The Ultimate Self-adjusting Door Opener 9000 - 3D Printed

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Introduction: The Ultimate Self-adjusting Door Opener 9000 - 3D Printed

About: My name is Xieshi and I'm a 15 year old Fusion 360 and Tinkercad user. I am currently working on a big format CoreXY 3D printer.

I am a (15 year old) 9th grade student of Arizona College Prep Erie Campus, and this is the 3D printed (potentially overkill) Ultimate Self-adjusting (non-contact) Door Opener.

Description

This is a door opener for using door handles without actually touching them (I jokingly call it the Door Opener 9000). This one is specially designed so that it can self-adjust to many door handle sizes, making it versatile and easy-to-use. Also, the user cannot easily touch the contact surface when gripping the door opener properly, making accidental contamination by touching unlikely.

Edit: I originally messed up the wording for "door handles" and referred to them all as "doorknobs". This device only works for the lever type door handles, not the round knobs!

How does it work?

The Ultimate Self-adjusting Door Opener 9000 has a total of four parts, being the two grips/clamps and a plastic bolt and nut assembly. Only the grips are important as the bolt and nut are only used as a hinge. The two grips will clamp onto the door handle while you push down and rotate. These grips are meant to have a flexible strand of string/filament in between them so that the self-adjusting action can work flawlessly. However, the mechanism can still be manually controlled without the flexible string/filament.

Supplies

This tool is mostly 3D printed. None of the 3D printed parts require support as long as you print them in the correct orientation.

Here is the list of supplies you will need to make this thing:

  • Well-tuned 3D printer
  • Opaque rigid filament
  • One small strand of flexible string/filament (optional)
  • Super glue or fast-setting epoxy (optional)

As for print settings, these are what I recommend:

  • Any appropriate layer height (I used 0.2mm)
  • Any appropriate nozzle diameter (I used 0.4mm)
  • 10% or less rectilinear infill (to save on filament)

Step 1: Design Overview - the "Purple" Grip

The design overview is a part of the instructable that shows how I designed the door opener. It is not meant to be recreated exactly one-to-one, but it gives the reader a basic understanding of how I went through the workflow to design such tool.

You may skip the design process steps if you are not interested in looking at how I designed this.

This is the purple grip. It is one of the two grip parts, and this one has a handle on top.

Step 2: Design Process - Purple Grip - Body

I started off with a sketch consisting of mainly circles and slots and extruded by 80mm.

Then I used the same sketch to cut out a hole for the handle.

As easy as that, the purple grip is done (for now).

Step 3: Design Overview - the "Blue" Grip

This is the blue grip. It is the grip part that actually rotates.

The steps I used to design this can be optimized, but it works.

Step 4: Design Process - Blue Grip - First Sketch

I made a sketch with a circle that is centered with the hole in the purple grip and touches the outer edges (like shown in picture).

Then I extruded by 5mm as a new body. This is the start of the blue grip.

Step 5: Design Process - Blue Grip - Second Sketch

Make a second sketch like this. This will give the grip its shape.

Then extrude it by 5mm while keeping the purple body hidden. Make sure the operation is on "join".

Step 6: Design Process - Blue Grip - Third Sketch

Create a sketch like shown in the first picture. And for the next three sub-steps, keep the purple body hidden.

Then I performed three extrusions:

  1. Extrude the part of the sketch shown in the picture (the narrower grip part) by 80.2mm
  2. Extrude the entire face using the "two sides" option, one side is 80.2mm and the other is 85.2mm. This will create an exact offset on the other side of the part.

Step 7: Design Process - Blue Grip - Hinge Cutout

Re-enable either sketch 1 or 2 and extrude the 9mm hole in both directions on the "cut" operation.

Step 8: Design Process - Blue Grip - Thumb Rest

If you were to make this, this step is optional, but I added a thumb rest to the part so that you can control the rotation with your thumb.

This is done by drawing a 15mm diameter circle on one side of the blue grip and extruding it down by 3mm.

I then repeated the same step for the other side.

Step 9: Design Process - Fillets and Chamfers

Add fillets and chamfers to the parts. This is not only for aesthetics, but also for the door handle to slip in easier.

The most important places to add chamfers are: the bottom (inner edge) of the grips and outer edges of the thumb rest.

All the fillets and chamfers are highlighted in the picture.

And that's the grip parts done!

Step 10: Design Overview - Bolt

This is the bolt. The bolt and nut act like a hinge for the grips.

The following two steps will describe the design of the bolt.

Step 11: Design Process - Bolt - Body

Make two circles, one being 9mm, and the other being 15mm. The 9mm circle while be the bolt shaft while the 13mm circle will be the bolt head.

Extrude like shown. The first extrude (on the bigger circle or bolt head) is by 5mm and should be on "new body" operation. The second extrude (on the smaller circle or bolt shaft) should be 96.2mm like shown in the picture.

Step 12: Design Process - Bolt - Thread

Using the super convenient thread tool (found in the "create" menu), make a thread that follows the parameters shown in the picture. It should only have a length of around 7mm.

And that's the bolt done.

Step 13: Design Overview - Nut

This is the nut, which is going to be mounted on the bolt to keep the hinge in place. It is not meant to be screwed on tight as that would limit the motion of the grips.

The following two steps will describe the design of the nut.

Step 14: Design Process - Nut - Body

The same sketch as the bolt, 9mm and 15mm circles, can be made for the nut, with the only difference being that it's located on the other side.

Then extrude 6mm like shown. Keep the other bodies hidden while you do this.

Step 15: Design Process - Nut - Thread

Create a thread in the inner walls of the nut using the same thread tool that's found in the "create" menu. Keep in mind that the thread should be of the same thread profile as the bolt.

And that's the nut done!

Step 16: Design Process - Thread - Clearance

Some printers really don't like to print threads, so I often offset them a little using the push pull tool. The amount of offset depends on your printer. I usually do -0.1mm for both the thread profile and the outer diameter.

Step 17: Design Process - Finishing Touches

These are just some finishing touches. I added extra chamfers to some parts and insert holes on the sides of the grips for easier gluing of the piece of flexible string/filament.

And that's everything in the design process!

Step 18: Overview - Design Files

Attached are the .step and .f3d design files. You are free to edit and redistribute them in any noncommercial manner.

Step 19: Assembly - 3D Print

3D print the following parts in orientations shown in the picture. No supports are required.

  • 1x Purple grip
  • 1x Blue grip
  • 1x Bolt
  • 1x Nut

Step 20: Assembly - Animation

Follow this animation to assemble this tool.

Here is a breakdown of the steps:

  • Put the purple grip in between the two outer plates of the blue grip
  • Align the holes that are present on both the grips
  • Insert the bolt into the hole
  • Screw the printed nut into the bolt to lock it in place. Finger tight or even loose is enough as the nut is only to keep the bolt from falling out.

Step 21: Assembly - Flexible Piece

Get a piece of flexible string or flexible filament. I used 82A Filaflex, but Ninjaflex or even 95A TPU would work as well.

Fill the premade holes with super glue or fast setting epoxy, and then insert the flexible piece. Let it set for a period of time depending on which glue you use.

Don't use regular glue as they are often not strong enough. Unless you're talking about flex glue of course, they are overqualified for the job ;) (just kidding).

There should be just enough tension that the grips want to stay closed, but not so much that the grips would not easily open.

Step 22: How It Works

How do you make sure make sure it doesn't slip on the door handle?

The two grips basically clamp onto the handle to keep the tool from slipping. The flexible material between the two grips ensure that clamping force is always applied.

How does is this tool self-adjusting?

The flexible material in between the two grips allow for use with door handles of different sizes as it will always maintain a clamping force.

Step 23: The Door Opener in Action

These gifs are of the door opener being used to open/close doors.

As you can see, they're quite easy to use and work for different door handle sizes (except for round doorknobs since those need to be rotated).

Step 24: Conclusion

And that's it! I hope you liked my instructable and maybe print one of your own to use at home.

In any case, I hope you have a wonderful day! :)

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    22 Comments

    0
    Malkaris
    Malkaris

    8 months ago

    and here I've been foolishly wearing a glove all these years ;)

    I'm just kidding, the value is in the experience and a clever little application. I was thinking it could be a useful robotic appendange for opening doors. And knobs are overrated and not up to firecode so don't worry about that ;p

    0
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Reply 8 months ago

    Haha, you are absolutely right, the value is in the experience.
    Also it turns out that I did not know the concept of the difference between door knobs and handles :/, so thanks for indirectly helping me in realizing something I should've known a long time ago.

    0
    Malkaris
    Malkaris

    Reply 8 months ago

    so here's a challenge, you see the lever style because in case of an emergency people without sufficent grip strenght to open a knob would be trapped. Can you make a device that allows you to turn a knob like a lever?

    0
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Reply 8 months ago

    Took me around 10 minutes to make this. I didn't bother making an instructable for it so here they are. I'm not sure if they would work.
    The idea is that the two parts will be clamped together using M5 bolts, and these bolts directly screw into the plastic of the back plate.
    This is not self-adjustable, so you might need to adjust in the .f3d file a bit in order for them to work.

    I don't know if the CC-BY-NC-SA license applies here, but you're free to modify and redistribute this thing in a non-commerical manner as long as you give credit :)

    Capture.PNG
    0
    charlessenf-gm
    charlessenf-gm

    Question 8 months ago

    Why only demonstrate closing the patio door?
    What about the round door knobs?
    Admire your design skills
    Keep it up

    0
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Answer 8 months ago

    Silly me messed up the wording for "door handles" and referred to them all by "doorknobs". Like mentioned in step 23, round door knobs cannot be turned by this device.
    I also demonstrated the device using a regular door with a handle in step 23.

    1
    Build_it_Bob
    Build_it_Bob

    8 months ago

    Hi there, I started a comment and my wife asked who I was writing to...I showed her your door opener and explained how impressed I was with your design skills. I have been "muddling through" learning Fusion 360, and your Instructable is AWESOME!
    I hit the follow button as i know you will be an amazing entrepreneur in the near future. You also have the gift of teaching, and are willing to share what you have learned.. both of which are great gifts.
    Your young age reminded me of another Instructables author, Qtechknow. Look him up as he has done some great things, including starting his own business, and is attending UC Berkeley.
    I wish you well, and thank you for sharing with us all here at Instructables!
    Bob D

    0
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

    2
    shapri278
    shapri278

    Question 8 months ago on Step 24

    It doesn't look like it would be able to open round doorknobs.

    0
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Answer 8 months ago

    True, haha. I updated step 23 let people know that.

    2
    towellm
    towellm

    8 months ago

    Great work. As a design engineer for many years, I understand producing a design as a process that can have many steps. There's some things we just aren't sure are going to work as designed. So, what we do is build one and test it. An actual test piece is something no simulation can ever replace. From experience, there's almost always a version II. Now that you've designed and tested one, you can use this knowledge to decide if you like what you've done so far or design a refined version II.

    1
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Reply 8 months ago

    I totally agree. There's a lot of things you don't get right in the first iteration. I have experienced this in many ways, and this project is no exception.
    The version I'm presenting here is actually the third version. The previous two versions were not shown in this instructable but had several issues that were fixed in the end.

    0
    Eating Pears
    Eating Pears

    8 months ago

    Very well designed! Good luck with the contest.

    2
    AdamTheAwesome
    AdamTheAwesome

    8 months ago

    This thing is epic, good luck in the contest!
    Really well documented too

    0
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thank you so much, good luck to your entry as well!

    0
    familylovermommy
    familylovermommy

    Question 9 months ago

    How do you make your homepage image? Are you making it in Photoshop or rendering option in Fusion 360? And I see that image didn't appear in your instructables. How do you do that?
    Could you add some steps about how to make your animation in fusion 360?

    1
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Answer 9 months ago

    I made my homepage image by first rendering with Fusion 360, and then I used paint.net (software, not website) to add the text. As for why the image does not appear in the actual instructable, it's because I originally put that image as the introduction image and also selected it as the title image, but then I went back to the introduction and replaced that image with the picture that you see now.
    For animations, unfortunately, I don't think that this instructable is the most appropriate place for explaining how to make an animation. But the assembly animation is actually included in the .f3d file (step 18), so you can download it, navigate to the animation workspace, and take a look.
    Attached is the animation timeline.

    animation timeline.PNG
    0
    andyssilkscreen
    andyssilkscreen

    9 months ago

    Great technical details and drawings. I like the idea however this is not “hands free”... perhaps you can extend the idea and develops one that is hands free.

    0
    CrazyBlackStone
    CrazyBlackStone

    Reply 9 months ago

    Thanks for the comment and the suggestion.
    Though I think the idea of "hands free" is only relative. I can even argue that touchless sensors are not hands free because you need to put your hand in front of them. The goal of being "hands free" is to avoid contamination by touching, and this device helps your hands to not come into contact with the potentially contaminated surface, hence "hands free".
    Ultimately, in my opinion, the method of evaluation for these tools should mostly come down to the effectiveness of the product rather than the etymology of its name. (a lot of other entries to the same contest are forms of door openers and/or hand-operated tools as well)