Ability’s 3D printed prosthetic hand to change life of 5-year-old fingerless girl
You had read about Phillip the duck that just got a pair of 3D printed flippers, and it was really heart-melting to see it walking again. Now, we have a little girl who has got 3D printed prosthetic hand and for the first time, she would be experiencing what it feels like to have fingers on both hands.
Exton-based Ability Prosthetics, company specialized in artificial limbs and devices, has 3D printed a prosthetic hand for a 5-years-old girl named Emmy Hoffman, who was born without fingers in one hand. The congenital condition is called Symbrachydactyly that can cause limb abnormalities, such as in case of Emmy. It’s not hard to imagine how many activities become impractical without fingers or without a hand, like cycling in case of kids.
But 3D printing is revolutionizing the way prosthetic or other medical support tools are created. Also, neurology experts have even begun to decode brain signal to bypass them to prosthetic limbs through electronic implants.
The prosthetic hand with fingers works with simple mechanism. Emmy’s fingers will be attached to a shell that fits over the hand and wrist. When Emmy would flex her wrist, the cables will tighten causing fingers to flex as well. Flexing her wrist would close her fingers around any object she wants to grab.
Another big relief that this news has brought is about affordability of prosthetics. Normally, a myoelectric prosthetic would cost about $10,000 to $20,000, which is too much for an average person to afford. On the top of that, prosthetics, especially in children require upgrade every year as the child grows into adult.
But, the one Ability had created is way more less. Ability’s prosthetic hand for Emmy suggest that now prosthetic would be available for $500, or may be, less. Also, prosthetic can be quickly manufactured with 3D printers.
Emmy would receive her new hand on Friday, as medical professional and prosthetic limb makers are eagerly awaiting the feedback. Disability due to missing limbs, those lost in accidents or due to medical condition is likely to be thing of past very soon. The designers and engineers are working hard to make prosthetics look as natural as they can be.
Source: 3D Print