From clothes and shoes to smartphone cases and even guns, there seems to be no limits to what 3D printers can create. And now, you can add prosthetic hands and fingers to the mix.
Robohand is a mechanical 3D-printed hand that can be created using a MakerBot 3D printer. Richard Van As, a South Africa-based woodworker, originally conceived the idea in 2011 after losing four of his fingers in an accident. Van As soon began collaborating with Seattle-based prop designer Ivan Owen to create a design for inexpensive prosthetics that could work as effectively as real hands and fingers. The pair soon found, however, that custom-made prosthetic fingers could cost as much as $10,000 per finger.
Enter MakerBot, which saw Van As' and Owen's promising project, and donated a Replicator 2 Desktop 3D printer to each of them. The printers, according to MakerBot, will help speed up the process of creating prosthetic hands and fingers, as well as lower production costs.
"While a full set of prosthetic fingers may cost thousands of dollars, all of the Robohand parts that are made on the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer add up to roughly several dollars ($2.50 USD) in material costs and the total cost is around $150 USD."
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