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2 minute read

University experts create coronavirus-fighting door openers

Experts from the University of Sunderland’s AMAP department have come up with a creative response to the current coronavirus crisis – a way to open doors without using your hands.

The Institute for Automotive and Manufacturing Advanced Practice (AMAP) designed and manufactured the product in less than a day, with the help of a 3D printer.

Now AMAP is offering to share the design of the product with others who feel it could assist during the current crisis.

Experts at the University of Sunderland designed and manufactured the door opener in less than a day / Picture: University of Sunderland


Roger O’Brien, head of AMAP, said: “We developed this device, which attaches to door handles and allows you to open the door without the handle touching your hand. The forearm is used instead.

“With the use of 3D printers here at the University we were able to quickly manufacture the product and we feel it could in some way assist in the current climate. We are happy to share the designs and are not in this for any commercial gain but rather to support the ongoing efforts.

“A part was printed in 2hrs 30mins 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 device allows handles to be operated by arm rather than hand / Picture: University of Sunderland


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.

Roger added: “We have also developed a door opener that can be attached to a lanyard which operates in a similar way.”

The personal door opener can be laser cut or 3D printed and the design is available in both formats depending on the technology people have access too.

Anyone interested in using the designs or finding out more can contact AMAP on 0191 5153888 or

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