Source: Dailymail.co.uk, CBS News
A father built a prosthetic hand for his 12-year-old son using a 3-D printer.
Paul McCarthy, from Marblehead, Massachusetts, made the inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands.
The family had been told when Leon was very young that he needed to get used to using his hand without prosthetics and try to acquire a full range of abilities and motion, but a doctor recently said they should start looking at prosthetic options.
Mr. McCarthy began searching for a way to help his son whose hand did not grow due to the restricted blood flow in the womb. He came across Robohand.net, which had a video posted online with instructions on how to use a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand…The design relies on wrist movement – the downward motion creates cable tension which closes the fingers while a move upwards closes them.
Mr. McCarthy borrowed a friend’s 3-D printer, but it a took month to figure out how to string, screw and bolt together what him and his son describe as the “Frankenstein” version.
The youngster admitted at first he thought that the idea was “crazy,” but once it was assembled he said the hand was “awesome.” Leon’s new hand gives him the ability to carry out tasks such as picking up a water bottle and a pencil.
“This thing costs us $5-$10, it was nothing,” said Mr. McCarthy. He said a prosthesis would have cost the family in upwards of $30,000.