Mechanism

Creativity with ROI Advertising? Email info@mechanism.com for more information

The Boy Who Made His Own 3D Printed Hand

Each year approximately one in every 2000 children is born without part of their hands or arms. There are others who lose them due to medical complications or accidents. Many outgrown and badly fitting prosthetics are being replaced with 3D Printing projects that are customed fitted and more affordable.

Nine-year-old Aidan Robinson has chosen to do things himself. Having his lower left arm missing since birth he has known many traditional prosthetic arms during his nine years. Early in his life he wore a doll-like arm that allowed his brain to develop motor skills on both sides of his body. Then there was a myoelectric prosthetic that relied on electrodes that responded to muscle movements. But these are expensive and run anywhere between $5500 and $15,000. These were unable to let him do more introcate things and are nick named 'cookie crushers' because they would unintentionally crush things.

Last July Aidan was a part of a one week camp called the Superhero Cyborg Camp. It is run by a non-profit organization based in San Francisco named KIDmob, a workshop for children who have lost their upper limbs. During this week Aidan and nine other students learned the basics of designing prosthetics, unique with superpowers.

With various parts of metal components, parts of old toys, 3D printed parts and the help of experienced prothetists and volunteers Aidan assembled his unique prosthetic. Although this is not as flashy as a regular medical prosthetic it can be fitted with the important things a kid his age will need such as a spoon or fork, a giant Lego hand or even a Wii remote.

KIDmob is trying to pass on to these children the experience, ingenuity, and 21st century skills if you will, that kids such as Aidan will need. "Part of our intent (behind the Superhero Cyborg Camp) was to invite them to consider the possibility that they're not just limited to the prosthetic set on the market. As the end user of the prosthetics, if they have an idea that's not on the market, they could make it themselves," Kate Ganim, KIDmob co-founder explains.

At weeks end Aidan had devised a decorative device and a designer at Autodesk, Coby Unger, found his design so impressive that he offered to make a working version of the arm. "I thought it was a unique perspective on prosthetics I hadn't seen before. And it had great potential for changing what prosthetic means and what it could mean," Unger said.

Unger began streamlining the basic cutlery and Wii remote concepts and even an attachment that lets Aidan play violin in his school's orchestra. It looks as if Aidan may own the most multifunctional 3D printed prosthetic in the world.

This type of outcome is exactly what 3D printing has to offer and shows that people of all ages can create innovative and practical implements.

Image: Flickr.com

Eve Sherrill York

About Eve Sherrill York

Have written online for several years on many subjects. Also use the username 'celticeagle'.

Eve Sherrill York

Top Posts | Mechanical

New Method In Searching for Water on Mars

One of the major reasons why there is life on our planet has to do with the specific combination of Hydrogen and Oxygen molecules to form a stable compound responsible for supporting life. Water is perhaps the most definitive sign for the presence of life and that is why scientists are hard at work ...

Introducing the New Swincar E-Spider

For over 8 years Mecanroc, a French Company, headed by Pascal Rambaud, along with Jerome Arsac and Thierry James have been working on a new 4-wheel-drive all-terrain vehicle called the Swincar E-Spider. This is the most unusual tilting 4-wheeler of its kind. The vehicle can traverse over the roughe ...

It is Now Possible to Use Glass in 3D Printing

3D printing, which is viewed as one of the great inventions of the 21th century, changed the world of printing and manufacturing. Rather than relying on complex and time-consuming techniques to create products, people can print a physical product. The process which has been adopted in many industri ...

Walkcar Will Change How You Move

Technology is moving at an alarming right these days, with new inventions constantly arriving on the market and changing the way people live their lives all around the globe. Travel is a particularly hot topic when it comes to new technology, and countless people are looking for the next big mode o ...

Google Glass to Turn Water Resistant

Google Glass, the incredible new addition to the industry of wearable technology that has taken the world by storm will soon be receiving an upgrade. Unlike smartphones and tablets, the device won’t be getting slimmer or enjoying the benefits of fancy additional features. Instead, a new versi ... ...

DARPA Researches the Best 3D Printing Practices

The scientists and research teams at DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, are currently working on improving the efficiency of 3D printing. The science behind DARPA’s plans is simple: when we produce different materials, the method of production utilized can have a huge effec ... ...

Design Teams Challenged to Develop Disaster Ready Robots

This past weekend, disaster ready robot design teams competed in California. The winning design team will be awarded $2 million for research efforts. The purpose of the competition was to challenge teams to develop robots to assist in disasters.  The robots were judged on the ability ... ...

6 Top Tips for Keeping Your Car Running Smoothly

If you are a car-driver/owner you will know what an expensive and stressful business maintaining a car can be. There are some tips you can use which will help to keep your car running efficiently and smoothly, thus saving you money on fuel and minimising the likelihood of expensive repairs. Fo ... ...

What Makes a Simple Pendulum Oscillate?

Oscillating systems are ubiquitous. We come across them everywhere in physics. A simple harmonic oscillator system has a fixed point of equilibrium and keeps oscillating about this fixed point forever if left undisturbed. But what makes it oscillate at all? Why doesn't the system just rest at t ... ...

BAE Engineers Develop 'F1' Tank

Technology that is more associated with F1 racing cars has now been applied to tanks and other military tracked vehicles in order to improve speed and handling in combat situations.  Engineers at BAE have successfully adapted a system more commonly used by pit crews on 700kg carbon fibre racin ... ...