What If You Could Design Your Own Aluminum Hand?

[Ian Davis] has decided to start over on his hand. [Ian] is missing four fingers on his left hand and has for a year now been showcasing DIY prosthetics on his YouTube channel. Back in July, we covered [Ian]’s aluminum hand.

Why aluminum? [Ian] found himself reprinting previous versions’ 3D printed plastic parts multiple times due to damage in the hinged joints, or UV damage rendering them brittle. With an ingenious splaying mechanism and some sensors powered by an Arduino, [Ian] has been wearing the custom machined aluminum hand on a daily basis.

However, as with many makers, he had that itch to revisit and refine the project. Even though the last version was a big jump in quality of life, he still found room for improvement. One particular problem was that the sensors tended to shift around and made it hard to get an accurate reading. To overcome this, [Ian] turned to a molding process. However, adding a stabilizing silicon layer meant that the design of the prosthetic needed to change. With several improvements in mind, [Ian] started the process of creating the plaster positive of his palm, working to create a silicon negative. The next step from here was to create a fiberglass shell that can go over the silicone with sensor wires embedded into the fiberglass shell.

It has been amazing to see the explosion in 3D printed prosthetics over the past few years and hope the trend continues. We look forward to seeing the next steps in [Ian’s] journey towards their ideal prosthetic!

Thanks [morgan] for sending this one in!

20 thoughts on “What If You Could Design Your Own Aluminum Hand?

  1. I’ve been fascinated by his hand.

    I wish there were 3D files to print a replica. I’d love to design a full metal Waldo based on his hand, add the thumb, and make it completely mechanical.

  2. What about a compressed air canister (break booster like) power assist. This should only use air when the grip needed exceeds a certain amount, while keeping the travel minimum and providing valuable feedback. Like power steering.
    A built in small pump, like a miniature bike pump could allow re-compression from the other hand or elbow joint in the event a long day away from home uses all air reserved.

  3. I see my comment that was last seen “awaiting moderation” nearly 12hrs ago because of two links that go directly to externally-hosted JPEGs *still* has not been approved.

    I admit you’ve impressed me… but not in any sort of way that could even remotely be considered “good”.

  4. Interesting?

    Ian used 3d printing properly.

    Prototyping and art. That’s what 3d printing is for. Period. End of list.

    People need to stop spending 20 hours of electricity and $100 worth of exotic filament to print something that SHOULD be made with $5 worth of acrylic or polycarbonate sheet and an hour of hand tool effort.

  5. this guy always reminds me, that you shouldnt let a doctor tell you to take your limbs because you got an infection going on. my uncle developed a treatment based on “retrograd venous perfusion” to save digits and limbs otherwise doomed to rot, basically, he cuts bloodflow to the limb , and infuses a medication cocktail with high pressure, so it diffuses in the tissue around the blood vessels. he said the level of medication in the tissue is up to 25 times higher than regular infusion, and doesnt stress the circulary system as much. everytime i see someone having lost a limb due to infection i have to think about that, got a link for anyone interested. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s001050170007. would also count as bio hack

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