Come meet and ask questions with James “Laen” Neal from OSH Park! OSH Park is a community printed circuit board (PCB) service. OSH park take designs from lots of people, put them all together on a panel and then order the panel from a fab.
Since they’re all splitting the panel setup cost, this lets them make circuit boards inexpensively.
You’ve seen these purple boards everywhere
This service grew out of the DorkbotPDX PCB Order run by @laen and now comprises of a two-layer panel every other day, a four-layer panel every three weeks and a periodic two-layer medium run service for people needing more than 150 square inches of board.
Their boards are lead free, made in the USA, and amazing quality.
Click here for the Google+ Hangout page (you can start asking your questions now too).
A toymaker, an industrial designer, a software developer and others gathered with a single purpose — to create functional, plastic “hands” for children who have lost their hands in war-ravaged countries in East Africa.
Many of the “makers,” as they call themselves, had lugged their own equipment to the AS220 Labs in downtown Providence. They’d work well into the night on three-dimensional printers, small machines the size of a microwave that heat plastic filament and then print it out in thin layers according to a detailed model developed on a computer.
Matt Stultz spearheaded the prosthetic-hand printing session. A 35-year-old software developer, Stultz hosts 3D printing sessions monthly at the nonprofit arts organization AS220.
On Friday, his “3DP PVD” group joined a larger, global collaboration called “Make the World: Prosthetics,” which held “virtual” gatherings this month for people interested in designing, improving and producing prosthetics. One of Stultz’s friends, toymaker Wayne Losey, of Providence, brought his two 3-D printers from home because he liked the idea of creating hands for children.
“This is a really ingenuous use of the machine,” Losey said. “So much of what’s being done in 3-D printing is sort of trivial — like phone cases — and this is meaningful….”
There was a tremendous response from the local maker community and all available tables were filled with printers. Many of the printers in attendance were built by 3DPP members during their “CastMax” (Mendel Max build using cast, not printed parts) build workshop. Nineteen 3D printers were transported by individual makers to the lab where they printed Michael Curry’s freshly updated version of the MakerBot Snap-Together Robohand, based on the Robohand project.
And here are some of Anna’s fun Vines of the event!
Phil Torrone, Limor Fried, and Matt Griffin from Adafruit were joined by Michael Curry, 3D Printing Evangelist from MakerBot, in the Adafruit Headquarters to host a lively one hour wrap-up to the #maketheworld: Prosthetics series!
A Brief Recap
Easton LaChappelle, 17yo, currently working with Anthromod and at NASA on the Robonaut project. He told his story, getting started at fourteen making robotic arms, and how he became taken with the goal of making affordable robotic prosthetics. He also demonstrated how his hands work, moving the fingers independently!
Gael Langevin fron Paris, France, creator of InMoov, talked about the history of creating the InMoov open source, 3D printed robot on his desktop 3D printer, and shared a tech demo of his InMoov robot performing.
Jorge Zuniga, Omaha, Nebraska, professor at Creighton University is an e-NABLE participant as well. (Originally from Chile.) Has been exploring how to make Robohands easier to produce and cheaper.
Matt Stultz, founder of 3D Printing Providence, along with many key members, hosted a Prosthetics Build Party for 3D printing enthusiasts, calling all members to join together to put their printers to good use. And the party was happening — they had “as many 3D printers as table space.” They gathered together to print a large number of Prosthetic hands that are to be sent with another team to Africa for children in need.
A few challenges for the community to continue to explore!
Challenges for Robotic Prosthetics
How do you control the arm?
InMoov initially used longer cables to control processes to eliminate motors from light portions of the arm, but the cables stretch over time.
How do you route this information back to the user?
Easton: “The biggest challenge is interfacing with a human body.”
What sort of sensors can be used to help simulate the sensation of touch and grip feedback? Establish distance/proximity?
Limor advises against sound-based proximity sensors for working with close objects, and suggests instead light-based sensors, which do a better job up close.
Easton tends to use Force/flex sensors, which mimic more specifically how humans handle information when handling an object.
He has also experimented with surface transducers to use sounds as a means to “transmit experience of touch, texture and sound” back to the user.
Challenges for Construction
Weight of prosthetics is a big deal for endusers.
Easton received feedback from users about the importance of minimal weight for a prosthetic device. “The human arm is about nine pounds, and I have been aiming to make robotic arms that are closer to six pounds.” His current model is said to be able to lift 150 pounds and move from 0º to 90º in about six seconds — quite an achievement for so light a robotic arm!
Gael didn’t originally create his piece to be a prosthetics (only lifts about 1 kilo), much better as an experiment to learn about robotics and interaction. He is working to design a new project that is designed to be a prosthetic.
Matt Stultz and the 3DPPVD team have been experimenting with printing the robohand in nylon, tremendously strong, but also flexible and self-lubricating.
Tuning the design (and sheath) for better comfort for the users
Experimenting with alternatives to Orthoplast and other expensive, orthotic-related medical materials
Andreas Bastian in the e-NABLE community has been experimenting with using heat to re-mold PLA printed prosthetics as handy alternative to creating sheaths.
Andreas has also tested mesh patterns to help control the deformation of the material and offer a range of rigidity.
Jorge showed a design that uses velcro sheath material to make it easier to custom-fit a recipient far away who can’t be fitted directly.
Chemicals exist that can “rubberize” or coat printed materials can further modify the rigidity of elements of a printed piece or make it more human skin friendly.
Challenge to reach those who need affordable DIY prosthetics
Jon shared about his excitement seeing the design collaboration happening in the online community around 3DP open prosthetics.
Key next step is moving from designing cool technology to getting much better information back from the users about what they want and need.
e-NABLE has had a few hangouts and may meet together physically to continue this conversation.
A few future challenges:
We need better solutions to help with long-distance fittings.
We need to tune how the models are plated for faster production without sacrificing material strength.
We need to offer more specific finger-by-finger, joint-by-joint control and feedback to offer a larger range of use and sensation
Where to Getting involved.
Join the Adafruit Community and e-NABLE to continue these conversations.
The InMoov project, with files shared on Thingiverse, has been taken up by makers all over the world. A number have been modified for various purposes or to add new functionality.
Easton, Gael, Robohands, Joel from OpenHands, and other designers all shared and learned from each other by sharing their files online and collaborating in that space.
In addition to continuing to experiment with materials, the 3DPPVD team will be continuing to print open prosthetics during their meetings every second wednesday of the month and at print parties like at AS220 in Providence, RI.
Thank you again for all of your efforts so far for this great cause!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Each day this month (Monday-Friday) we’re going to have a special “Electronic Halloween” post here on Adafruit. It will be a hack, mod, project or something we’ve found that combines all the best things about electronics and Halloween.
Important to consider when rolling up your sleeves to participate in the Open Prosthetic movement: a few of these details posted by the Robohands team about the special materials and steps that they incorporate into functional assistive devices. Some things you should know about Robohand devices.
…Robohand uses medical Orthoplastic that is custom molded to the wearer to limit the possibility of skin lesions, infection and injury. The Orthoplastic used by Robohand is breathable, washable and medically approved for this type of use.
A Robohand device is custom fitted which adds to client comfort. A proven statistic is 25% of people with prosthetics do not wear them due to the fact they are uncomfortable. Using medical Orthoplastic ensures Robohand will remain medically fit for use and long term wear.
Robohand uses stainless steel hardware that is less likely to fail or break, does not rust or discolor and decreases the risk of infection/injury. Dome nuts are used to decrease the likelihood of injury to yourself or others. Stainless steel is more medically appropriate than cheaper hardware. Many of our clients like to swim and bathe in their Robohands and the stainless steel does not rust or discolor….
Two years ago, Paul McCarthy began searching for an inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands. McCarthy came across a video online with detailed instruction on how to use a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for his son. Michelle Miller reports.
Not Impossible Labs brought a collection of maker greats to the office for a workshop weekend to prototype prosthetic hands to take on The Daniel Project to help kids in Africa who’ve lost limbs in the conflicts.
Robohand creator/inventor and mastermind Richard Van As was on hand, as was PrintRBot founder and CEO Brook Drumm, Not Impossible CEO Mick Ebeling, physical therapist and MIT neuroscientist Dr. David Putrino and more….
Andreas Bastian shared on the e-NABLE Community his continuing experimentation into custom printed/heat-deformed mesh gauntlets for RoboHand mods that he started during the #maketheworld: Prosthetics series. He met up with John, a very savvy prosthetics user, to come up with new ideas and get real world feedback on how these variants stand up in a field test.
Check out the video below to see a few mechanical issues they discovered with this version, plus some feedback on fit and comfort. This discussion can be joined over at the e-NABLE Community, but you will have to join (quite easy!) to access the posts directly.
John and I met up yesterday afternoon in California to test the moldable PLA mesh gauntlets, floral foam molding, and 123D catching of limbs! We fitted and assembled a prototype arm and generated a lot of interesting fit and functionality feedback. I took a couple of short videos of the prototype in action to illustrate some of the problems in fit and operation that we encountered. One of the most interesting challenges is that the forearm changes shape as the hand is rotated 180 degrees about the axis extending the length of the forearm. This rotation caused the arm-piece to rotate 2-3 inches around John’s arm. Additionally, when flexing his wrist, John’s forearm changed circumference due to the muscle contractions, leading to a bit of constriction at the wrist. The arm-pieces size and shape need to be changed a bit– the leading and back edges of the mesh sheet dug into John’s arm when he flexed his wrist backwards (leading edge pressure) and when he flexed his bicep (back edge pressure into upper arm). We also found that it was important to make the hand-piece somewhat flared towards the back to make it easy to slip on and off. The Velcro was operable with one hand, but I think that we can find better methods of attachment than how I have it implemented.
The floral foam molding went well, though it was a bit difficult to transport without damaging it. We found it required a surprising amount of force to make an impression of John’s hand and ended up carving a rough approximation of John’s hand using a spoon and then taking it the final steps manually, which was easier.
I also took about 50 photos of John’s arm to test with 123D catch. I have shared the photos in case anybody else would like to try other reconstructive software.
When I get back to my printer, I will print out the reconstructed mesh and compare it to the floral foam molds to evaluate accuracy of the scan.
Finally, I’d like to thank John again for taking time out of his day to test these techniques. It was tremendously productive and exciting afternoon that has generated a lot of useful information to further inform the design of these devices.
Join Becky Stern and friends every week as we delve into the wonderful world of wearables, live on YouTube. We’ll answer your questions, announce a discount code for the Adafruit store, and explore wearable components, techniques, special materials, and projects you can build at home! Ask your wearables questions in the comments, and if your question is featured, you’ll be entered to win the show giveaway, which this week is a GEMMA, four FLORA NeoPixels, and coincell battery holder!