When you think of the dirtiest things that you touch every day, door handles are high up on the list. Recognizing that and in an effort to prevent the spread of coronavirus–which experts say can survive for hours on various surfaces–a digital fabrication studio designed a 3D-printable door opener that makes it possible to open and close doors with your arm.
Belgium-based 3D printing company Materialise designed the opener to be fitted to a door handle without having to drill holes or replace the existing door handle. It’s an easy-to-install, paddle-shaped extension. To set it up, all you have to do is fasten two 3D-printed pieces together with screws over the handle. Right now, it only attaches to cylinder-like door handles, but the company plans to introduce additional designs as they are needed to slow the spread of coronavirus.
To garner a greater impact, the company is offering the printable design for free. It calls on other global 3D printing companies to print it. “By making the design available digitally, it can be produced on 3D printers everywhere and become available around the world in a matter of hours,” CEO of Materialise Fried Vancraen said in a press release. “In this case, we designed the product in Belgium and people in China, Europe or the U.S. can now 3D print the door opener locally.”
If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, you can order a set of two openers for about $43 (40 euro) from Materialise online. The company has also made a version of this hands-free device that works on shopping carts, so you can avoid touching those germ zones, too.
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