Giving the Finger to 3D Printed Prosthetics

20160410_Prosthetic Finger

I’ve always wanted to try 3D printing one of the great open source prosthetic hands that frequently pop up in my news feed, and I have finally found an excuse, and a little bit of time, to dip my toes in the water with this prosthetic finger. This is the freely available Owen Replacement Finger, available from the well known 3D printed prosthetic company Enabling the Future. While the design is admittedly quite clunky, it does work, and it is somewhat customisable using the Customizer feature of Thingiverse to fit your hand/finger dimensions.

All the pieces printed in 2-2.5 hours on my Cocoon Create printer, with only a couple of the small details not printing correctly (in particular the guides for the fishing line on the back plate). But nothing critical. Add a small length of elastic cord and some fishing line and you have a basic moving finger. Many of the parts are designed to be fixed to a glove so that when you clench your fist, the finger bends, but for now I’m not interested in creating an extra finger for myself or anything – it’s just a trial as I lead into a research collaboration at university to look at finger prosthetics for some real life patients.

From this small print I can see why the full prosthetic hands make a great project – it’s fun to bring something like this to life with movement that begins to replicate our own human anatomy. Hopefully there will be more like this to come!

– Posted by James Novak

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2 thoughts on “Giving the Finger to 3D Printed Prosthetics

  1. I think this is super exciting. I think we’re just at the beginning of what can happen with 3d printing and the medical world. What took weeks, if not months to create may be possible in days. I could even see custom printers made specifically for the medical industry that incorporates electronics or different material. I’m super excited about the future!

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    • Thanks @3dPrint Maniac, I agree medical and 3dprinting is an exciting area to watch with new developments every day! I’d love to see the Voxel8 applied to medical, it’s definitely on my wish list for printing electronics.

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