3D printed hands for free

http://time.com/4016974/3d-printed-hands-e-nable/

See How Kids Are Getting 3D-printed Hands for Free

A global network of almost 6,000 volunteers is making it happen.

With standard prosthetic hands costing anywhere from several thousand to a hundred thousand dollars, convincing insurance companies to buy new hands and arms for growing kids every couple of months is an impossible task.

After watching a YouTube video about 3D-printed prosthetics, RIT professor Jon Schull had an idea. With one YouTube comment, he harnessed an online community of volunteers and problem-solvers to work toward one goal—providing free, 3D-printable prosthetics to kids in need.

Two years later, Schull has taken his idea and turned it into a global network of almost 6,000 volunteers. To date, the e-NABLE network has printed over 1,500 devices in 50 countries, and the network continues to grow at a rapid pace.

e-NABLE’s wrist and elbow actuated prosthetics cost only $30-$50 apiece, and require up to three days worth of printer time and assembly. Schull’s volunteers are matched with a child in need, and provide the customized, completed hand or arm at no cost to the child’s family. e-NABLE’s network is currently working on making the devices available in other countries, as well as printing the hands with different skin tones and with different materials that will make the hands look more similar to the human hand.

While e-NABLE’s volunteers are spawning new variations of hands and arms faster than he can keep up with, Schull hopes to be able to expand his model to help solve new problems. He sees heads-up displays, text-to speech translators, and even gene printing in e-NABLE’s future.

“I believe we… have proven that there are probably hundreds of thousands of digital humanitarians ready willing and able to lend a metaphorical hand for the global good,” Schull said. “And so the…goal is to figure out what iceberg this is the emerging tip of.”

time.com

by Julia Lull | Aug. 31, 2015

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Baseball – first pitch with 3D printed hand

http://www.cnet.com/news/adorable-5-year-old-throws-out-first-pitch-with-3d-printed-hand/

Adorable 5-year-old throws first pitch with 3D-printed hand

A little girl born with a rare medical condition throws out the first pitch at the Baltimore Orioles game on Monday thanks to a 3D-printed hand designed and printed by UNLV students.

Baltimore Orioles fans got quite a treat before Monday’s Major League Baseball game between the Orioles and the Oakland Athletics. Hailey Dawson, an adorable 5-year-old Orioles fan, threw out the first pitch with her custom-made, 3D-printed robotic hand.

Hailey has Poland syndrome, a disorder that causes children to be born with either missing or abnormal muscles on one side of the chest wall. Many with Poland syndrome – including Hailey – are also born with abnormalities of the hand, making it difficult or impossible to use their hands without prosthetics.

Prosthetics aren’t cheap — the functional myoelectric hands can cost tens of thousands of dollars — especially when they need to be replaced several times as a child grows. So, Hailey’s family turned to the engineering department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for help.

The faculty and students in the department delivered, designing and 3D-printing a robotic hand that lets Hailey do things like grip and throw a baseball, a talent she was more than happy to show off at Monday night’s game.

Hailey’s hand is based on the Flexy-Hand 2 project, and anyone can download plans for the customizable hand on Thingiverse, a site for discovering and sharing 3D-printed objects. The UNLV engineering department customized the Flexy-Hand for Hailey’s needs and size.

Hailey’s already on her third hand — the first one needed repairs and was then too small, and the second one accidentally broke when Hailey’s mother, Yong, was replacing the fishing line that functions as retractors for the fingers. The UNLV team is already working on her fourth, adding robotic functionality with each new iteration to make her arm even better.

In the video below, you can see that functionality in action as Hailey uses her custom Orioles-themed robot hand to throw out the first pitch. The pitch was caught by Hailey’s favorite player, Orioles third baseman Manny Machado.

If you want to see even more about Hailey’s adventures with her 3D-printed robot hand, you can check out some images from her trip on the Haileys_Hand Instagram page.

Because a hand that awesome definitely has to have its own Instagram account.

cnet.com

by | August 18, 2015 9:34 AM PDT