Most of us know someone who has lost a finger, usually in some sort of workshop or work-related accident. With the advent of modern medical devices, and especially by way of new startups like Naked Prosthetics, today a lost finger can almost become an excuse for a new statement of personal style–and is certainly no longer any reason for stigma or embarrassment, signified by the Naked name, which encourages amputees to own their disabilities and enjoy the style and incredible function afforded by their 3D printed prosthetics.
We would not have, years earlier, seen a trend where prosthetics became cool. With accomplished athletes and a multitude of determined individuals displaying their replacement limbs proudly, the people and their prosthetics have become symbols of strength, perseverance, and just as importantly–aesthetics.
The founder of Naked Prosthetics, Colin Macduff, is an amputee also. Motivated to create a new product after losing a finger himself, Macduff founded the company in 2012, with headquarters in Washington state.
The team designs and 3D prints with highly functional prosthetics that are powered by the individual’s body. Macduff was inspired, obviously, by his own experience, but with his abilities as an architectural drafter, designer, welder, maker, and ex-military man, he had the foundation to design the highly functional Bio-Mechanical Prosthetic Finger.
“As a disabled Vet, I utilized my unique skill set to imagine and realize a solution to my own finger injury. As my invention came to fruition, my wife Becky and I began to create this company,” relays Macduff on his site. “We were motivated by the goal of enabling others who have sustained finger and digit amputations to restore their work and personal lives to normal.”
The prosthetics, which were the source of a major accolade for the company as they won the recent Formlabs Tough Resin competition with their superior design that allows for prosthetics wearers to show off doing things like wielding a knife and fork in cutting steak, juggling, and other activities.
Obviously a company that believes in making the most out of life, and turning those lemons to lemonade, they design devices for those with missing fingers that allow users to enjoy and participate fully in life. With a Naked Prosthetic, you can get back to typing, gardening, and enjoying the most basic things that involve gripping tools–or just your morning orange juice and coffee.
“With a simple and elegant design, our bio-mechanical prosthetic finger (BPF) helps to restore length, dexterity, and grip strength to a digit amputation,” states the Naked Prosthetics team.
Using the Formlabs Form 1+ SLA 3D printer, the design team is able to work with a wide range of medical professionals in creating custom 3D printed prosthetics.
“The cost is quite low compared to producing parts in SLS and it allows us to print design changes and new models on demand,” says COO Jon Bengtsson.
The resulting look is streamlined and stylish, celebrating both form and function–both of which are integral parts of the human body. Because of the flexibility and latitude afforded in digital (literally!) design and 3D printing, the team is able to work on different styles easy, adding customizations, and making ‘on the fly’ changes as needed.
“A Naked Prosthetics BPF eases the transition into everyday life after an amputation,” states the team responsible for such innovation.
Not only that, the process for the user is incredibly easy and completely painless. Amputees simply have their doctor send in images of both hands. The patient receives a custom sizing kit, and once Naked Prosthetics receives the information back, they design and 3D print a prosthetic for the missing finger. The users are urged to ease into using the prosthetic slowly, approaching it as they would in learning to use a new tool. It’s not long before they are wearing the prosthetics all the time.
Do you know anyone who wears a 3D printed prosthetic? How do you see this changing the world for amputees? Discuss in the 3D Printed Finger Prosthetic forum thread over at 3DPB.com.