The major knock on most prosthetic devices — whether we are talking about arms, legs, hands, or whatever it be — is the simple fact that they are usually not stylish. People spend $40,000+ on prosthetic hands which quite frankly look like something that belongs in a science-fiction movie. While many people don’t mind the robotic look when it comes to sporting a prosthetic hand, as long as it functions like it should, other individuals care significantly about the aesthetic appearance of their device.
Just last week, I did a story on a 3D printed prosthetic hand created by an e-NABLE member Steve Wood. It was built upon the open source designs of e-NABLE, but took on more of a realistic appearance as opposed to the robotic looking hands we are all used to seeing. Wood’s hand was 3D printed using flexible skin-toned colored filament from Recreus, giving it a more realistic look.
Another e-NABLE member has taken this concept even a step further, by building upon e-NABLE’s latest iteration of their 3D printable prosthetic hand, the Raptor Reloaded.
Andreas Bastian, a man who is really all over the news when it comes to 3D printing technology, has designed Paintable Raptor Reloaded Fingertips, and they are unique in every sense of the word. Bastian has had a hand in many 3D printing innovations over the past few years. In April we did a story on his bendable 3D printed mesostructured material, then in June we covered his OpenSLS, open source SLS 3D printer project. In November Bastian released his in-depth 3D printer quality testing files, for the MAKE 3D Shoot Out.
Bastian wanted to introduce his paintable fingertips as a way of pleasing some of the young women of the world who require the use of prosthetic hands. The idea was originally presented to him by Todd Blatt, Vice President of Market Direction at Tinkerine Studios, when they had a chance to talk at CES earlier this month.
As you can see in the photos provided, Bastian was quite successful in his modification of the Raptor Hand Reloaded fingertips. They can be painted any color using regular nail polish, and perhaps if combined with a skin-toned colored filament could take on a very realistic appearance for those ladies out there who want not only an affordable, functional prosthetic hand, but also one that stands out for all the right reasons.
Bastian’s designs can be found on github, and he plans to release them on Thingiverse and YouMagine very soon. What do you think about his fingertip designs? Do you think we will continue to see developments to make these 3D printed prostheses look more like the real hands they are intended to replace? Discuss in the 3D printed fingertip forum thread on 3DPB.com.[Image source: Andreas Bastian, via e-NABLE]