Hollie was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS), a condition that occurs when a fetus becomes entangled in the fibrous amniotic hands in the womb, thereby restricting blood flow and affecting the baby’s development. In Hollie’s case, it affected the development of her right arm, and she was born with no hand or wrist to speak of.
Designer Christopher Chappell was interested in creating a prosthetic that would work for Hollie. This was not the first project that Chappell had undertaken that involved the creation of prosthetic hands. He had previous experience with Robohand, having contributed some elements that are still utilized in the current prosthetics they produce.
Chappell quickly realized, however, that Hollie did not have enough of a palm in order to be able to operate the prosthetic as it was currently produced. He began an involved process of creation and experimentation to develop one that would work for her. He decided to make an effort to create the prosthetic using SLS printed nylon instead of the more commonly utilized fused filament printers. Building on the inherent flexibility of SLS printed nylon would allow him to integrate hinges all while creating parts that were both lighter and stronger.
While working for a 3D printing studio it was hard to find the time to undertake all of the necessary steps in the iterative process. Meanwhile, Hollie continued to grow, rendering previous measurements, and prints useless, and, of course, none of this was free.
“I spent months developing each iteration whilst scraping together the hours to work on it and the money to eventually order the parts to be printed. In February I started to work as a freelance designer full-time. this meant I was rich in time but…I had even less money to spend on the prototypes.”
Chappell estimates that each printed iteration cost between $750 and $1500 to print. As a freelancer myself, I can tell you it’s no small feet to scrape that kind of money together. So, given the worthy nature of his development, he turned to crowdfunding to get help to continue the development and production of his prostheses, not only for Hollie, but also in an effort to release as an open source design for anyone interested in creating and/or modifying the prosthetic.
“I haven’t seen anyone else try to create a prosthetic based on a scan of the users complete arm. I’m trying out different printing methods which should ultimately make manufacturing a lot easier and more reliable for these hands. I’m trying to make it as simple as possible for anyone to do this.”
Chappell has plans to release a full ‘how to’ guide once he has ironed out all the steps, but in the meantime, he is asking for just over $3,000, via a Gofundme.com campaign, in order to work through the next several iterations of the hand. In the event that donations surpass his goal, Chappell plans on experimenting with the incorporation of myoelectric elements such as motors and EMG for further control.
As you can see by the images above these prostheses are incredibly detailed and accurate, and look much more like actual human hands than other prostheses we have covered in the past. What do you think? Let us know in the SLS Printed Prosthetic Hand forum thread on 3DPB.com. Check out the video below of version 4 of the hand being tested out:
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
The Women Trailblazing the Tiktok 3D Printing Scene, Part 1
3D printing was once only seen as a technology reserved only for professionals. It was difficult and expensive to obtain a system before desktop 3D printers began proliferating at the...
A First-Timer’s “Definitive” Guide to Surviving Formnext
Believe it or not, this year was my very first time attending the additive manufacturing (AM) industry powerhouse event known as formnext, which has been held in Germany for eight...
Desktop 3D Printer from Quantica Opens New Inkjet 3D Printing Possibilities
When we met Quantica at RAPID + TCT this year, we were so impressed with its inkjet 3D printing technology that we quickly invited Founder Ben Hartkopp onto the 3DPOD...
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: October 30, 2022
We’re ramping up again in this week’s roundup, with several events taking place, including ICAM 2022, DEVELOP3D Live, ASME’s AM Medical Summit, and more. In terms of webinars, Stratasys and...