Amputees wanting to have a powered prosthetic hand wait for quite some time for its manufacture. But that is going to change soon. Amputees would order for a custom bionic hand that is 3D printed in just ten hours. The bionic hand can hold using a flexible thumb.
A group of engineers and designers successfully generated a 3D-printed, made-to-measure bionic hand in only ten hours. Research and education group WMG researchers teamed up with C Enterprise and Printed Electronics to sketch and print the bionic hand. The hand features inbuilt sensors and it is a result of the IMPACT Project.
Iterate Design and Innovation leads the project. A comparable model created by Ryan and Ben of prosthetics specialist Ambionics is the inspiration for this hand’s creation. The forearm of Ryan’s son was removed after birth. He resolved to give him a prosthetic forearm.
“The IMPACT team have taken this design further by embedding the electrical circuitry linking the motion controlling muscle sensors with the motors and battery into the structure of the bionic hand, thus providing a durable and aesthetic solution,” WMGsaid. It also added that the engineers have experimented with the endurance of the printed electrical systems to understand how good the part will withstand twisting and flexing.
Furthermore, a website has been created that allows people to order the made to measure bionic hands. This is by giving their arm measurements and their chosen shades.
3D printing is establishing its presence in many growing areas. The areas include construction, health, and manufacturing. For example, at the beginning of this year, scientists 3D printed a functioning vascularized heart by use of human cells.
WMG University of Warwick’s Dr. Greg Gibbons says, “WMG are delighted to be a partner in the IMPACT project, helping to deliver this innovative and revolutionary technology, which is undoubtedly helping put UK PLC at the forefront of 3D Printing research and development globally.”
The Project Lead and MD of Iterate Design + Innovation, Gethin Roberts, also says, “The IMPACT project has resulted in the creation of an exciting new technology that has the ability to print electro-mechanical parts and assemblies, which weren’t previously possible. Through laying down conductive ink tracks within polymer structures means that parts produced are fully functional straight off the machine bed; offering huge productivity benefits.”