Jan.20, 2014

After purchasing his MakerBot Replicator 2, Raul Krauthausen printed the standard collection of keychains and baubles. However, it was a 3D printed wheelchair cup holder by Polygon Pusher which inspired Krauthausen to think about using 3D printing technology to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. This lead him to an elegant solution for an everyday problem. He designed and developed 3D printable ramps which help wheelchair users overcome curbs and steps in places where there is no disability access.

"It dawned on me pretty quickly that I could print two wheel chocks that would help me ride up small steps in my power wheelchair," Krauthausen writes on his website, "The ramps should be large enough to allow you to ride up a decent-sized step, yet small enough and light enough to fit into the back pocket of the wheelchair."

After a few prototypes, Krauthausen was able to improve the design which is now available via Thingiverse. The wedge ramp is small enough to fit in a user's bag. It features a non-slip surface, and may be printed in 24 hours.

Raul Krauthausen is a wheelchair user himself. He was born with Osteogenesis imperfecta, which is commonly known as brittle bone disease and means that his bones break more easily than others. He is a co-founder of the platform SOZIALHELDEN, an award-winning group of changemakers who have created several important social innovations in Germany. Some of these include 'Pfandtastisch helfen!', Germany's most prominent recycling for social change project, and 'Super Zivi', a radio casting show for young changemakers. Currently, Krauthausen concentrates on developing the wheelmap.org community which locates and provides information on wheelchair-accessible places. This portable, 3D printed wheelchair ramp is an excellent example how 3D printing technology may empower people and allow them to make their creative solutions a reality.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Julio wrote at 1/21/2014 4:34:16 PM:

Much better than making guns. What a gun is used to? Just killing

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