A $15 prosthetic hand created by a student at Ithaca College here can offer a helping hand to a person who still has the ability to move their wrist.
By moving their wrist, they can control and use the hand’s fingers to grab and hold various objects.
Unlike electronic hands, which are typically made from metal and are generally expensive, Ryan Bouricius’s prosthetic hand is mostly plastic.
“The nice thing about 3D printing is that the price only has to do with the amount of plastic used, not the complexity of the piece,” Bouricius said.
Bouricius derived the idea for his innovation from a YouTube video but through testing and tinkering, he made changes to the original design to give the hand more functionality.
“So even though my modified pieces are trickier shapes, since it is the same amount of plastic, it’s the same amount of money,” Bouricius noted in a statement released by Ithaca College.
This is especially important for families with children who need prostheses. Because children outgrow them quickly, the costs of prostheses can be considerable over time.
With 3D printing, however, Bouricius’ model can be affordably re-printed in larger sizes as the child grows.
Bouricius is working with eNABLE, a non-profit organisation that matches 3D-printed prostheses with those in need of them, to find a recipient for his printed hand.