A 3D printing company is giving away for free its design for a device that allows doors to be opened handsfree - here's how it works

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Materialise Belgium

  • Belgian company Materialise developed a design that can be 3D printed and added to door handles to make them hands-free, and it's giving the design away for free in an effort to fight the spread of coronavirus. 
  • The coronavirus outbreak that originated in China has killed more than 17,000 people worldwide and infected more than 398,000, according to recent totals.
  • The virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, has spread to 169 countries, and the majority of infections and deaths are now outside of China.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The novel coronavirus can live on some surfaces for as long as three days and has been found on doorknobs, which are touched frequently.

Belgian company Materialise designed 3D printed door openers that attach to a door handle and make it possible to open it without touching the handle itself. 

The worldwide death toll of the coronavirus disease that originated in Wuhan, China, is now more than 17,000, and the virus has infected more than 398,000 people.

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared it a pandemic. The virus has disrupted travel worldwide, leading to flight cancellations, quarantines, and other breakdowns in movement and supply chains.

See how the 3D printed design works here. 

Get the latest coronavirus analysis and research from Business Insider Intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting businesses.

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The design consists of two detachable pieces.

The design consists of two detachable pieces.

To make installations easy, the handles don't require drilling holes or changing the actual handle.

To make installations easy, the handles don't require drilling holes or changing the actual handle.

Instead, the pieces attach over the door handle with four screws.

Instead, the pieces attach over the door handle with four screws.

The shape of the new door handle allows people to open doors with their arms, avoiding directly touching with their hands.

The shape of the new door handle allows people to open doors with their arms, avoiding directly touching with their hands.

Of course, these door handles can also become contaminated, and Materialise still recommends disinfecting them regularly.

Of course, these door handles can also become contaminated, and Materialise still recommends disinfecting them regularly.

The current design works for door handles, but not doorknobs.

The current design works for door handles, but not doorknobs.

Materialise is giving the design away for free online, for anyone able to 3D print to use.

Materialise is giving the design away for free online, for anyone able to 3D print to use.

It is also encouraging others to modify the design for other types of doors, and distribute those as well.

It is also encouraging others to modify the design for other types of doors, and distribute those as well.

Materialise told Business Insider that its team took just 24 hours to create and test the design.

Materialise told Business Insider that its team took just 24 hours to create and test the design.

Assembly instructions show how the pieces come together.

Assembly instructions show how the pieces come together.

The team even came up with a slogan to go with the design: "Do less harm. Use your arm."

The team even came up with a slogan to go with the design: "Do less harm. Use your arm."

See it in action here.

See it in action here.
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