Feb.6, 2014

Recently, a third-grade boy received a new, 3D printed prosthetic hand thanks to the help of 16-year-old maker, Matthew Wilde, and the 3D printer at their local public library.

Wilde is an enterprising guy. He's always been interested in figuring out how things work: from computers to ottoman chairs. About two months ago, Matthew – an adorable nin-year-old from Louisburg, Kansas – came to Wilde, who's a family friend, with a design for a 3D-printable prosthetic hand. Wilde took the design and his skills to the 3D printers at their local public library to make Matthew's new, 3D printed prosthetic hand.

"Awesome! (make sure you put an exclamation please)." This is how Matthew describes Wilde as he gestures with his new hand.

Matthew was born with a condition called limb difference which left him without fingers on one hand. Matthew's mom, Jennifer noticed the social stigma of having no fingers was getting to her son, but the high price of a prosthetic hand – which can cost as much as $18,000 – kept such a device out of reach. That's when Matthew found the Robohand design on the internet and showed it to his mom – and then to Wilde.

The Robohand design was a collaboration between Oregon puppet artist Ivan Owen and South African woodworker Richard Van As. They made their Robohand design Open Source and available through the popular CAD sharing site Thingiverse so people around the world would be able to download and build one for themselves. Having a cheap, 3D printed hand is great for kids as new hands can be 3D printed as they grow.

The prosthetic hand is made from cables, screws, 3-D printing, and thermoplastic. Matthew can use his wrist to manipulate the five plastic digits on his new hand to grasp. He's still working out the kinks with grasping and holding things in his new hand. But now, instead of other kids asking him what happened to his hand, they say things like "Wow, cool hand!" Matthew calls his new 3D printed hand his "toy tool" saying "It – is – the future."

Today, as Matthew gestures proudly using his new 3D printed Robohand, it's clear that 3D printing has the power to change a person's difference from a disability into an opportunity.



Sources: Kansascity


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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Kali Burgos wrote at 2/15/2014 3:32:18 PM:

My son was born with the same exact "hand"but it is called, SYMBRACHYDACTYLY. A condition that happens to 1 out of every 32000 births.

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