3D printed Wheelchair-Ramp for one step

by nanonan Dec 26, 2013
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Hey there! Love this idea, I've changed the design a little bit. Look it up in the Remixes :) . I've added a small access to a bar, so you can pick up the ramp easier. If the size is too small or you've got any problems with the stability just send me a pm, I'll fix it.

greets from Kiel

Great project!
Can I borrow one of your pictures to illustrate typical bad practices when it comes to non-accessible curbs?


I think it might be a great idea to create a robotic arm with arduino to pick them without help. A magnets and a coil or a holder that mantains the objet by it gravity weight can be used for this item.

Or maybe a piece of string? :-)

How useful is this though? Obviously you'd have to have someone there to place the blocks and pick them back up in public area. Here's my suggestion......a ball join slot that attaches to it that allows one to put a stick into it and twist to lock. This can allow the user to place them down with some precision, and then pick them back up without any extra help.

Do you have any other wheelchair designs my three year old just got her first self propelling chair x

If you add a half loopyou can use a pole and hook to retrieve and place them

how do you use these without getting out of the wheelchair ?
I have afriend who could use something like this, but she can't get out of the wheel chair to place them or to retrieve them.

What program did you design this in? I was wondering if it was at all possible to get the original file so that I may adjust it.

How well does this hold up with only 10%infill? That's impressive.

10% Infill? How much weight can it support. I have a mobility scooter that i could use this on.

Awesome use of 3D printing but how are they retrieved?

Cool thing. Can you get up there easy? A friend of mine is in a wheelchair too but its a manual one without an engine. So i think i have to make them a bit longer to incraese the angle that he has to go up..

Very cool thing at all.

Nice work man. Thank you for your idea :) It´s very helpful :)

Fantastic job i will be printing these & giving them away to my clients ..One of my clients requires a control stick for her chair diffrent from your usual stick & ball shes after something a little fun but child suitable ..I wish you all the best & congratulate you for your effort in helping other s.. Maybe we could print a batch & sell them on ebay give the profits to charity

What a nice ramp!
Thank you for sharing. I printed this ramp and then I gave my brother.
He can't go anywhere without wheelchair.
He was satisfied with that.

I attached youtube.

awesome. this is great

Nice! had this idea for a while now, I'm also a wheelchair user, I can print a prototype and test it in our Zmorph 3D printing shop here in Haarlem, the Netherlands, they got 1 step so I think it would be cool to let them see 3D printing can make things for everyone, even more then they thought

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. http://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.
  4. 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.

I like your thinking nwalker78! (particularly on trying to avoid the kickback) You do not say if you have a 3D printer or not. If not, let me know. Time on my printer is hard to get, but I could try to design the ramps you are talking about, and print them out. All I want in return is your feedback, after you have tried using them. I am also interested in running some string through the ramps, so that they can be more easily lowered to the ground for use, and retrieval when done using them. What do you think about using the string? Good idea, bad idea? What is the optimum height of the ramp for your use? Thank you Joe R. You can e-mail me at [email protected] please put *** in the start of your subject area, to make your e-mail stand out. If I told you how many e-mails I get per day, you would not believe me. Thank you.

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 ;)

While I agree that I see way too much stuff that 3d printing technology is wasted on, not everybody has access to a saw, or can use one, especially if we are talking about someone with disabilities. I would say a 3d printer is much more manageable for someone who is wheelchair bound, than to wrestle a 4x4 to a sliding miter saw and cut it. Accessible self sufficiency is the name of the game here.

I totally agree. The design is so simple I see no reason to have this 3D printed. The only reason I can imagine would be for weight, but with that much plastic I wonder if it really makes a difference if were wood or aluminum instead.

Comments deleted.

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.

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

="thingiverse-26dd0dbc6e3f4c8043749885523d6a25:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-26dd0dbc6e3f4c8043749885523d6a25/Gav: For mounting and dismounting i still need help from my assistant. Your Idea sounds great.
="thingiverse-a4a8a31750a23de2da88ef6a491dfd5c:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-a4a8a31750a23de2da88ef6a491dfd5c/Berserker: The idea was to have the ramps as small as possible. Mounting too much would make it hard to store it in my bag.
="thingiverse-45169d5a586b202cfa7445a92c7c76f0:disqus" href="http://disqus.com/thingiverse-45169d5a586b202cfa7445a92c7c76f0/adampaterson: 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?