Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printing for Hands-Free Use

2020-06-19

Tessa Blokland  

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Now that we are slowly returning to a ‘normal’ daily routine, we have to define what this ‘new normal’ will be. On a practical level, what could it mean for the opening and closing of a door? Will it become an electronic solution or, as you will see in this blog post, is it just a matter of adding extensions to door handles and knobs so that we can use our arms instead of our hands? Let’s see!

Have you ever tried opening a door with a round doorknob? Impossible right? With this design, you can easily open a door with a round doorknob with your arm or elbow. The design also comes with an extension for pulling the door open. Design team members Rafael Vargas, Cristina Centeno, and Chad M Wall of design studio Adapta, offer this fully 3D printable design for free at the website, and all the parts can be modified and adjusted to fit the specifications of the doorknob and the users.

Designer Matteo Zallio has a different approach. You carry your own doorhandle/hook to push and pull doors. Handy, as the 3D printed tool is called, can be attached to your key chain and can be used not only to push and pull doors, but also to push a button, open your car door, and grab grocery bags.

The 3D printed hands-free door handle, Jena, by Florian Fleischner is designed to fit a door handle with a round cross-section of Ø 24mm max. The remaining space when adding this design on smaller or other shaped door handles can be solved by wrapping some fabric or rubber in between.

3D printing service provider Materialise was one of the first big companies to come with a solution for opening doors. Their engineers came up with an easy to-install-solution. You can download the design for free and 3D print it yourself or at a local service provider. With only 4 screws you can attach the 3D printed parts to your door handle. And voila, you can open and pull your door without using your hands.

The last 3D printed door handle attachment looks similar to the previous one; with one difference, the 3D printed hands-free design, Hands-Free Architecture’s, by designer Freddie Hong and Ivo Tedbury, uses zip ties. The title of their 3D printed design also refers to an accompanying website, Hands-Free Architecture, with the hope to become a larger open-source platform, where designers can freely use, share, and modify design files.

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Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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