Since COVID-19 can survive on hard surfaces for up to several days, the importance of hand washing ranks high when it comes to combatting the spread of the virus. But what if we could prevent COVID-19 from ending up on certain hard surfaces altogether? Belgium-based 3D printing company Materialise came up with a hands-free alternative to opening a door, thus removing the threat of picking up the virus from handles.

The opener attaches to lever-style door handles with four screws and allows users to place their forearm between the paddle and door and open it without hand-to-handle contact.

“The 3D printed door opener can be attached to existing door handles and features a paddle-shaped extension that allows people to open and close doors with their arm instead of their hands,” the March 16 press release from Materialise reads. “For safety reasons, not all doors can remain open and by removing the need to touch door handles, the 3D printed door opener can help to reduce the spread of the virus.”

Materialise is offering the 3D-printing pattern for free with the hopes that anyone with access to 3D printers will put them into use worldwide.

“The power of 3D printing in combination with Materialise’s three decades of 3D printing expertise made it possible to turn an idea into an innovative product in less than 24 hours,” Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise, said per the press release. “By making the design available digitally, it can be produced on 3D printers everywhere and become available around the world in a matter of hours. In this case, we designed the product in Belgium and people in China, Europe, or the U.S. can now 3D print the door opener locally.”





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