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hospital bed

From 15 to 19 August we will build (the process to build) a local manufacturable hospital bed. 

Update Thursday 18th of August 2016 10.55 am: The makergroup in Amersfoort consists now of 6 people: Monique de Wilt, Stefan Lehner, Harmen Zijp, Marcel Pool & Dirk van Vreeswijk. We work parallel in Nepal with Abi Bush (Field Ready) and with Naomi Lundman in the USA (Humanitarian Makers). We collaborate using etherpad, vector_im, skype,  and will experiment today with instructables to support the design & built effort. We have 2 protoypes in mind of which 1,5 are finished. If you want to join plse don't hesitate to contact us at dirk (at) 

us working on nepalhack

Please join our first humanitarian challenge to create a locally manufacturable hospital bed by the end of the Hackathon!

International NGO World Vision is supplying equipment to Health Posts in Nepal, to replace equipment lost in the massive earthquake that hit Nepal in April 2015. One of the key items required is hospital beds. The hospital beds they are currently supplying are poorly designed, and the mechanism to raise the head of the bed keeps breaking in transit (Nepali roads through the mountains are extremely poor, single track and very muddy). Additionally, the beds are imported from India – however, there are local makers within a 5 mile radius of the Health Posts who would be very capable of making a bed given a clear design.

We propose to develop a design suitable to local materials and skillsets by the end of the conference, which also meets the minimum quality standards put in place by the Nepali government (to ensure items delivered by aid agencies are professional products not makeshift solutions that will not last).

The requirements are as follows:

·        The patient bed shall be made of solid steel construction

·        The backrest section should be elevated by mechanical hand crank

·        The hand crank must not be in a position which could lead to injury of the patient, or limit positioning of the bed against a wall

·        Shall have 4 IV rod receptacles and mosquito net pole receptacles at the 4 corners

·        All 4 legs of the hospital bed shall be capped with heavy duty rubber footings

·        Both bedhead and foot-end panel shall be detachable (for transportation)

·        The height of the bedhead panel: not less than 1060mm from floor

·         The height of the foot-end panel: not less than 820mm from floor

·        Overall approximate dimension: not less than 1980mm length, 910mm width, 600mm height

Local materials:

  • Mild steel angles and tubes of circular, square and rectangular cross sections, in most standard sizes (no stainless steel). This material is generally very rusty and will need cleaning
  • Steel sheet
  • GI corrugated sheet
  • Chicken wire
  • Old tyres
  • Plywood
  • Hardwood
  • Mild steel bar for lathe (no stainless steel
  • PVC pipe
  • HDPE pipe + GI fittings
  • PP pipe + PP fittings
  • Zinc paint
  • Acrylic paint
  • Polyurethane paint
  • Cooking oil
  • Small, moisture rich bamboo plants
  • Pine tree resin

Local capabilities:

  • Manual carpentry (average standard)
  • Bandsaw
  • Welding (average standard)
  • Grinding (power tool)
  • Sanding (power tool)
  • Metal cutting – circular saw
  • Pillar drill
  • Lathe (high standard)

Additionally, if required, specialist parts can be made using 3D printers (ABS/PLA) in Kathmandu’s Makerspace.

hospital bed

Hospital bed with broken mechanism for raising head

welding material

Typical welding shop and steel materials


Health Post equipment destroyed by earthquake