Modification and Fitting of a 3D-Printed Prosthetic Hand



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Roughly 12,500 upper extremity amputations, including 5000 hand amputations, occur in the US every year. On average, a functional, non-cosmetic hand prosthesis costs between $10,000 and $30,000. This contributes to relatively low usage rates of prosthetic hands: only 56% percent of upper-limb amputees report using a prosthesis, compared to 84% of lower-limb amputees. This demonstrates a major need for affordable, functional upper-limb prosthetics. 3D printing technology is a low-cost solution for fabricating prosthetic hands, and a number of printable hand designs exist. However, there is a general shortage of data regarding the user acceptance, functionality, and durability of such printed hand designs. Like any prosthesis, a printed hand must be carefully fitted to ensure the user’s long-term safety and comfort. This fitting process is a major hurdle for testing the real-world application of 3D-printed prosthetic hands. The research documented in this poster aims to address these issues, with an applied study of the process of fabricating, modifying, and fitting a 3D-printed hand for everyday use by a real amputee. The study outcome shows that properly fitted 3D-printed prosthetics can improve the well-being of amputees, allowing them to perform a variety of tasks.