July 16, 2014

In the past few years, many teams in the world are helping to transform the lives of those who have lost limbs. They made 3D printed prosthetic limbs for them and helped to transform their lives.

Italian startup Youbionic has recently unveiled their latest project, a 3D-printed bionic prosthetic hand. "The goal is to create a hand at a cost much lower than those commerical products today, which cost about 20 thousand Euro." says their designer, Federico Ciccarese.

Using 3D printers, low-cost microcontrollers and servos, Youbionic is currently developing this new hand, hoping that may finally bring down the costs.

The Youbionic prosthetic hand features low cost and flexibility in customization. The innovative control and movement is still under development and will be revealed later. "It is very complex as regards mechanical and programming," Ciccarese told us. You can see the movement system that they have implemented in the limb in the video below.

This revolutionary mechanics is based about the material deformation and through the geometric control of the structure. We can get the hand and all movement organs with a single printed and in one piece.

The whole hand is 3D printed in nylon using selective laser sintering, but Ciccarese said the team is now working on creating the hand using FDM 3D printers.

The aim of our research is to be able to make a Artificial Hand that can help those who unfortunately have lost one, giving them the ability to perform the basic actions of every day, the company said.

"I think I have the skills to help those in trouble, I work hard to achieve this. The first project is Youbionic Hand." Ciccarese told 3ders.org.

The passion about these technologies and the knowledge that our efforts will, even if only in part, can help someone, drive us to study and encourage us to always improve.

Ciccarese said they do not know yet what the price of the 3D-printed bionic prosthetic hand will be, but "Youbionic Hand will be cheap," Ciccarese said.

3D printing seems to be the best choice for creating customized prosthetic hand at low cost. "We evaluated several choices but no doubt 3D printing is what we believe the best," the team said. "We are excited about all that this technology can do and we want to believe it now, its strengths are the geometric construction potential and the product price."

The Youbionic team is currently planning the next steps. "We hope to see Youbionic Hand for sale in 2015," Ciccarese said.

In the meantime, Youbionic is looking for venture capitalists interested in supporting this great project.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Chris Chappell wrote at 7/16/2014 10:35:33 PM:

There's also the open hand project, and the myo-electric sub project of the Enable group. I (Chris Chappell) also did some early work on this idea and some of my robot hand prototypes are up on Shapeways under the 'Anthromod' banner.

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