May 3, 2016 | By Benedict

Nick Brookins, a media services engineer at Akamai Technologies, has designed a 3D printable partial finger prosthesis called the “Knick Finger”. Brookins, whose design was recently shared by eNABLE, lost his own finger in 2014 after a motorcycle accident.

3D printed prosthesis specialist eNABLE is best known for designing, sharing, and distributing its own 3D printed prosthesic hand, a design based on the centuries-old Corporal Coles hand, but the nonprofit organization is gradually broadening its horizons beyond that design. Now a large international community, eNABLE is using its growing reputation to promote new 3D printed innovations for the limb different community, the most recent example being the Knick Finger, a partial finger replacement device designed by engineer Nick Brookins over the last two years as a solution to his own finger amputation.

The story of the Knick Finger goes back to the moment Brookins found himself in hospital in 2014 after a motorcycle accident. The severity of the crash required Brookins to have his right index finger amputated, but the engineer reacted to the setback with optimism and steely determination. Being a self-proclaimed “tinkerer”, the amputee began thinking about designing and 3D printing his own prosthesis before he had even left the hospital.

After dismissing the “silly silicone contraptions” offered to him by doctors, Brookins fired up 3D design software OpenSCAD and began work on his own device, taking inspiration from the Owen Replacement Finger, another 3D printed prosthetic device shared by eNABLE in 2013. When Brookins had added the finishing touches to version 1.0 of the Knick Finger, a “mashup” of the Owen Finger and the Flexy Hand, he printed it off on a Printrbot Simple 3D printer, before sharing the design online under a Creative Commons license.

The Knick Finger 1.0 was relatively successful, but Brookins was unhappy with various elements of the design, prompting him to start over—this time using 3D modeling software SketchUp. The Knick Finger 2.0, however, turned out to be more difficult to print and build than the first version, as well as being harder to tailor to individual hands. Brookins attempted another design, version 3.0, before finally getting it right with version 3.5, which can be assembled in about 30 minutes.

“I am super happy with version 3.5,” Brookins said. “It’s been easy enough to build that I can build a fun collection of different variations and I’m seeing that others are having more success with building their own. I think my device benefits greatly from me being both the designer and the consumer as I am able to address a lot of the little annoyances that would be hard for a designer that didn’t wear one to understand.”

Brookins uses the Knick Finger himself, putting it on first thing in the morning and only removing it before bed. Wearing the device out and about has brought a number of inquisitive glances and conversations, with many observers mistaking the prosthesis for a finger brace. The designer hopes to share his design with as many finger amputees as possible, and has even been able to rework the design into a prosthetic thumb.

The 3D printable Knick Finger is available to download for free via Thingiverse. Brookins recommends printing at the finest possible resolution, with supports and an infill of 80%. PLA is recommended for the knuckles, middle section, and linkage, while a flexible material such as elastic TPU is best for the socket, tip cover, hinge plugs, and bumper.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Eddie Cortes wrote at 4/22/2019 5:34:03 PM:

Please give me info on this my wife lost part of her index finger and I would like to buy her one of these can you please email me with details and cost thanks . My names eddie Cortes .

evan wrote at 10/3/2018 9:32:17 PM:

nice boces i have a unplated (cutoff) fingertip

Randy zonna wrote at 8/25/2018 10:42:31 AM:

My dad just lost his left index finger at the same knuckle really looking to see what I need to do the get in contact with you thanks email

Anthony wrote at 6/14/2018 9:16:22 AM:

One of my best mate recently lost most to all of his pinky finger in a work accident. I decided to do a bit of research for him and came across your story a few times. I am interested in knowing if a finger can be purchased directly from you or I will seek out alternative solutions. Thank you for your reply in advance. My email is

Robert Coyne wrote at 3/3/2018 6:16:45 PM:

Lost left small pinky finger U.S.Army 1981. Lost right index finger building bridges 2002. Still able to use power tools and accomplish every thing yet would like to learn how to play bagpipes and figure that it might be easier with having some type of prosthetics to help in the learning of this musical instrument. I'm just starting to do research in area and I have yet to start looking for a 3D printer. any advice would be appreciated. Robert Coyne

Yvon wrote at 2/10/2018 12:36:55 AM:

This is the worst video. You have to watch it over and over to finally get that the assembly is not as complicated as this video somehow makes it seem. The guys hands are always in the way you can't see half of what is being done. It speeds up at weird points. I had to slow it down to 1/4 speed and even then I had to keep stopping to try and see what was going on because of hands always being in the way. Great finger. The video sucks.

Tom Potts wrote at 9/22/2017 4:28:38 PM:

I see a lot of requests above but no responses, so I hope they are being answered somewhere else? I am a police officer and a national guardsman. One month ago I had a table saw accident while working on an anniversary gift for my wife. I lost part of my thumb down to the first knuckle, my index finger down to the second knuckle, and severed my middle finger below the second knuckle. The middle finger was able to be reattached, but yet to be determined how well it will work as it still has a pin in it. I don't have access to a 3D printer and don't know anyone who does. Where can I go to get help measuring out what I need and making what I need? My email is Thank you in advanced for any guidance or assistance you may be able to provide.

Todd wrote at 9/20/2017 3:46:15 AM:

Hi, This is great! Recent saw injury left me with about the same situation as yours...index finger lost to mid knuckle. I'm a Gen Contractor and think this could really help. I've got a guy who's agreed to make me one! He want's measurements and I'm not sure what to do next. I've got fat fingers and a pretty fat stub so seems critical. Can you lead me to the link on how to measure? Thank you so much!

Travis Maxwell wrote at 8/28/2017 4:51:23 AM:

Hello! I just recently lost my index finger at the second knuckle and my thumb also at the second knuckle! I was wondering how much you would charge to build me and send me one of these fingers! I would love nothing more than to be able to have a working finger again so please contact me asap!

Estuardo Alvarado wrote at 3/6/2017 4:31:01 PM:

Im am very interested in getting a couple of your prosthetic fingers, my father lost the index & middle finger from the first knuckle up on a carpentry accident, ive downloaded the printing files, but i dont have a printer so i was wondering if you could send me the cost of the prosthetic finger and information on how to buy it directly from you. email: Thank You

Quentin Remsburg wrote at 1/9/2017 3:04:51 PM:

How am I able to get one of these fingers I lost my index finger below the second knuckle back in august in 2016 due to a rattlesnake bite my email is Thanks.

Louise wrote at 12/18/2016 4:29:10 PM:

My husband lost his index finger from the first knuckle up. Is it possible to get a prosthetic finger for him as he's always dropping things. And would it be the same configuration of the finger shown here or a smaller version. Please contact me at wrote at 7/10/2016 3:35:36 PM:

how do we get in touch for such a finger

Kevin wrote at 7/7/2016 7:05:31 AM:

I recently lost my index finger, where can I get one of those prosthesis? (

Amber wrote at 6/9/2016 5:58:43 PM:

Where can I buy one!? I'm missing an important digit. I would love to have use of my finger again!

mick wrote at 5/5/2016 5:59:17 PM:

did he just give the world the finger?

Wayne Renardson wrote at 5/3/2016 7:44:34 PM:

Reposted to Thank you for advancing prosthetics for amputees.

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