On October 7, the presentation of the first prototype of an adaptive ski chair was held at Cerro Catedral ski resort. The multiple functions of this device, designed and manufactured in the context of the agreement signed by the Argentine Association of Ski and Snowboard Instructors (AADIDES, in Spanish), INVAP Foundation, and FabLab Bariloche, were shown in the opportunity.
This achievement is the result of a collaborative design by a number of local organizations, such as FabLab and its design community, Los Andes Cooperative Technical School (ECTLA, in Spanish), INVAP Foundation, INVAP S.E., and several mechanics and painting workshops.
The chair can be wholly manufactured, assembled, repaired and maintained in Argentine towns such as Bariloche. Its design and manufacture took into account not only the strictly technical requirements derived from the dynamics and environmental conditions of its use, but also the wide experience and learning acquired over many years by ski instructors, mountain managers, technicians and other professionals directly or indirectly involved in the practical application of products of this kind.
Once the tests are completed and the review and performance analysis are carried out, the final design will be consolidated and its production will begin. One of the initial aims of the project was that the manufacturing cost in small series of no more than ten units should be lower than that of similar chairs made in Europe or in the U.S.A. This objective was successfully achieved.
Design and manufacturing components:
The chair has a modern design that takes into account all safety measures and regulations on handling and operating this sort of mountain devices. Ergonomic aspects as regards the instructor and the people on board were also considered. It has a tubular structure made of carbon steel pipes. The seat and footrest were made of fiber glass and laminated polyurethane resin by using the molding system. Besides, the suspension system design was based on that used in downhill bicycles.
Being easily adaptable to mono-ski or bi-ski, and compatible with ordinary skis and bindings, the chair is one of the most versatile of its kind. Skis interfaces are made of aluminum alloys and carbon steel. Besides, it has a hinge-like system to get on and off the chair-lift, which is opened and closed by wire with automatic latches.