I recently printed a prosthetic hand for a little girl back home, where I grew up….

I recently printed a prosthetic hand for a little girl back home, where I grew up.  I did this as part of http://enablingthefuture.org/ 

It took a couple of months to get this done as I was working with a few other programmers in the evenings to create a website that allows for easy(er) prosthetic hand creation. With our new website, about a dozen simple hand measurements need to be typed into the page, and select some options, like what style hand, and you get the printable files, already sized correctly. It's magic! An awful lot of work was done by other people to get us to this state where we could put this site together. 

This hand was the first hand created with this new site. When we tweak the site based one the lessons learned on this hand, it will be announced to the public soon.

My 4 year old LOVED helping put this prosthetic together. She is quite proud of herself for helping a stranger in this way, as she should be! she even gave her own toy hand to the little brother, so he would leave big sister's hand alone.

The family of the new hand owner, including grandparents showed up and my parent's place to help put the hand together.  Over the course of 2 days, we assembled and fitted the hand.

I believe that part of the mission of http://enablingthefuture.org/ is to truly enable this little girl to overcome her handy-cap. By simply giving her an assembled prosthetic, she would be no better off than if her parents had purchased a commercial prosthetic (although the family would be a great deal poorer buying an expensive prosthesis). With the whole family taking part in assembling the hand, they truly own the prosthetic – if it breaks, they know how to fix it.

To take this mission to completion, we will be having a fund-raiser in a few months to raise money to purchase a 3d printer of her very own.  She will then be able to create new hands that fit, as she grows up. She can also take her future into her own hands (pun intended) and design improvements and special purpose hands for herself which she can share back to the community if she so chooses (I can hope, but I will not dictate).

In album 2014-06-25

My 4 year old assistant LOVED helping build this hand.

Showing how bending one’s wrist is supposed to make it work.

So very pink!

The finished hand.

The spaghetti monster ate my printer. The black thing sticking out on the right side is supposed to be around the hot end.

The dyed palm and the undyed guantlet. Chicago screws are used to hold the pieces together.

Such a sweet little girl, she let the little brother of the recipient  have her black hand.

Some sodas have phosphoric acid and some glass cleaners have ammonia. These are supposed to treat the nylon and allow it to take and hold onto the dye better.

My 4 year old helping dye the finger pieces. The dye is in the plastic bag. The bowl has hot water to warm up the dye bath. Checking on the color. It starts out really purple looking.

Leaching the excess dye out of the big parts which ended up printing more porous than the finger parts.

Tilting the wrist will cause the fingers to curl up.

The padding is some leather I glued in. It’s probably Elk. Soft, but a little bit grippy.

I am hot pink iron man!

Pink and Chrome!