AIO Robotics and 3D For Everyone Team Up to Make 3D Printed Prosthetic Hand for Playing Basketball

Share this Article

The Zeus from AIO Robotics.

The Zeus from AIO Robotics.

Unfortunately there are no prosthetic limbs that can completely replicate the functionality of a real limb, so depending on the person it really isn’t uncommon for people missing limbs to have multiple prosthetic devices. Users often have their main limb for everyday use, a “fancy” limb that they would wear as more of an accessory, and then in some cases people have devices designed specifically for sports. Because these limbs typically cost thousands of dollars, standard prosthetics are often used in situations where a more specialized device would be helpful but the user can’t afford yet another custom limb.

Logan making his first basket.

Logan making his first basket.

But 3D printing technology could change all of that and allow people to quickly and inexpensively create prosthetic limbs for virtually any task that they can think of. For a young amputee named Logan, what he really wanted was a prosthetic that would just help him play basketball. Standard limbs aren’t generally built for sports like basketball; not only would it be difficult for the wearer to grip the ball, but dribbling would be awkward. A standard prosthetic wouldn’t be able to replicate the whipping motion that a real wrist provides while dribbling, so the user would be restricted to only a single arm.

But the team over at AIO Robotics, developer of the Zeus All in One 3D Printer, and a UCLA-based 3D printing club called 3D Printing For Everyone (3D4E) wanted to help Logan get on the court. The student engineers at 3D4E started working on the Spock hand, a customized version of the Raptor Reloaded prosthetic hand design developed by e-NABLE. Because it is one of the strongest and durable prosthetic designs from e-NABLE, the 3D4E team felt that the open source Raptor was the design that would be capable of surviving regular use on the basketball court.

An early prototype successfully dribbling.

An early prototype successfully dribbling.

“What we are trying to do is give the hand an athletic ability. Our goal is to make a bunch of these hands, invite the kids to campus and give them a daylong workshop with the [UCLA] women’s basketball team,” Brooke Zampell, bioengineering student and public relations chair for 3D4E, told the Daily Bruin.

The Spock hand has three fingers with rubber tips to grip onto a basketball.

The Spock hand has three fingers with rubber tips to grip onto a basketball.

Earlier in the year 3D4E had pitched the idea of the university’s women’s basketball team giving tips to young children wearing their first hands. The team has a long history of community involvement, so they were happy to help the student group out in any way that they could. Not only did the team like the idea, but they even helped plan a workshop that would teach an entire group of kids how to use their hands out on the court.

Swish.

Swish.

Last week the students finally brought Logan down to the UCLA campus to test out the current iteration of the hand, the last of several different versions. Logan’s “Spock” hand is a highly customized raptor design that has three fingers instead of four. Each finger has rubber grips on the tips to make it easier to grip on to the ball, and it also has a special design in the wrist that will simulate the needed whip motion, making it extremely easy to use to dribble a ball or shoot a basket. When Logan first put on the hand and tried it out it took him a few tries to get comfortable wearing the prosthetic device. But once he got going there was no stopping him and by the end of the day he had made 17 baskets.

The Spock variation of the Raptor hand has almost 30 individual parts that are held together with nylon wire and a few screws. All of the parts were 3D printed on the AIO Robotics Zeus in the 3D4E workshop and assembled by the entire group. The hand that Logan tried out is still a work in progress, and the team will take what they learned from this first trial run back into the workshop to help improve the design even further.

Notice he whipping motion of the hand when Logan shoots the ball.

Notice he whipping motion of the hand when Logan shoots the ball.

Here is a video of Logan trying out the Spock hand for the first time. You can keep tabs on the continuing development of the Spock over on 3D4E’s website here, and you can keep up to date on all of their activities on their Facebook page. Discuss further in the 3D Printed Spock Hand forum over at 3DPB.com.

Facebook Comments

Share this Article


Related Articles

3D Printing in Africa: 3D Printing in Ghana

Kiwi Companies Partner to Build Tailored 3D Printed Training Prosthetics for Female Para-Athletes



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Amin Hasani’s Blue Heart Hero Makes Custom 3D Printed Assistive Devices for Amputees

Amin Hasani is the designer behind the Havenlabs utility band. Havenlabs is a nonprofit that aims to use 3D printing to aid veterans. Designer Amin now wants to take a...

VA Takes On Shoulder Surgery Using 3D Printed Models

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been one of the country’s biggest and busiest embracers of 3D printing. Making headlines seemingly every few months for the steady...

3D Printed Prosthetics, Surgical Planning, and Modeling at AMS 2019

The second annual Additive Manufacturing Strategies (AMS) summit, “The Future of 3D Printing in Medicine and Dentistry,” was co-hosted by 3DPrint.com and SmarTech Markets Publishing and held in Boston just two short weeks ago....

Testing a New Type of Functional Custom 3D Printed Prosthetic Finger

With all of the advances being made in the development of prosthetic devices, there is still a lack of affordable, customizable, functional finger prosthetics. In a paper entitled “Development of...


Training


Shop

View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.


Print Services

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our 3DPrint.com.

You have Successfully Subscribed!