A University of Victoria non-profit is giving amputees in developing countries a literal helping hand.
Lead Designer of the Victoria Hand Project Josh Coutts says the lightweight plastic prosthetic forearms are manufactured using a 3D printer.
Coutts says they have done trials in Guatamala and Nepal fitting prosthetics to about 16 amputees.
He says the idea is not just to get amputees new prosthetic forearm and hands but also generate jobs.
“They will get a 3D printer. The whole idea behind this project is to have devices manufactured by the locals for the locals in a self sustainable way.”
And the newly made limb is not that expensive.
“You are looking at about $320 for an entire system delivered by professional prothetists 3D printed locally. Compared to costs of conventional prosthetics those can range anywhere from $2000 to $3000 really almost to the sky is the limit.”
The prosthetic takes about 18 hours to print out and can grip items once done.
“It is a one degree device what that means is it just activated with one cable. you can necessarily move the fingers independently however we have a very unique feature called adaptive grasp, which allows the fingers to conform around the object. So it seems like you are moving the fingers individually. It gives it a more natural look to it and it is also very functioning because it will grip the object better because of it.”