Flat Pack Wheelchair Ramp




This wheelchair ramp was designed for a flat pack assignment at Howest Industrial Design Center.

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Step 1: Step 1: What You Need


  • 1 A1 polypropyle (PP) sheet of 0,8 mm thickness
  • a multiplex of 400 x 580 mm
  • rubber (eg. from an old car tire)
  • glue that works for wood, plastics and rubber
  • 36 truss head screws with a 10mm length
  • a small hook and 1 flat washers it fits in
  • varnish, paint or wood-dye (as you prefer) for adding waterproof finisher


  • a table saw (that can make chamfers)
  • glue clamps
  • scissors
  • a screwdriver
  • a drill
  • a paint brush

Step 2: Step 2: Prepare the Wood

  1. Saw the 4 wood parts to the right dimensions as seen on the drawing
  2. Make sure the chamfers are in the right places
  3. Paint, varnish or oil the wood parts to protect them from water and dirt

Step 3: Step 3: Cut and Fold the PP

  1. Cut out the outlines of the PP shape
  2. Remove the two corners holes to make the folding easier
  3. Draw very light lines with a sharp knife to make the folds (pay attention to the bend direction: some cuts need to be made in the front, some in the back)
  4. Make the folds and push them firmly, so the elastic tension is released as much as possible

Step 4: Step 4: Attach the Wood, the PP and the Rubber

  1. Make a final check whether all dimensions fit
  2. Cut the rubber to the right size
  3. Add glue to both materials
  4. Spread the glue evenly
  5. Bring all parts together and try to remove air bubbles

Step 5: Step 5: Insert the Screws and Attach the Ramp Sides and Bottom Rubbers

  1. Prepare holes for the screws
  2. Insert the screws
  3. Glue the ramp sides to the top
  4. Glue the bottom rubbers to all the surfaces that will eventually touch the ground

Step 6: Step 6: Make the Fold Lock

  1. Insert a hole in the front panel
  2. Saw the hook to the length needed to keep the folded parts together
  3. Put the hook through the hole and weld the two flat washer to the end of it so it can't fall out.
  4. Make holes in the PP to where the hook will move through

Congratulations! You just made your own flatpack wheelchair ramp.

Step 7: Step 7: Fold It to Use It

  1. Put the front part up
  2. Slide both PP flaps over the hook
  3. Turn the hook the flaps stay in place
  4. Turn over the ramp

Step 8: Step 8: Take It With You Everywhere You Roll!

I hope the ramp enables you to roll wherever you want to go!

Thanks for watching.

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    26 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Amazing. I love this


    3 years ago

    Great idea, and great prototype! Thank you! This thing has tons of potential - as others have mentioned, everything from bike ramps to pet ramps, to the original purpose of wheelchair accessibility. Kudos! Being the prototype, of course there will always be room for adjustments, and such, so don't take any of the comments in a negative light - this is a great help. Thank you for sharing!

    Spink design

    3 years ago

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all your comments. I will react to many of your comments all in once. I will gladly explain my choices, tell you what I would improve if I did it over again and answer your comments.

    First of all. This was a short term school project. I'm not happy with all design choices myself. Many choices come from a balance between my available time, tools and materials. My main goal was to make a useful and functioning flat pack product. If you want to see the entire project process, feel free to check it (Dutch). This also was my first instructable. I did fail to mention some aspects, but I learn for a next one. Thanks for pointing it out. So here it goes:

    - The glue: indeed doesn't work well for PP. It keeps it generally together but not strongly. that why all those screws are there (which I regret). If I would do it over again, I would maybe sandwich the PP in between 2 different plates by perforating it. And connecting the plates that surround it through the PP. So the connection would be pure physical and not chemical. By the way this glue is available in any DIY-shop in Belgium (where I am based).

    - 2 ramps and assistance needed: it is correct that 2 ramps are needed. I chose to make it this way so it's easier to take along. My original goal was to make a ramp that doens't require assistance. As you might see on the bogspot link I posted above, i tried a few things, but solving the (good) placement and easy pick up after use from within the wheelchair was too big of a challenge for the time given for the assignment, so I did choose to make it a assisted ramp project.

    - piano hinges: I did consider using those. the problem is that you don't want to put any weight or power on the hinges. That's why the side boards support the top board once folded: the weight is on the side panels and not on the connection. So if you use piano hinges, use some wide enough to reach underneath the top panel.

    - the hook: I actually would prefer a different 'fold lock' system (see blog), but this is what I could make myself within the available time since i didn't find my ideal solution in a shop. The way to hang it to the chair can be improved. I would suggest attaching it tot the handles rather than the chair back.

    - on the materials: in my dreams this only contains 1 composite as a material, with the folds included in one pack (such as seen here). Although that isn't a sustainable solution.

    - wheelie suggestion: funny, but impossible in an electric wheelchair. Maybe installing such function would make a great next design project. :-) I will be your first fan if you come up with it.

    Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting.



    3 years ago

    When the first ramp hooks over the back of the chair for storage, the second ramp hook won't reach to the chair back, and doesn't look like it will fit over the edge of the first ramp. Perhaps you can rig a strap, or loop of paracord that will fit over the first hook, over the top of the first ramp, and to the hook of the second ramp??

    Spink designOldGuy52

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you. I didn't test it to the max yet, but this one carries at least 100kg. Since you need two, you can safely get up with a 200kg.

    TomasF1Spink design

    Reply 3 years ago

    Well, not quite. Just because it could take 100 kg in a test you cannot state that it is "safe" to use up to 100 kg. First, you'd want at least double (or more) the tested weight of the "safe" weight. Second, you also need to consider wear over time. Together, if it passes a one time test of 100 kg, I would say that the "safe" weight is no more than 25-50 kg, tops.

    Other than this, a great idea, and a great instructable, thanks!

    oululifeSpink design

    Reply 3 years ago

    "Since you need two...."
    Not mentioned at all in the insructable.
    But, two won't fit in a wheelchair pocket? Instructible on "Wheelie-ing" a chair would be a bit more practical, no?

    oululifeSpink design

    Reply 3 years ago

    "Since you need two...."
    Not mentioned at all in the insructable.
    But, two won't fit in a wheelchair pocket? Instructible on "Wheelie-ing" a chair would be a bit more practical, no?


    3 years ago

    I was wondering how the wheelchair would roll atop of this as it seems too narrow, but now see that it requires (2) of these. How would a disabled person put these ramps down and pick them up again? Or is this an assisted ramp project? I see from below a suggestion to make it so that the wheelchair-bound person would bring it around and set it up and after using it, bring it along with a strap. That's an idea. The assembly and dis-assembly is a concern for those wishing to be more independent, and still requires quite a bit of work for (2) ramps while the wheelchair-bound person is waiting. Might be easier to just find another way up / down, or roll them up / down.

    This works for one step it seems - how about a couple of steps, or how would one manage a variable number of steps? Hmm, gears whirling around for this one!

    The other idea of using piano hinges, albeit stronger and longer lasting, might weigh more. Though, that'd replace the entire plastic sheet so it might be a wash.


    3 years ago

    Where did you get the Pattex 100% adhesive? I'm running into dead ends searching on line for information about this adhesive or vendors for it [in the US].

    2 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    This isn't the same as depicted, but is the same manufacturer...http://www.amazon.com/Henkel-Pattex-Purpose-Transparent-Strong/dp/B001IVRUTO


    Reply 3 years ago

    That lists for $45.00 for 2, 50 gm tubes!! And product details at the Pattex website state that it, and the other contact adhesive listed at Pattex, are not for use with PP. Apparently the Pattex 100% works for PP, but I don't see it available in the US. [and I have a hunch it would be priced even higher].


    3 years ago

    Good work. Functional and looks nice, too.


    3 years ago

    This looks really interesting. Can you post a video of a complete "use session"? (Youtube prefered).

    In any case thanks!


    3 years ago

    Two concerns:
    Would the addition or substitution of piano hinges better the structural soundness of the ramp?
    This ramp appears to be much too narrow for a wheelchair. Is this to be a 1 of 2 piece project, or is the ramp to be built wider for the width of the wheels? Either way, this project has about half the bulk required for wheeling a person up the ramp...

    Other than those concerns, this is pretty cool, and back in the late 80s I would have loved to have a ramp like this I could ride my bicycle over!

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Giacomo Poochini is getting older and now can't jump up into the back of my Jeep Patriot any more. At 75 pounds, he is also a bit too heavy for me to lift up by myself. This ramp gave me that Aha! moment that will solve the problem. I'll resize it to fit the car height and Giacomo will be able to do road trips once again. Thanks, and Giacomo says Woof, too.


    3 years ago

    For metric conversions:



    3 years ago

    What is this amazing glue that sticks to PP/polypropylene? PP is the hardest plastic to glue.