University of Sunderland experts design Coronavirus 3D printer door openers

By Kris Jepson

University of Sunderland experts have designed and produced Coronavirus 3D printer door openers to help people avoid touching handles.

The team from the university’s Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) produced the design whilst waiting for an order to create parts for NHS respirators.

Watch @krisjepson's report here:

Some of the devices are currently attached to the handles of the AMAP offices, allowing the handles to be operated by arm rather than hand.

The Head of AMAP, Roger O'Brien told ITV News Tyne Tees the designs have already been distributed to a local care home.

He said "we are happy to share the designs and are not in this for any commercial gain, but rather to support the ongoing efforts.

3D door opener Credit: University of Sunderland

"A part was printed in two hours, 30 minutes on our most basic 3D printer, one of our Ultimakers, using a tough PLA filament. That particular design fits a 20mm diameter door handle.

"If designers wish to manufacture their own, that's fine, or we are willing to print more of different sizes for material cost only."

The 3D printer door opener designs appear in the following links which are free to access and use for non-commercial purposes:

3D door opener Credit: University of Sunderland

The devices were designed and manufactured in less than a day, with use of 3D Printers.

The team is offering to share the design of the product with organisations who feel it could assist during the crisis.

The device attaches to a door handle and opens the door without human contact.

Anyone interested in using the designs or finding out more is asked to contact AMAP on 0191 5153888 or