January 14, 2015

...AND CHEAPER...:

MAKERS PRINT OUT DURABLE, CUSTOM PROSTHETIC HANDS FOR NEEDY KIDS (Rachel Nuwer, 1/14/15, Popular Science)

One in 1,500 children is born with a partially formed arm, but for every prosthetic device received, hundreds of others go without. Many families simply cannot afford a prosthetic, which often costs thousands of dollars. Others find that, after shelling out for a fancy new hand, it performs poorly, or the child quickly outgrows it.

Now, a massive volunteer-driven movement is striving to solve that problem by creating cheap, durable 3-D-printed hands. Coordinated by a group called e-NABLE, the effort has so far distributed more than 400 plastic hands, which come in a range of colors and go by names such as the Raptor Hand and the Cyborg Beast, to children and adults in need. Interest has grown exponentially: e-NABLE's Google Plus community boasts about 3,000 members and is growing at a rate of roughly 4 percent per week. "We're putting artificial hands in the hands of the people," says Jon Schull, a research scientist at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and founder of e-NABLE. "There are opportunities for everyone to get involved--from hardware geeks to parents to kids."

Posted by at January 14, 2015 5:28 PM
  

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