create a handy ramp which would involve attaching a ramp onto the toe bar of a vehicle. However, I required support to develop the concept and move it from an idea to a 3D CAD design and then to rapid prototype thus creating a physical product. I contacted North West Regional College’s Business Support Centre who supported me through the Department for the Economy’s InnovateUs programme.
‘’This provided 60 hours of 1:1 mentoring support from NWRC Product Design Centre Manager, Philip Devlin and NWRC Engineering Technical Consultant Jonathan Steele, who supported me with concept development, 3D computer aided design, finite element stress analysis, creating files for rapid prototyping (STL files), 3D printing, material and manufacturing advice to develop an engineering prototype of the product. I think this upskilling was well worth the time and money. Also having a finished product was very pleasing.’’
Dr Fergal Tuffy, Technology Innovation Manager at NWRC’s BSC added: “This project highlights the benefit of the InnovateUs programme from the Department for the Economy, and the support that Colleges such as ourselves at NWRC can provide to assist businesses and entrepreneurs make their idea a reality. “