Swedish furniture giant IKEA has recognized the benefits of 3D printing, launching limited 3D printed collections and exploring the technology with partners such as UNYQ. Most recently, the company released a series of DIY 3D printed add-ons to make its existing products more accessible to those with special needs.
The project, called ThisAbles, was recently launched by IKEA Israel in an effort to make the company’s iconic home furnishings more easily accessible to people with physical disabilities. The product series consists of add-ons like easy handles, mega switches, glass bumpers, friendly zippers, curtain grippers and more, which can all be downloaded as 3D printable files and printed at home or through a service.
The products address a range of special needs cases, including limited hand functions, mobility issues and visual impairments. With all levels of accessibility in mind, all the 3D printable files are free to download. Each product is accompanied by a list of compatible products.
The company writes: “As part of IKEA’s vision to ‘create a better everyday life for as many people as possible,’ we joined forces with the non-profit organizations Milbat and Access Israel, that specialize in creating special solutions for populations with special needs and disabilities, and developed a new and revolutionary line of products that bridge some of the gaps between existing IKEA products and the special needs of people belonging to these populations.”
Even the online ThisAbles platform, where people can select and download the printable files, was designed to be as accessible as possible. Presently, there are 13 printable models available that can make a broad range of existing IKEA products easier to use and engage with. It also seems like the company intends to design and release more products in the ThisAbles range. Any customers with a specific accessibility request are also welcome to submit their ideas to IKEA.