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To improve accessibility, this article describes a static, four-legged walker that can be constructed from materials and fasteners commonly available from hardware stores coupled by open-source 3D-printed joints. The designs are described in detail, shared under an open-source license, and fabricated with a low-cost open-source desktop 3D printer and hand tools. The resulting device is loaded to failure to determine the maximum load that the design can safely support in both vertical and horizontal failure modes. The experimental results showed that the average vertical failure load capacity was 3680 ± 694.3 N, equivalent to 375.3 ± 70.8 kg of applied weight with the fractured location at the wood dowel handlebars. The average horizontal load capacity was 315.6 ± 49.4 N, equivalent to 32.2 ± 5.1 kg. The maximum weight capacity of a user of 187.1 ± 29.3 kg was obtained, which indicates that the open-source walker design can withstand the weight requirements of all genders with a 95% confidence interval that includes a safety factor of 1.8 when considering the lowest deviation weight capacity. The design has a cost at the bottom of the range of commercial walkers and reduces the mass compared to a commercial walker by 0.5 kg (19% reduction). It can be concluded that this open-source walker design can aid accessibility in low-resource settings.

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Keywords[edit | edit source]

mobility, mobility aid, adaptive aid, walker, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, mechanical testing, open hardware, open-source hardware, frugal innovation

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