3D Printer Hand: Dad Creates Prosthetic For Son Born With Missing Fingers

Patrick Frye - Author

Nov. 25 2013, Updated 6:58 a.m. ET

A 3D printer hand design was created by a dad wanting to replace his son’s missing fingers with a 3-D printable prosthetic.

As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a wounded duck received a 3D printed prosthetic from an enterprising inventor desiring to help the animal amputee.

3D printers can be used for all sorts of purposes. The idea is that individual layers of plastic can be created one at a time and build any three dimensional object. For example, even NASA is going to launch a 3D printer in 2014 and many companies are working on 3D printable prosthetic devices. The price of these 3D printers has dropped dramatically in these past few years, opening up a tech revolution.

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But that tech revolution is available to the average household, not just big name companies with billions of dollars. Paul McCarthy, father to 12-year-old son Leon McCarthy, decided to try and make a 3D printer hand design after he saw something similar with a boy in Africa called the RoboHand. Leon was born with several missing fingers so Paul want to try to create his own prosthetic:

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“I was able to take the design and print it locally, and make it like you’d make a model airplane.”

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The 3D printer itself can be thousands of dollars but materials cost less than $10 per prosthetic. Leon’s teacher wrote a grant to get a 3D printer for their school so they can created 3-D printable hands for more children in need.

Leon describes how the 3D printer hand design has changed his life:

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“It’s a little unbelievable how you can print your own pieces and put them together and you have a hand. So, I thought he was a little crazy. With this prosthetic hand, it allows me to do a lot of stuff better. Like, I can carry shopping bags for my mom.”

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Still, not is all flowers and roses. One of the most controversial ideas is the 3D printer gun design, making the political picture more like guns and roses. But 3D printers produce plastic pieces and guns require metal or they’ll fall apart within a few shots. This hasn’t prevented politicians from freaking out and ordering these 3D printable handguns to be banned, so Pirate Bay started hosting the designs, along with 3D printable bullets, and a new rifle design that shoots 14 shots. In response some politicians want 3D printers to be illegal for printing out any weapons.

What do you think about the 3D printer hand design? Should any of the designs be made illegal?


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