IKEA has introduced a new line of products that customers can download themselves and have 3D printed in a move designed to make its existing furniture more accessible to disabled people.
The range of 10 items, called ThisAbles, has been launched by IKEA’s Israeli arm but anyone can access the free designs online and have them printed at a 3D printing facility.
The new designs include wheelchair bumpers to protect furniture from damage during scrapes and collisions, various handles and grabbers to make things easier to grip and a range of items for people with visual impairments.
Each design features assembly instructions online and a series of videos shows people how the products can be assembled and used.
IKEA has also invited end-users to come up with their own suggestions for more designs to expand the ThisAbles range and offer ideas on how the firm can improve the accessibility of its furniture.
A statement from IKEA said that it joined forces with the non-profit organisations Milbat and Access Israel, which specialise in creating special solutions for people with disabilities.
It said the ThisAble range was developed to introduce “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.
“It was important for us to create maximum access in every aspect of the project, from the designated site that we constructed for the project, that was adapted for people with disabilities, to the products themselves, some of which can even be printed independently in a 3D printer based on models that we have made available to the general public.”
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