Provocative Ideas from the Oct 4th “Make the World: Prosthetics” Hangout! #maketheworld

Friday’a hangout was a fantastic first event for Make the World: Prosthetics — and a handy introduction to 3D printed open source prosthetic in general! Thank you to all who joined us or have caught the archive since then.

A Brief Recap

  • Designer Ivan Owen, co-designer of the first Robohand model, told us about his experiences on the project and how he sees 3D printing making a difference in the world.
  • Molly Stapelman introduced us to her organization, The Lucky Fin Project, and shared about the tremendously supportive community of those born with limb difference, and the importance of language and a positive message.
  • Paul McCarthy and his son Leon from Marblehead, MA, shared their story as members of the Robohand community. They modified and printed their own custom version of the Robohand for Leon — and described the design challenges they have tackled, and those they hope to meet in the future.
  • And finally Michael Curry, 3D Printing Evangelist from MakerBot, joined Adafruit’s Limor Fried, Phillip Torrone, and Matthew Griffin over at Adafruit Headquarters to share about his “Snap-Together Robohand” model, a simplified version of the original created to be fast to print and assemble: designed to inspire further innovation.

Our conversation — and your questions! — bubble up so many ideas for where our community-wide exploration of 3D printed open prosthetics might head next!

Here are a few of the ideas that stuck out — please chime in with your own ideas and take this conversation even further!

Ideas to Explore

  • Create Laser pointer holder
    • To indicate where you are pointing
    • To pinpoint very precisely something in the distance
  • Explore the use of other materials, both printed and applied:
    • Rubberized coatings that are great for grip, and not sticky
    • What about Sugru, PlastiDip, and non-slip cellphone pads?
  • Design Development
    • Parametric Design: online customizer for models like the Robohand to make them easier to configure and more accurate for each user.
    • How can the models be designed to allow more variation in appearance and function?
    • Designs of the hand that allows it to splay more naturally for more ranges of grip.
    • Additional options for configuring the position of the thumbs.
  • Adding Electronics
    • Explore the use of sensors/electronics to create more types of movement and behavior from the prosthetics (example the touch mouse or a pressure sensor).
    • What sort of sensors would be most useful and helpful, gyroscopic movement, pressure, temperature sensors.
  • Rethinking the Gauntlet
    • A smooth, slide-on gauntlet (less angular), and cause less wear and tear.
    • Make it easy to put on and remove.
    • Custom XBox Controller!
    • Leon strongly approves.

We will see you all again on Friday, October 11th, at 8pm for the second installment!

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