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Raul demonstrates his 3d printed wheelchair ramp
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A close up of the print
The ramp has gripping on it so as it doesn't slip backwards
CES 2014 jet lag has well and truly kicked in, I can tell as I’m being a total curmudgeon about every 3D print I’ve seen today. I don’t want an ashtray shaped as a heart for Valentine’s Day (is that some heart disease irony I don’t get?), I don’t want to see another octopus printed in a new colour, and I definitely don’t want to see a customisable name tag for my luggage that is yet to be unpacked from the 20 hours I spent getting from Las Vegas to Chester, UK.
Just when 3D prints were getting on my nerves along comes an absolutely brilliant, useful, featured 3D print on Thingiverse.
Like a detoxifying juice drink (of which I’ll need plenty after Nathan’s Famous hot dogs) this 3D printed portable wheelchair ramp has reaffirmed the power of the technology in my eyes.
Designed by Raul Krauthausen, the 3D printable ramps help wheelchair users overcome kerbs and steps into building where there is no disability access.
After buying himself a MakerBot Replicator 2, wheelchair user Raul printed the usual keychains and smartphone cases but was convinced there was something more useful out there. He came across the wheelchair cup holder by Polygon Pusher and this inspired him to think about other 3D printable accessories for wheelchairs.
Raul was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, which is more commonly know as brittle bone disease, his bones break more easily than others and he has dedicated his life to ensuring the rights of those with disabilities are met through the group SozialHelden. He also strives to make disabled lives more comfortable and this invention is his latest example in dedication to the cause.
Like any good inventor he found a problem and solved it and solved it simply. After a few prototypes he’s published a file on Thingiverse and asked for more help with improving the wedge, which has a none slip surface, takes 26 hours to print and can be carried around with said user in a bag.
If you feel like you can add or help to the project then head over to thingiverse and join the discussion, which already contains some pretty useful tips on improving the ramp.
This story has really topped up the metre of belief in 3D printing as an empowering technology. Brilliant work.