In developing countries, the accessibility to prosthetic devices is low due to the limited healthcare conditions, a general lack of technical knowledge and poorly equipped workshops. The introduction of 3D printing technologies has permitted new cheap and personalized hand prosthetic designs by bypassing many of the current manufacturing limitations of traditional prostheses. Although innovative and accepted in different settings around the world, these active 3D printed prostheses still require extra parts and assembly steps, thus reducing the overall accessibility. We have developed the first functional non-assembly prosthetic hand fabricated with the material extrusion technology; the most accessible 3D printing technique. The process is reduced to a single printing job and an extra step of support material removal. No extra parts, materials or complex assembly steps are required.
During the design process, we have also adopted ten design guidelines that led to a successful working mechanism, we encourage future designers with 3D printing to follow our non-assembly approach.
- Cuellar J.S., Smit G., Plettenburg D., Zadpoor A. (2018). Additive manufacturing of non-assembly mechanisms. Additive Manufacturing Vol. 21, pp 150-158
- Cuellar J.S.,Smit G., Zadpoor A.A., Breedveld P. (2018). Ten guidelines for the design of non-assembly mechanisms: The case of 3D-printed prosthetic hands. Proc Inst Mech Eng H, 954411918794734.
Contact: Juan Cuellar (J.S.CuellarLopez@tudelft.nl)