Wheelchair Ramp 3D Printed Prototype

Raul’s Persistence 3D Prints Durable Wheelchair Ramps

By January 9, 2014. 3D Printing, 3DP Applications, Featured, Makers, News

The “ah-ha” moment is rare and often comes after much sweat and deliberation, yet it is always sweet and savoury upon arrival. Raul Krauthausen came to his “ah-ha” moment after tinkering with his 3D printer. Admittedly, his first models reflected a growing familiarity with his system and printer — a Makerbot Replicator 2 — as he practiced with key chains and smartphone covers. Then creativity and requirement found each other in union for his next project: personal wheelchair ramps.

*Important disclaimer before continuing: this is a DIY project with no guarantee, warranty or insurance. While dimensions and mass may be listed, this is a unique project not yet standardized.*

Raul lists the qualities and improvements he wishes to see with his project. He found that a fifty dollar spool of filament material can create roughly 2 to 3 ramps and his Rep 2 churned out the ramps in about 26 hours. A rubber surface for the bottom of the ramp will improve durability and stability, and Raul advises the infill be close to 20%. The 3D model of the ramp is now available on Thingiverse. After use, Raul recommends an all-purpose grabber for easy use and practical application. Positioned correctly, the ramps provide instant access for the wheelchair for divides such as the one from street to sidewalk on display.

Wheelchair Ramp 3D Printed

Often, the simple forms taken for granted can be transformed into gems of practicality and invention. In this case, the simple triangle form, when the right dimensions, becomes a vehicle for access. Need sprouted invention spurred by the ability and accessibility of 3D printing. Raul’s application defines the shape and purpose of the ramp. Thanks to tinkering and trials, he found something truly brilliant and novel with a simple form.

Source: raul.de

  • Charlie Omen

    “Thanks to tinkering and trials, he found something truly brilliant and novel with a simple form”. Is this some kind of joke or just a slow news day? Have we become so infatuated with 3D printing that you consider this a newsworthy “development”? I can turn out 2 to 3 ramps in 26 seconds for $.50 with a band saw. For an extra $0.00 I can tack on some rubber from a used tire to add that miraculous “durability and stability”. Maybe it’s the red and yellow colors that make this such a triumph of human ingenuity.

    • Rachel Park

      I get that triangular ramps may not excite you, but the fact that this took time and effort to make safe for Raul to use personally, and now makes his life a little bit better, yes, I do think it is newsworthy. Newsworthy in and of itself as a personal 3D printing story and also because it may inspire others, particularly those not as familiar with 3D printing as you are. Not every story on 3DPI is for everyone, but they are all for someone.

      • Charlie Omen

        OK then, I guess I agree with your misinterpretation of the value of 3D printing.

    • MPSwift

      Yes exactly, YOU could turn out 2 to 3 in 26 hours on a bandsaw. But Raul is not so lucky, trying to operate that kind of machinery, or indeed most tools of manufacturing, from a wheelchair is incredibly difficult if not impossible. 3D Printing isn’t just about democratising the manufacture of items in terms of rich and poor, it opens up the doors to designing and manufacturing for anyone regardless of age (see the article on Ritik Mehta), physical capabilities or wealth. And for me, that is something worthy of reporting because if it gets just one more person with a handicap to think along similar lines who knows what kind of solutions will be dreamt up and the positive impact that could have on countless lives around the world.

      • Charlie Omen

        Progressive and patronizing at the same time. You win.

  • Tracey Barlow

    I think I could of come up with this without needing a full service commercial trade printer.