May 20, 2014

A year ago carpenter Richard van As, together with Ivan Owen in Seattle, developed RoboHand that has helped hundreds of people who can't afford expensive prosthetics. Robohand started with Richard van As, who lost all his fingers on his right hand when he had a woodworking accident in May 2011.

Straight out of hospital, Richard set to work in developing a finger replacement for himself. After creating his first few prototypes, Richard contacted Ivan Owen, a designer in Washington State who was working on making functional Mechanical hands. No hesitation, the two decided to work together.

In September of 2012, Robohand was officially named and the first working prototype was published. As of November 2013 Richard has streamlined Robohand and fitted more than 200 hands to individuals all over the world.

However, when Robohand discovered the potential of 3D printing and the endless possibilities, they decided to create more designs to help people. Between January and November 2013, Robohand has launched the Robofinger and Roboarm.

When Dave Phillips heard about robohand in early February 2013, he contacted Richard told him of the loss of most of his left hand index finger after being bitten by a Violin spider. A meeting was immediately scheduled. Richard took measurements of Dave's hand and the angle of movement.

Preparing the hand cap was a complicated and lengthy process. It requires a lot of cutting, sanding and moulding because it is different creating this hand cap to the one for the full Robohand. But finally Rich had it right. Once the hand cap is ready, Richard began attaching other parts to the hand cap. Again many fittings on and off to ensure no pinching and the fulcrum is correct.

Within a few weeks, the robofinger was ready. "The prosthesis is custom made one step at a time with checking measurements being taken as each step is progressed." notes Dave. "It consists of several parts that have to be aligned correctly in order for the 'finger' to be functional. The 'finger' is straight when the 'stump' is straight, but as the 'stump' moved towards the thumb, the top of the finger curls inwards to meet the thumb giving the 'finger' gripping power."

Dave is an avid astronomer, a musician, a painter as well as holding his day job in Electronics, having a Robofinger helps him regain his freedom to do his work. "Seeing Dave's smile when he tried on his finished Robofinger was well worth it." Robohand team says.

Robohand have worked tirelessly to create more design to ensure more people regain their motion and lives. Yesterday Robohand released a preview photo of the first RoboLeg prototype and the first production model, Roboleg Version 1.

Roboleg utilizes 3D printed parts, metal pipes, pneumatic pumps to keep it simple and functional. It is still a work in progress, but the team will show the set up in details very soon.

Robohand published 3D design and an assembly manual on Thingiverse so everyone can download the free designs for Robohand. Roboleg will also be open source so 3D enthusiasts can create their own basic Robohand, Robofinger or Roboleg. Stay tuned!



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


Maybe you also like:


julio wrote at 5/22/2014 10:08:45 PM:

Great Work!!! I'm happy to see more prosthetics and less guns!

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive