It’s Isn’t Just for Trinkets

Utility, manifested.

In the sea of companion cubes, marvins and octopi that we’ve all 3-D printed before, it’s easy to forget that 3-D printing really opens up an entire galaxy of useful functional prints for items around the house.

Imgur user 751340 has a great gallery of useful prints that they made for common household items.

I can’t recommend checking it out enough.


Build a Prosthetic Hand – At Home!

Building off my prior post, if you’re at all interested in working with the good folks of E-Nable, I can’t recommend enough that you sign up, and then join the Google+ group.

They are doing some amazing work on that site, and it deserves as much recognition and help as possible.

But say you just want to make the hand? Maybe you need a decoration, or just want to show off the capabilities of your printer.

Check out the Raptor Hand by E-Nable then. Designed to be made almost entirely out of 3D printed parts, it’s a really fancy looking piece of kit, and a great test of your skills.

It’s particularly a good test of how your printer handles tolerances, and how calibrated it is. If things aren’t correct, the pins which snap the flanges and fingers together simply won’t work right (either falling out or not going in),¬†and the “ligaments” won’t thread correctly. If you want to be even more futuristic, take a look at the limbitless arm, which is the only 3D printable open-source myoelectric arm that I can think of.

Stormtroopers and RIT Arms

0111TrooperArm MA7_0

When people talk about what’s amazing about 3-D printing, or what the killer app is, I think the most obvious applications are in medicine. The obvious application is custom manufacturing of complex medical devices; things like bones, joints, etc can be shaped to fit the patients requirements instead of the other way around, hopefully shortening recoveries and improving end-patient success.

However, when it comes to what really gets people excited, it’s prosthetics. 3D printing already does so much good here; whether it’s providing cheap prosthetics through the E-Nable project (which is extremely worth your time to join if you’re a printer), or by allowing patients to take ownership in pride in something, which unfortunately, has been a thing people hide.

“Sure, you might have a “normal hand”, but mine is a stormtrooper’s hand”, turns out to be one hell of a self-esteem boost for a child.

Just see below; thanks to the good folks at E-Nable, he was able to get a custom made RIT arm, which restores a degree of functionality to his arm, and more importantly, can be cheaply remade as he grows.

Just remember; we’re already living in the future.