January 30, 2013

Inexpensive home-brewed prostheses created using 3D printers

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Two low-cost, printable prostheses highlight the potential impact 3D printing could have on the quality of life for millions as the technology becomes more accessible around the world. Gizmag reports.

-- A complete set of mechanical prosthetic fingers - The design is free on Thingiverse with a public-domain license:

quotemarksright.jpg The mechanical fingers were made using a Replicator 2 3D printer and are attached to a brace that is worn over the hand. The fingers are controlled via cables and return bungees, which, while relatively low-tech, provide a functional and comfortable to wear prosthesis. The design can also be scaled for other individuals using Makerware software.quotesmarksleft.jpg

-- A prosthetic hand that could be cheaply created on a 3-D printer for amputees in developing countries:

quotemarksright.jpgManu Print has a unique design that allows users to close and open each finger individually by applying only one tensile force. The hand is purely mechanical and has no electronic parts. Inventor Eric Ronning, a mechanical engineering sophomore, could make the hand's design available on open-source 3-D printing sites such as Thingiverse, where it could be easily replicated for about $20.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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emily | 10:03 AM | 3D printed prosthetics
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