This 3D printed door handle has no moving parts

  • Nimish Sany
  • 15 September , 2016

When does 3D printing or any other revolutionary invention for that matter can be deemed a universal success. History tells us that every great invention that has made its mark made its big break when it entered households; telephone, radio, computers and now 3D printing. A group of researchers at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut is trying to make 3D print reach out to more households by 3D printing everyday household equipments. The researchers have found ways to 3D print objects, which usually consist of moving parts, without those moving parts.

Image: Gizmodo

For this, they used metamaterials- something more of a device than a material, which consists of an array of cells which are designed in specific patterns so as to deform in a predefined shape under sheer so as to give way to motion through designing of these cells. The mechanical or dynamic properties are attributed to the design of the cells which are designed using a metamaterial editor. Metamaterials can save the trouble of printing each moving part separately and then assembling them which mike take a lot of time and labor which could increase the costs incurred.The researchers have 3D printed a door handle without any moving parts. While turning the handle, the interior cell structure deforms in such a way to pull back the latch and open the door.

metamaterial pliers

The life and reliability of the door handle is subject to discussion but the researchers have 3D printed any other everyday tools to demonstrate the advantages of metamaterials, like the pliers shown in the image. Check out the video here for more:


Nimish Sany: I bleed my thoughts on paper. And if I cant find a paper, blogs serve the purpose just fine.

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