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Watch: 17-year-old student builds low-cost 3D-printed prosthetic hand – Daily News & Analysis


December 12, 2016 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ 3D Printed Articles


Researchers have 3D printed a low-cost functional plastic hand that can be used to grip, write and even catch a ball, an advance that may lead to custom-made prosthetics.

The USD 15 (Approximately Rs 1,000) prosthetic hand is designed for a person who still has the ability to move their wrist. By moving their wrist, they can control and use the hand’s fingers to grab and hold various objects.

Ryan Bouricius, a 17-year-old student, who helps run the Ithaca College 3D Printing Lab in the US, became interested in building prostheses after coming across a video of someone printing and assembling prosthetic hands for little cost.

Using designs available online, he printed out pieces and assembled a hand in a day. Bouricius has been working on the prosthesis and figuring out ways it can be improved.

“I like to use it around the apartment to see what problems are faced because I can only imagine what it would be like to actually need a prosthetic hand,” Bouricius said.

Bouricius has made changes to the original design that give the hand more functionality.

For example, he changed the orientation of the hand’s thumb, which was originally perpendicular to the fingers, so that it can more effectively grab a variety of items.

He has also worked to optimise the grip for various items, such as a marker or a coffee mug.

Physics Professor who oversees the 3D Printing Lab said that the 3D-printed hand has many advantages over an electronic prosthesis.

“There are people who are working on electronic hands, but they’re extremely expensive, not easy to repair, and many are not available for sale,” Rogers said.

Bouricius said that unlike electronic hands, which are typically made from metal, complex components are not more expensive to make for his mostly plastic model.

“The nice thing about 3D printing is that the price only has to do with the amount of plastic used, not the complexity of the piece,” Bouricius said.

“So even though my modified pieces are trickier shapes since it’s the same amount of plastic, it’s the same amount of money,” he said.

This is especially important for families with children who need prostheses. Since children outgrow them quickly, the costs of prostheses can be considerable over time.

With 3D printing, however, Bouricius’ model can be affordably reprinted in larger sizes as the child grows.

Researchers have 3D printed a low-cost functional plastic hand that can be used to grip, write and even catch a ball, an advance that may lead to custom-made prosthetics.

The USD 15 (Approximately Rs 1,000) prosthetic hand is designed for a person who still has the ability to move their wrist. By moving their wrist, they can control and use the hand’s fingers to grab and hold various objects.

Ryan Bouricius, a 17-year-old student, who helps run the Ithaca College 3D Printing Lab in the US, became interested in building prostheses after coming across a video of someone printing and assembling prosthetic hands for little cost.

Using designs available online, he printed out pieces and assembled a hand in a day. Bouricius has been working on the prosthesis and figuring out ways it can be improved.

“I like to use it around the apartment to see what problems are faced because I can only imagine what it would be like to actually need a prosthetic hand,” Bouricius said.

Bouricius has made changes to the original design that give the hand more functionality.

For example, he changed the orientation of the hand’s thumb, which was originally perpendicular to the fingers, so that it can more effectively grab a variety of items.

He has also worked to optimise the grip for various items, such as a marker or a coffee mug.

Physics Professor who oversees the 3D Printing Lab said that the 3D-printed hand has many advantages over an electronic prosthesis.

“There are people who are working on electronic hands, but they’re extremely expensive, not easy to repair, and many are not available for sale,” Rogers said.

Bouricius said that unlike electronic hands, which are typically made from metal, complex components are not more expensive to make for his mostly plastic model.

“The nice thing about 3D printing is that the price only has to do with the amount of plastic used, not the complexity of the piece,” Bouricius said.

“So even though my modified pieces are trickier shapes since it’s the same amount of plastic, it’s the same amount of money,” he said.

This is especially important for families with children who need prostheses. Since children outgrow them quickly, the costs of prostheses can be considerable over time.

With 3D printing, however, Bouricius’ model can be affordably reprinted in larger sizes as the child grows.

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