3DSysTech prints 1st Prototype 3D Printed Prosthetic Hand for Child
Desire to help small children missing hands sparks quest for a functional and attractive prosthetic hand design.
Two weeks ago, we began the process of looking for a prosthetic hand that we could print to offer for free to any child who needed one. The 3D printer we would use for this is the 3D Systems Cube 3 since it is an inexpensive but very capable printer.
We had to analyze the many designs available for free download on the web. After an exhaustive search, we finally selected the 2nd iteration of the Flexy-Hand, known on Thingiverse as as the Flexy-Hand 2.
The first part we printed was the Right Hand Body (i.e. - the Palm) of the design. We expected this first print to fail, since we chose to print it on the 3D Systems Cube 3 printer WITHOUT any "support". Amazingly, it printed perfectly! Even the holes and internal tubes through which we will need to pass nylon string were perfect.
The second step was to print the "Finger Plate". Essentially, these are the components for each of the fingers. The thumb consists of two (2) parts, seen on the left. Each of the other fingers consists of three parts. Only one of the parts had some imperfections. But, fortunately, we were able to print it separately which saved a lot of time and material.
Here is how it looks before creating the "Tendons" to hold the sections together. According to the instructions, this can be achieved using a flexible 3d printing material such as NinjaFlex or FilaFlex. But another possibly more sturdy method is to use Silicone joints.