Design of the Week: KoalaGrip

By on March 8th, 2021 in Design

Tags: ,

Design of the Week: KoalaGrip
A 3D printed rail holder [Source: KoalaGrip]

This week’s selection is the very practical KoalaGrip.

The KoalaGrip is described as:

“A contactless public transit experience to stop the spread of Covid-19.”

But what is it? It’s an incredibly ingenious handheld device that can securely grasp a cylindrical railing. That’s something often done on public transit, particularly when forced to stand on a moving subway car, bus or train.

Holding the railings is a good thing because all those grips prevent the passengers from falling en masse if the vehicle changes speed abruptly.

But on the other hand, holding a railing is not the best idea these days, particularly in public transit. Passengers are people you don’t know, and they may carry the dreaded COVID-19 virus on their hands. A touch of the railing could thus transmit the virus to you, and later an inadvertent rub of the eyes could infect you. While transmission is generally through droplets, taking care to reduce contact is never a bad idea during a pandemic.

The KoalaGrip overcomes this problem with its unique design. While the operator holds the KoalaGrip firmly in one hand, a quick twist establishes a completely secure grasp on the railing.

Here’s a video showing how it works. Easy, isn’t it?

During the pandemic I’ve seen multiple designs for grasping devices of this type, but I haven’t seen one yet that provides as firm and confident a grip as the KoalaGrip. Most devices are simply hook-like structures that could easily give way when the velocity changes.

The KoalaGrip is being 3D printed in Toronto. The designers of KoalaGrip told BlogTO:

“KoalaGrip is a family idea that came to life since we’re stuck in cities and rely on public transport. One of our founders is an essential worker so we started working on a solution early on. We use a local 3D printer in the GTA and are moving towards recycled plastics to further minimize our footprint.”

The KoalaGrip can be purchased for CA$20 — and it comes with a carabiner so you won’t lose it. However, as of this writing, they are sold out.

That’s likely due to viral videos showing the incredible utility of the design. Here’s one:

I’m hoping the designers can catch up, or else they’ll soon see similar designs competing for this market.

Via KoalaGrip and BlogTO

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

Leave a comment