When One Door Closes, A Touchless Door Opens (With The Help Of 3D Printing)

By on April 22nd, 2020 in Ideas

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Assa Abloy Electronic Locks [Source:  Genetec ]

Assa Abloy Electronic Locks [Source: Genetec]

Charles R. Goulding looks to a future of touchless doors, helped along with 3D printing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the famed infectious diseases expert, has stated that we won’t be shaking hands anymore. Likewise, no one is going to want to touch doorknobs anymore either. Pre-crisis, the primary users of touchless doors were hospitals, clean rooms, labs, pharmacies and facilities that accommodated the disabled. Now, the public is going to demand that commercial facilities have touchless doors. Increased residential applications will follow.

Many touchless door technologies and certainly new and improved designs are suitable for 3D printing. Assa Abloy, the large multi-national door and hardware manufacturer, has focused on 3D printing in their Future Lab communications.

Examples of touchless door technologies range from simple arm pulls to sensors.

Touchless Switch [Source:  Grainger ]

Touchless Switch [Source: Grainger]

Research and development tax credits are available to support touchless door innovation. 

The Research & Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be technological in nature

  • Must be a component of the taxpayer’s business

  • Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process

  • Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives

Eligible costs include US employee wages, cost of supplies consumed in the R&D process, cost of pre-production testing, US contract research expenses, and certain costs associated with developing a patent.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the PATH Act, making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit has been used to offset Alternative Minimum Tax for companies with revenue below $50MM, and startup businesses can obtain up to $250,000 per year in cash rebates applied directly toward payroll taxes.


No Touch Door Infrared Sensor [Source:  Aleko ]

No Touch Door Infrared Sensor [Source: Aleko]

I doubt anyone will miss touching doorknobs. Even pre-coronavirus, doorknobs were becoming a thing of the past. 3D printing can help accelerate the much needed post-pandemic touchless conversion.

By Charles Goulding

Charles Goulding is the Founder and President of R&D Tax Savers, a New York-based firm dedicated to providing clients with quality R&D tax credits available to them. 3D printing carries business implications for companies working in the industry, for which R&D tax credits may be applicable.

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