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The Printhesis - cheap, lightweight and comfortable 3D-printed prosthetics

Shared by roeldeden on 2015-12-26 18:57

About the solution

When Lianne Scheepers lost her arm due to bone cancer normal tasks became difficult for her. Her favourite activity was to create jewellery from metal wire and bedes. The prosthesis that she got had a socket made from fibreglass and had titanium parts and was attached to her body with large bands around her shoulders. This prosthesis cost about 8000 euros and takes 6 months to make because the production process is so labour intensive. In the end she never used her prosthesis because it seemed to be to heavy and uncomfortable. The springs in the hook made it hard to estimate the amount of force that was transferred to the objects. Because she had to wait so long for her prosthesis she was already accustomed to her new self-image without her arm which made the arm shape unnecessary, just as the rubber hand that was provided. She actually preferred to use a small doctors plier to assemble her jewellery pieces.

The idea of a minimal and functional prosthesis arose and I started 3D printing small models. The socket was not actually necessary and we decided to create a tool in stead of a limb. This made the design much lighter and tested these functions and sizes with full scale 3D-printed prototypes. The result was a 300 euro 3D-printable prosthesis that is comfortable enough to work with for long periods of time. Because the design is one-size-fits-all it is easy and fast to create a custom Printhesis for any desired function. The modular nature of the tool makes it easy to adjust the length and angles of the pliers or replace any worn out parts.

Movie: https://youtu.be/X9GYr5Ql2ak
Website: http://printhesis.com
Jewellery 3D model: https://skfb.ly/D7x8
General 3D model: https://skfb.ly/D7xs

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Always have I been interested in digital ways of creating. After graduating from the Design Academy in Eindhoven in 2013 I started with Studio Roel Deden, creating 3D models and visualizations for a variety of companies. I love to work on socially relevant projects and help to solve modern day problems in a fresh and playful way. I believe it is necessary to always connect the digital world back to reality where 3D becomes meaningful again, which is why the combination of 3D-printing, scanning and virtual reality are three of my greatest interests.

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