Interview with Alexander Geht, Testa Seat, Assistive Device

Alexander Geht is an experienced industrial designer with a background in practical electronics engineering. Alexander worked in the military, health care, design, and manufacturing fields with an Interest in human-centered design, research, and development(R&D), emphasis on assistive technology. Last ten years Alexander focuses on Digital and Additive Manufacturing (AM), and focuses on the design of adaptive products, creating innovative and affordable products. Alexander is a founder of ‘testa-seat’ which simplify complex manufacturing process to make seating systems affordable. Alex will be speaking at our upcoming 3DHEALS virtual event focusing on 3D printing O&P.

When was the first encounter you had with 3D printing?

Alexander: In 2012 my friend designed a RepRap 3D Printer and showed us how it works, it was incredible to see how it works, but also the understanding that it was made by open-source files, make me believe that it is only the beginning of this exciting industry. It was a remarkable experience to see how one printer makes parts for other printers without a huge investment in tooling. 

What inspired you to start your journey?

Alexander: 2014, in my second year of Industrial Design study, I thought about what I would like to do with my Industrial Design degree. In the same year, I joined the TOM Tikkun Olam Makers community where groups of designers, engineers, clinicians, and more joined to solve unique challenges for individuals with special needs. At this event, I realized how many challenges people with disability have without any solution on the market. Many of the challenges are so basic for daily needs and can be simply solved if someone listens to the needs. 3D Printing was one of the key tools that made it easier to solve the problem as it very flexible and affordable technology.

Who inspired you the most along this journey in 3D printing?

Alexander: Yosef (Sefi) Attias, the one who build the first RepRap 3D Printer that I used, and was one of the founders of TOM Tikkun Olam Makers always shows me that it is possible to create great things when you are positioned about them. 

What motivates you the most for your work? 

Alexander: Families with special needs children inspire me to keep doing products that can improve children’s and parents’ daily lives. Interaction with them bolds how many luxury products we have versus products that people need for everyday basic living needs such as seating, eating, breathing etc. Disability can affect anyone at any age for a variety of reasons, and I believe that we should be responsible to make this journey less complicated and complex.

What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions? 

Alexander: Assistive technology is very niche and mainly owned by a few large manufacturers which make competition in this field very complicated. In addition, the regulations in this field keep the market overpriced and affects mainly low-income people that can’t afford products and have no alternatives. Thus, people are often excluded, isolated, and locked into poverty, thereby increasing the impact of disease and disability on a person, their family, and society.

Having advanced digital manufacturing technologies, I focus on making the manufacturing process more automated and more efficient, reducing manufacturing prices, to make products competitive with traditionally manufactured products. Also, I always try to use the great benefits of digital manufacturing for small series products with better designs. Moreover, digital manufacturing is perfect for parametric design, making product customization much easier for any need. In this very unique way, it is possible to combine mass production and craftsmanship also known as Mass-Customization.

 Also, working closely with my clients and clinicians I learn about the new needs and problems in this field that most of the time are not solved in traditional products.

What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing/bio-printing? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?

Alexander: Understanding that 3D Printing like any other manufacturing process is not a magic solution when any shape and design can be produced. Any application for small or medium-scale production, needs specific technology, materials, and adapted design to make sustainable products. 

If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be? 


1. Peace

2. Health

3. Opportunity to make a positive impact

What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advice you heard should they ignore? 


# Find a field in which you are positioned, and find the way that people need it.

# Don’t focus only on the result, enjoy the process, and learn from your mistakes.

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