In the 3D printing news world, we hear much about prosthetic limbs designed and printed for charitable causes. But some comic relief from a local iconic mannequin — especially for commuters on their way to and from work each day in Cambridge, England — is also a worthy cause for a 3D printed hand. Dickie Mackay is a mannequin that graces the storefront of Mackays of Cambridge, a hardware store on East Road in Cambridge. On April 22, 2015, the mannequin was “savagely attacked” — according to a tweet on @DickieMackay, with an arm broken and a hand stolen. Thankfully, a local Dickie fan with a 3D printing business got involved and printed a new hand for the mannequin, who models work wear and is known for changing costumes to support local events too.
Mackays of Cambridge is an institution that has been around since 1912. According to its website: “On this site we have seen historic developments. We have built some of the worlds first Radio telescopes, also the first crystal growing chambers for the high tech industry. We have developed and patented a unique method of building spiral staircases and lots more highly prestigious projects. Many Nobel prize winning scientists have crossed the threshold of our shop and workshops in search of solutions to problems.”
An institution with such a rich history has had no problem keeping up to date. In fact, Dickie Mackay is such a local celebrity, he has his own Twitter account that proved critical for securing him a new hand.
On April 27, Dickie tweeted, ” I wonder if anyone @cammakespace would be able to help with my missing hand?” It didn’t take long for another tweet from @Cam3DP responding, “We can give you a hand if you’d like?” By April 29th, the hand was already being printed (see below photo) by Tom Parker, the Director of Cambridge 3D Printing (CAM 3DP). It took Parker a month to print the hand — he did it in between other jobs when he had time — and the job was completed no less than one month from the initiation of the printing.
Since Dickie Mackay has thousands of fans, this has no doubt been good publicity for the innovative applications of 3D printing. From reading Dickie’s Twitter account, you can see that before he received his new hand, “Sickie Dickie” still had to continue his public duties, even attending the reopening of a Mackays store on May 20th. He had his arm in a sling during this event, which was only two days before receiving his new permanent 3D printed hand. And Dickie was sure busy for the next several days. After his hand was fitted, his story was covered by the BBC News . But then, no doubt, it has been back to business for this iconic mannequin.
When BBC News asked Mackays’ Neil Mackay if he was concerned that this will not be the last attack and theft of the mannequin, Mackay replied that the store’s small works department built a metal bracket to secure the new hand. In the meantime, as we wait to see if this is the last assault on poor Dickie Mackay, we should all give Cambridge 3D Printing a hand for a job well done!
Let’s hear your thoughts on this story in the Mackays Mascot forum thread on 3DPB.com.