Additive Manufacturing Strategies

Alex Czech’s 3D Printable Exoskeleton Hands are Now Extended to Full Arms

ST Medical Devices

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Over one month ago, we covered this story about an Australian man, Alex Czech, who 3D printed an exoskeleton hand while he was originally working on the idea of developing a universal joint. Well, the idea of the joint led to the finger, which led to the hand creation. While Czech reports that he did not know there were others working on the same type of 3D printable design, he is not alone in his interest in making the hand exoskeleton.exo1

Czech talked about possibly adding DC motors on the fingers’ joints to “make a miniature power drill on the fingertips,” but he acknowledged that this improvement would take place somewhere “down the line.” He then continued to work on extending the hand project.

And now, less than one month later, he has released files for his expanded project, which has reached the level of, you guess it, a 3D printed exoskeleton arm! And Czech says he is now one step closer to the exoskeleton suit worn by Matt Damon’s character in the science fiction film Elysium.  I’ve gotta admit it looks fairly accurate, and certainly must have taken a lot of hard work and skill for Czech exo6to get this far.

The arms are truly a labor of love, as Czech began this journey tinkering with his 3D printing hobby in his after hours (he works in investor relations). One hand alone of this entire arm model has 13 unique parts.

And true to the original exoskeleton hands, the arm parts are also entirely 3D printed except for the screws and metal washers they require. Like the hands that came before them, these arms were also 3D printed on Czech’s Up Plus 2, which has a 14 x 15 x 15 cm build area. He makes the 3D design downloadable for $19.67, and states that this new exoskeleton design is the result of hours of test printing.

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The arms were designed to be printed using ABS plastic, and Czech reports that his exoskeleton is “surprisingly comfortable to wear and should sit firmly on your arms.” The question you may have, at this point, is what the function of the exoskeleton arms is, and, since DC motors have not been added to the hands yet, we can answer that these arms are intended to evoke a science fiction effect.

Later on down the line, the hand portion of the full arm could work as a multipurpose glove. In the meantime, feel fee to join Alex Czech’s futuristic looking world by downloading and 3D printing your own exoskeleton arms! Let us know you decide to take on this crazy project and how they turn out for you in the 3D Printed Exoskeleton Arms forum thread at 3DPB.com.

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