For our semester long project, Sam and I will be exploring one of the most interesting uses of 3D printing, creating affordable custom prosthetics. Specifically, we will be working with an organization called Enabling the Future that creates custom prosthetic hands from 3D printed parts. This project can be broken down into two phases. First, we need print out a test hand from e-NABLES’s open source 3D part files (We will be printing the Raptor Reloaded model.) and send it into Enable’s headquarters to get approved as e-NABLE certified makers. We started printing out the parts for this first build over this week, and we hope to be finished with the hand and have it sent off before spring break. After we get approval from the e-NABLE organization, we can then be matched with a child in need of a prosthetic hand. From there, we will be able to scale the parts to create a hand fit to their arm and will get to work on printing and assembling a hand that someone will actually be using by the end of the semester! Its pretty exciting to me that we can go from having just a little bit of knowledge about the 3D printing process at the beginning of the semester, to printing out an actual working hand by the end of the 16 weeks, and I am very much looking forward to learning from this project.
A video that shows some of the build process and the people currently using e-NABLE prosthetic devices.