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3D printed Wheelchair-Ramp for one step

by nanonan, published

3D printed Wheelchair-Ramp for one step by nanonan Dec 26, 2013

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Description

As a wheelchair-user i often need to overcome a step in front of a building, a shop, cafe or bar. Therefor i had the idea of printing me my own small ramp. It has to be as small as possible to carry it in my bag, when i'm on my way through Berlin.

This is my first prototype. Please feel free to print and to develop it... Any feedback is apreciated!

Recent Comments

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Thats what I thought, I just posted an idea for query at the top.
Hi could I ask some (probably stupid) questions please?
I don't use a wheelchair, or a 3D printer but when I saw this post I automatically saw a possibility for an automated retrieval function for this?

From the pictures it looks like the guy using them could have difficulty getting them back up and stored etc.

Could some engineer type clever folk tell me if this idea would be possible, in theory?

Here goes:
Could there be blocks attached to the side of the front wheels somehow, that could be lowered, that pivot in a similar way to the foot rests on traditional wheel chairs?
As for them needing to be able to wheel up them whilst they are attached, I wondered if they could be attached in a similar way to children's 'push button toys' where beads or lengths are attached by a taught cable inside, becoming movable or chain like when the tension is released. Giving the user the freedom to lower blocks, release tension, wheel up them and then take back up the slack so the blocks return to their upright position after use?

I'm sorry if I'm explaining myself terribly.

Here is an example of what I mean about the push button toy. 1.bp.blogspot.com/-9S-Tr7zAi1Y/UZJpI5yllQI/AAAAAAAAEZA/kFAJpPowYVk/s1600/push-button+toy.jpg

It looks as if there would be quite a lot of filament in this print. I would say you would be better off to make them out of wood as this is a way more cost-effective solution. Not everything 'has to be' 3D-printed just because it can ;)

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Instructions

10% infill

Takes more or less 26(!) hours to print.
Hi could I ask some (probably stupid) questions please?
I don't use a wheelchair, or a 3D printer but when I saw this post I automatically saw a possibility for an automated retrieval function for this?

From the pictures it looks like the guy using them could have difficulty getting them back up and stored etc.

Could some engineer type clever folk tell me if this idea would be possible, in theory?

Here goes:
Could there be blocks attached to the side of the front wheels somehow, that could be lowered, that pivot in a similar way to the foot rests on traditional wheel chairs?
As for them needing to be able to wheel up them whilst they are attached, I wondered if they could be attached in a similar way to children's 'push button toys' where beads or lengths are attached by a taught cable inside, becoming movable or chain like when the tension is released. Giving the user the freedom to lower blocks, release tension, wheel up them and then take back up the slack so the blocks return to their upright position after use?

I'm sorry if I'm explaining myself terribly.

Here is an example of what I mean about the push button toy. 1.bp.blogspot.com/-9S-Tr7zAi1Y/UZJpI5yllQI/AAAAAAAAEZA/kFAJpPowYVk/s1600/push-button+toy.jpg

great initial concept, however aas a fellow electric wheelchair user i do have a couple of reservations from a health and safety point of view. some have been mentioned one or 2 may be variants . your chair looked very similar to mine and very deceptively from the side the wheel base looks even, however looking from front or back the rear wheelsarnt quite inline and as such 2 single ramps can be very unnerving. but here is a couple of suggestions.1. make them about 1/2" wider. this covers more variant on wheelbase widths.
2. increase the length a little more. face planting the road on a decent although looks funny actually hurts.... been there done that and have squashed career to prove it.
3. instead of a solid block make it more honeycomb making only the top 1/4 inch solid, this would allow weight and cost to be reduced and improve grip between ramp base and road surface.
3. add a relief or hinged flap at top of ramp, this would keep ramps inplace until the load barig whel are off and reduce what i would call kickback in wet slippery conditions.
How much filament is needed please?
It looks as if there would be quite a lot of filament in this print. I would say you would be better off to make them out of wood as this is a way more cost-effective solution. Not everything 'has to be' 3D-printed just because it can ;)
Looks great, but how do you get them easily into position and retrieve them? Ever though of putting them on strings or attached to a stick that would help you move them around?
Thats what I thought, I just posted an idea for query at the top.
I would find mini ramps real useful. are the available to buy?
Putting the traction pattern on the bottom may help stop sliding of the wedge when going down curbs.
Nice, what printer do you have that is so large and how long did it take?
i used the replicator 2 by makerbot
@nanonan two things:
(1) This is an EXCELLENT use of 3D printing technology. Simple and meaningful - well done.
(2) Since you have a fixed wheelbase, you could make two pieces the just have a U shape on the end that clamp to your upright beam that goes to your baggage bar and one to where your lights are mounted, fix these two blocks together using a piece of wooden dowel and then use a grabber to place this in front of you, pick it up, and put it back into its storage position on the side of your chair - then you wouldn't even need somebody to set these in place for you.
i dont see the height as being that much of an issue, you are are always going to struggle to find something that meets the exact curb height, so a wedge of average height is fine. i would look at adding either an internal or external lip as a wheel guide on each block, just thin and 5mm high or so, to help keep the wheels aligned. Ie still on the blocks. i would also look at the idea of a flat lead on surface of 30mm or so rather than the point,you could even slope that down a little, 30 degrees or so, to encompass more curb heights this will stop the high point taking all the loading each time its used.
Hi Nanoman,

The problem I see with this ramp is that the heigth is fixed. This means that the top of the ramp may be higher than the step you want to climb (like on the first photo, where it looks like the top is about 3-5 cm above the sidewalk level).
Wouldn't it be possible to be able to adjust the heigth of the ramp ? I've no clue how, however.
Questions :
- What's the weigth of your chair + you ?
- What max angle is recommended for the ramp ?
Here's an idea to make it height-adjustable: How about making the ramp from several sections that snap together like puzzle chips, and each piece being taller than the next.
Has someone of you already replicated it?
Has someone of you already tried to replicate it?
Good use of a 3D printer, and well done getting featured on your first upload!
This is an awesome item to print. Yeah YOU do Rock!!!!
You Guys Rock! This is so cool!
Just to help others wanting to print, this piece is 230 x 140 x 125mm.
Tie them together with a string that is just the right length for your wheelbase. It doesn't affect the portability, makes them easier to position, and makes them easer to pick up with a reacher-grabber or other device. You can the hang them on your chair if you are using them enough that you don't want to pack and unpack them all the time.
Great idea mate
Great idea. That is very easy to do
Add a hole and you could move them with a short collapsible pole. Then stack them up and put them in back, maybe even behind your headrest?
A telescoping antenna from an old radio or indoor TV antenna might work as the collapsible pole.
Good idea.
Very cool. It looks like they are pretty much solid. If you could get away with opening one side (either the front or the bottom) and make one wedge a little wider than the other you could nest them so they take up less space. ABS is surprisingly strong, so you might be able to get away with fairly thin walls. Obviously, testing would be critical :)
Oh thanks for the tips
disqus.com/thingiverse-26dd0dbc6e3f4c8043749885523d6a25/: For mounting and dismounting i still need help from my assistant. Your Idea sounds great.
http://disqus.com/thingiverse-a4a8a31750a23de2da88ef6a491dfd5c/: The idea was to have the ramps as small as possible. Mounting too much would make it hard to store it in my bag.
http://disqus.com/thingiverse-45169d5a586b202cfa7445a92c7c76f0/: The stackable-idea is great. You could also use LEGO-Roof-Brikcks for example.

in general i recommend to make 20% infill. Printing it in fast or medium-mode.
Very nice design, Nanonan.

I don't know how easy (if at all) you find it to reach down or dismount. If you're after an easier way to pick up the ramps, you could add a hole pattern on one side, or perhaps a small metal plate, so you can use either stick with either a hook or a magnet to reach down and pick them up.
would it help you
- to connect them together with a copper tube so that the distance is fixed
- use a 2nd copper tube to place them and pick them up again?
Great idea!
What about making them stackable for easier transport? Do you have difficulty positioning them under the wheels?
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