October 24, 2013 AT 11:00 am

#maketheworld A Glimpse at the Future of 3DP Prosthetics #3DThursday #3DPrinting

Pasted Image 10 24 13 10 37 AM

One of the recent projects garnering a lot of attention in the 3D printing community and the open prosthetics movement in general (and Jon Schull shared it in e-NABLE here, thanks for the tip) is a teaching project by Richard Hague that is both a model for many elements involved with feedback in the human arm and an example how an electronic and mechanical 3DP design might replicate this complexity within a tight form factor.

A Glimpse at the Future of 3DP Prosthetics, via New Scientist:

3D printing can render everyday artifacts in clear plastic, so we can see in unprecedented detail how they work – and this exquisite model of a prosthetic arm is a brilliant example. It is one of the highlights at the London Science Museum’s 3D printing exhibition, which features more than 600 printed objects.

Designed by Richard Hague, director of the Additive Manufacturing and 3D Printing Research Group at the University of Nottingham, UK, and his students the arm shows how the printers can create strong structure, mobile joints and delicate sensors – like spiral-shaped metal touch-detectors – all in one process.

“It’s a mock-up but it shows circuits that sense temperature, feel objects and control the arm’s movement,” says Hague. “3D printing gives us the freedom to make complex, optimised shapes, and our research aim is focused on printing-in electrical, optical or even biological functions.”

Such techniques are also bringing prosthetics to people who previously could not afford them. For instance, the open-source “robohand” project, pioneered by South African carpenter Richard Van As, aims to print cheap, plastic customised prostheses for people who have lost fingers, or who were born with some digits missing or malformed. Some of his work – with the designs available online – is also on show at the Science Museum.

Read more.

Pasted Image 10 24 13 10 36 AM


Check out all the Circuit Playground Episodes! Our new kid’s show and subscribe!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground”Adafruit’s Apps!



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.