We have heard countless stories about individuals who have been the beneficiary of 3D printed prosthetic hands. Just several months ago, the idea of a 3D printed prosthetic hand was almost unheard of. However, in the past few months, there have been dozens of heartwarming stories which all feature four components: A person in need of a prosthetic, a volunteer willing to help out, the required materials, and last but certainly not least, a 3D printer.
If there is one man whose name has been associated with more of these fascinating stories than anyone else, it is probably Jeremy Simon. Simon has been at the forefront of constructing 3D printed prosthetic hands for individuals in need, for some time now. Whether it was the ‘Cyborg Beast’ that he created for Jose Delgado Jr., saving him $42,000, or helping 10-year-old Sierra construct a 3D printed prosthetic for her science fair, Simon seems to always be involved in a new project.
There are literally hundreds of thousands (perhaps even millions) of people worldwide that could use prosthetic hands. Unfortunately there is only one Jeremy Simon, although there are close to 1,000 e-NABLE members; people like Jeremy that are working to bring 3D printed hands to as many people as possible.
Most people would have no idea where to start when trying to 3D print a prosthetic hand for themselves, a friend or a family member. First they need a design file, such as the “Cyborg Beast“, which is open source and free to use. Then of course, measurements need to be taken to make sure the hand will fit, and corresponding size adjustments must be made to the file. Once the design is ready for printing, the creator must have or find a place to use a 3D printer. The plastic parts of the prosthetic can be 3D printed, however there are many parts that must be obtained through other resources. Finding some of these parts can be both costly and difficult.
This is where our hero, Jeremy Simon, once again comes to the rescue. Simon has sourced all of the parts needed to construct the Cyborg Beast, put them into kits, and currently makes them available on his website for just $45.00.
“Many people, especially outside the US, report difficulty finding some of the materials, such as the Chicago Screws / Binding Posts,” Jeremy Simon tells 3DPrint.com. “With these kits, anyone in the world can spend $45 (plus shipping outside the US) and get everything needed to assemble a Cyborg Beast.”
He also told us that the first time he made a Cyborg Beast, he ended up spending about $120 on parts. This was because of two reason: 1) He hadn’t yet found the cheapest prices, and 2) when purchasing parts for a single hand, it is impossible to find the minimal amount of parts needed. Most parts come in larger quantities than are needed for the creation of a single prosthetic hand.
“If a person goes to buy all of the materials needed to make a Cyborg Beast, they’ll end up spending at least $91.08 plus shipping and taxes,” explained Simon. “Most of the reason for the high cost is that most of the materials purchased come with significantly more than what is needed for making a single prosthetic device. That’s why I made the kits. By purchasing in large quantities, I can reduce costs significantly.”
Most prosthetic hands range anywhere from $20,000 up to over $100,000, making $45 seem like chump change. The kits also include free shipping inside the US. On top of this, active e-NABLE members get a rather hefty discount. They can purchase the kits for only $35.00.
Each $45 kit includes the following materials:
- (2 feet) Velcro, double-sided (2” wide)
- (6 feet) Non-flexible nylon cord, 0.9mm
- (3.5 feet) Flexible cord
- (1) Aluminum Chicago Screw – 3”
- (1) Aluminum Chicago Screw – 3¼”
- (1) Aluminum Chicago Screw – 3½”
- (1) Aluminum Chicago Screw – 3¾”
- (4) Stainless Steel Chicago Screws – ¼”
- (3) Stainless Steel Chicago Screws – ⅜”
- (6) Stainless Steel Chicago Screws – ½”
- (10) Tensioner screws
- (20) Beads
- (3 ounces) Plasti Dip
- (12 inches) Firm Foam Padding (5 ¾” wide)
- (1 roll) Teflon tape
Currently only kits for the Cyborg Beast model of 3D printable prosthetic hands are available. However, Simon told us that he is in the process of preparing kits for other models of e-NABLE hands as well. This includes the Talon, Ody Hand, and others. Be sure to check out Jeremy Simon’s kits, as well as the e-NABLE website for more details. Discuss this kit, or ask any questions you may have about assembling a prosthetic hand in the Cyborg Beast discussion thread on 3DPB.com.