3D Printed Hand for $50 Or A Prosthetic Hand for $42,000?
Jose Delgado Jr. was born without most of his left hand. By the time he found Jeremy Simon, he’d tried many types of prosthetic devices, most recently a $42,000 myoelectric prosthetic hand that uses muscle signals in the forearm to control finger movements.
Simon is a self-proclaimed “tinkerer” who volunteers for e-NABLE, which provides inexpensive assistive technologies to underserved communities.
With a 3-D printer and $50 worth of materials, Simon made Delgado a hand that Delgado says makes his life easier, especially at work, where he often lifts and moves boxes. The 3-D printed hand, a model known as the Cyborg Beast, gives him 10 movable, functional fingers, whereas the old hand, which looked more real, only allowed him to grip things with two fingers and a thumb, Delgado said in a video interview posted on YouTube.
Delgado also said driving and carrying bags is easier with his new hand. Another bonus is that if the hand breaks, it can be replaced cheaply.
“This is obviously not an ‘apples to apples’ comparison in terms of the devices but the real value of a prosthesis comes from how useful it is on a day-to-day basis,” Simon wrote in a YouTube post. William Dante of the 3D Printing Trade Association feels that “With all the bad press about 3D Printed Guns, it’s good to see people recognizing positive uses of 3D Printing.”