A simple device to help those with weak or otherwise inhibited fingers might help one to write with a pen or pencil. This simple clip on device can be printed in under an hour for pennies.
This hand was developed to help those with missing fingers have a simple grip available. The fingers close by moving the wrist downward, tightening the cables attached to the gauntlet. I was able to print the parts for this hand in around 20 hours, and is approximately sized for an 8 year old. As this is my first attempt at such a device, it really is not a viable prosthetic to give someone, but these are being printed all over the world right now as part of the ENABLING THE FUTURE initiative, a global network of passionate volunteers using 3D printing to give the world a "helping hand." The site offers many open source 3d models to download and print, with the goal to bring help to those who need it. See their website for more information: http://enablingthefuture.org/
The challenge of figuring out how best to print such a device was fun; there are variables such as the print orientation, to make sure the cable channels printed open and free for a cable to be fed through, scaling the models to the appropriate size, and how solid to print the thicker parts. On this version, I also opted to use plastic filament for the hinge pins, using filament straight from the spool for the smaller ones, and printing simple rivets for the larger ones. I was able to close the other end of the rivets by applying some head, melting the end, and pressing against it with the end of another bolt I had.
Some of the cabling was difficult to thread, and some of the holes needed to be opened up a bit using a hot wire or small drill bit.
This was printed using the Prusa I3 printer in TLT (3014 Taylor). Stop by and see it in action sometime, and lets talk about how we can demonstrate the usefulness of 3D printing to your students, and about our pilot 3d printing service.
Contact Dean Mehling for more info!