Cost-effective 3-D printed prosthetic hand

Posted on 23 Apr 2018 and read 307 times
Cost-effective 3-D printed prosthetic hand Students at the University of Manchester have designed and 3-D printed a robotic prosthetic hand that could provide a much cheaper alternative for amputees (www.manchester.ac.uk).

The hand allows its user to undertake simple everyday tasks such as picking things up, using cutlery, typing, clicking a mouse and opening doors. It can even play rock-paper-scissors.

What also makes the prototype limb stand out is its cost. The students built the hand for just £307 — and believe that they can make it even cheaper.

In comparison, an advanced robotic prosthetic limb can start at about £25,000, rising to £60,000 if bought privately, while more-affordable robotic hands with just basic multi-grip functionality start at £3,000.

The hand is the brainchild of Alex Agboola-Dobson and his team. It is made by means of stereolithography (SLA) 3-D printing technology, which uses a high-quality resin.

Eventually the team is aiming to move to fused deposition modelling (FDM), which will make the hand cheaper to produce but without any compromise in quality.

The hand was named ‘best new development’ in the Digital Innovation Challenge at the recent Industry 4.0 Summit and Factories of the Future Expo, which was held at Manchester Central.

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