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Carpenter Who Cut Off His Fingers Makes "Robohand" With 3-D Printer

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the finger-jam dept.

Medicine 91

mpicpp (3454017) writes with the ultimate DIY story about a carpenter in South Africa who lost his fingers in an accident, and now runs a company that makes mechanical prosthetics with 3D printing technology. "'I was in a position to see exactly what happens in the human hand. I got the basics of what it's all about and thought yeah, I'll make my own.' Richard van As is recalling the moment in May 2011 when he sat in a Johannesburg hospital waiting to hear if his fingers could be stitched back on. Just an hour earlier, he had been in his carpentry workshop sawing wood when the saw slipped and ripped diagonally through the four fingers on his right hand....After days of scouring the Internet he couldn't find anywhere to buy a functional prosthetic finger and he was astonished at the cost of prosthetic hands and limbs which began in the tens of thousands of dollars. But his online surfing paid off as it brought him to an amateur video posted by a mechanical effects artist in Washington State, by the name of Ivan Owen. Together, the pair developed a mechanical finger for van As, but their partnership has also gone on to benefit countless hand and arm amputees around the globe, through the birth of the company "Robohand." Officially launched in January 2012, Robohand creates affordable mechanical prosthetics through the use of 3D printers. Not only that, but it has made its designs open source, so that anyone with access to such printers can print out fingers, hands and now arms as well.'"

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Noisy ads (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750813)

Slashdot has been putting auto-playing ads that make noise on to some of the articles.

If we don't complain about, it will become the norm.

Is this what you want?

Re:Noisy ads (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750847)

or you can cease being a shitcunt, get good karma, and disable the ads.

Re:Noisy ads (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750905)

or you can install adblock

Re:Noisy ads (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750895)

Can't believe you wasted your first post on this brah, what's next, comments for Linux Advocates asking for money? Speaking of money, it doesn't grow on trees. And, Linux Advocates is growing. Naturally, we anticipate operating costs and hope to be able to meet them.

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First we will need Communism (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 5 months ago | (#46750825)

otherwise almoist no one will brnefit from this, for cheewesdgf on dog ersa! Slashdort, I am not your god.

Blue Harvest (3, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 months ago | (#46750835)

I know a guy who did something similar but they saved the fingers. He ripped through 3 fingers and split the thumb halfway up. The scars lined up rather wincingly, I mean convincingly.

Anyway, the best joke in Family Guy's Blue Harvest is removed in reruns.

At the end, Luke, sitting with robot finishing his new robot hand: Can I try it out?

Robot doctor: I'd try it on a hot dog first.

Re:Blue Harvest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750879)

I know a guy who did something similar but they saved the fingers. He ripped through 3 fingers and split the thumb halfway up. The scars lined up rather wincingly, I mean convincingly.

Anyway, the best joke in Family Guy's Blue Harvest is removed in reruns.

At the end, Luke, sitting with robot finishing his new robot hand: Can I try it out?

Robot doctor: I'd try it on a hot dog first.

...that reminds me of a Big Bang Theory episode where he did try it out.... cut to ER room where the nurse shouts out "We've got another one with a gimped robotic arm...."

Re:Blue Harvest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750903)

The Family Guy thing is actually much more subtle than the BBT bit, and yet FG gets edited out in the re-run? I guess because it's FG and it has a rep, or maybe they just had to cut it for time. There are things on FG that are so, So, SO much worse.

Re:Blue Harvest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46751465)

"Blue Harvest" was their parody of "A New Hope". You're thinking of their parody of "The Empire Strikes Back."

3D printing?! (1)

gazbo (517111) | about 5 months ago | (#46750845)

You mean you can print in 3D now? Why have you guys kept that so quiet for so long?

Re:3D printing?! (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 months ago | (#46752727)

You mean you can print in 3D now? Why have you guys kept that so quiet for so long?

Yeah! It's really cool. You print one image in red ink, and one in cyan. Then when you look at the result with 3D glasses (the colored lens ones, not the polarized filter ones)... and poof! 3D!

Medical Device Certification? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750857)

My understanding -- which, granted comes from the Internet -- is that a good deal of the cost of these things is the FDA certification, or local-country equivalents. Testing and such is expensive. Or that is at least the popular excuse of companies that make prosthetics.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#46751017)

a good deal of the cost of these things is the FDA certification

If there's no surgery, it's just a object - a tool, an item of functional clothing, more-or-less. I'd be surprised and annoyed to find out that any kind of certification was legally required for something like this.

Or that is at least the popular excuse of companies that make prosthetics.

There's also the fact that they actually are traditionally expensive to make and fit.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#46751147)

If it is a medical device, then yes it need approval. That said, if he just released the plans, no one is going to stop you. Insurance may try to use it as an excuse to wiggle out of anything else.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 5 months ago | (#46751657)

If there's no surgery, it's just a object - a tool, an item of functional clothing, more-or-less

Not entirely true. Contact lenses for example are all regulated. As is pretty much anything that performs any sort of medical exam or diagnostic that a medical practitioner relies on to make a diagnosis or treatment decision.

There's also the fact that they actually are traditionally expensive to make and fit.

They are also generally each one manufactured to order.

They also tend to be loaded with patents and royalties for everything from the design to the specifics of the materials.

The cost of custom prosthetic may also presume more than one may be required to refine the fit after you've worn it for a while, or to get the fit just right.

The doctor may then take the now very high cost of the the item and build in his time to fit, assess, and follow up with you into the price of the item inflating it even higher.

So the $thousands$ you pay for "an X" might actually cover "as many Xs as it takes to get it right plus all the doctors time working with you to get it right"

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 5 months ago | (#46752337)

The doctor may then take the now very high cost of the the item and build in his time to fit, assess, and follow up with you into the price of the item inflating it even higher.

True, there are hidden costs which you don't see if you 3D print your own hand :)

But, it not unreasonable to assume that there is no (or very little) competition on price in the medical industry. Especially, in the US.
Where there is profit to be made, patents to control and patients with insurances.


On topic, if I need a robohand, I would certainly prefer an open source finger; I mean if ever a security audit would be worth the effort... this would certainly be a case
- also it's would be ironic to write free software using a proprietary hand...

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 5 months ago | (#46753929)

They aren't even hiding the costs anymore. I got a bill today for $201 for a cloth arm sling! That thing cost a Chinese dude less than a dollar to make. What a racket!

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

jopsen (885607) | about 5 months ago | (#46754089)

"Hidden cost" I was talking is the cost to the producers that you don't see.. Such as unpacking your $201 arm sling :)

"The profit" is what you claim they don't hide anymore... And yeah, you're probably right.
$ 201 for an arm sling sounds like a decent business model.

Is it time to nationalize healthcare completely, just kidding. That's not realistic, but IMO, you need to remove or minimize the profit aspect of healthcare. On an individual basis we're all willing to pay whatever we're asked, especially, since our insurance pays. But that is the problem, there is no optimization for value.

Conclusion: The free market healthcare is not cost efficient, which is why the US pays twice what other industrialized nations pays for healthcare per citizen.

A solution is a heavily regulated or more nationalized health care system. But I'm sure there are other solutions too. But good luck with that :)

Re:Medical Device Certification? (2)

Zynder (2773551) | about 5 months ago | (#46754271)

No need to kid. I believe it is time to nationalize the healthcare system, no matter how realistic that may or may not be. I think we could just shovel money from the back of a pickup truck burning whale oil and still come out cheaper.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (2)

laird (2705) | about 5 months ago | (#46755185)

Why is national healthcare "unrealistic"? It works for plenty of countries. Heck, when we set up the new government in Iraq it had national healthcare. It may be difficult in the US for political reasons (healthcare companies contribute oceans of money to politicians, and they're not terribly interested in efficiency or outcomes, just profits), but since it demonstrably can be done, and works well, it's entirely "realistic".

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46758849)

Because the insurance industry won't allow it.

Obamacare is nothing more than a free ride and bonuses for the insurance industry. It brought them more customers at higher rates than they had before. EVERYTHING about Obamacare favors insurance companies.

There is no way thats going to end without a massive shift in public perception. As long as people keep thinking Obamacare is a good idea, the insurance companies win.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46760227)

Really? Under Obamacare, insurance companies cannot use more than 15% of premiums for overhead (salaries, capital improvements, IT work, maintenance, etc.). And they can't save it for a rainy day, either, because anything not used for benefits must be paid back to policyholders.

Not what I'd call a "free ride and bonuses".

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 5 months ago | (#46759495)

I don't think it is unrealistic, the guy I replied to did. That's why it needs to happen no matter the hurt. Rip that band aid off already! Bitzstream's response though is quite correct. The insurance leeches have to be dealt with. The only "voluntary" way to get them to comply is buy them off. Looks like ACA might be just that but it is still better than what we had.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

laird (2705) | about 5 months ago | (#46786555)

I agree.

According to the people who got the NHS passed in the UK, the way they got it done was to silence objectors by "stuffing their mouths with gold". And in the long run it gave the UK a highly effective, efficient medical care system. So perhaps, even though ACA is absurdly complex, it's still an improvement, and we can gradually, awkwardly iterate towards a healthcare system that's at least moderately good. It would be hard to be worse than our per-ACA system, where we spent 2x as much per capita as anybody else on the planet, in return for which we got medical outcomes that were worse than most other wealthy countries. If we only spent as much as the next most wasteful country, we'd still save $trillions, so there's a lot of room for improvement. Of course, since there is a whole industry funded by that waste and therefore dedicated to increasing wasteful spending, it's not going to be easy.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 5 months ago | (#46751565)

According to this [wikispot.org] limb prosthetic, unless very different in technology, are exempt;

This section states that these devices are exempt from premarket approval or [WWW]510(k) requirements, except as provided in [WWW]21CFR890.9, which allows this exemption as long as the new device has "existing or reasonably foreseeable characteristics of commercially distributed devices within that generic type," it is intended for the same use and the same user type as existing products, and the device operates on the same fundamental scientific technology.

Re:Medical Device Certification? (1)

laird (2705) | about 5 months ago | (#46755305)

Using traditional manufacturing, prosthetics really ARE very expensive. Remember, they have to manufacture all of the parts in a range of sizes and designs to fit everyone, someone has to come spend time with the patient to fit it, etc. And that's great for people who can pay $10-50K for a prosthetic.

e-NABLE and Robohand's approach is to replace the expensive manufacturing/stocking process with 3D printing, so you can print just what you need when you need it. And instead of professional designers and doctors getting paid, we're all volunteers (often professionals, but donating time).

We already knew this (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 5 months ago | (#46750865)

We already knew this was true. The problem of material durable is still applicable. Until they can build something of the same durability and complexity as modern prosthetics, this is merely a Chubbs MacKenzie quality prosthetic

Re:We already knew this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750937)

A combination of nylon and ABS should be more than durable. And since these aren't electric, they are probably more complex than an equivalent unpowered commercial prosthetic, especially in the same price range.

Re:We already knew this (1)

laird (2705) | about 5 months ago | (#46755323)

In practice, we're finding that PLA is too fragile, users are happy with ABS, and Nylon is indestructible.

As for "in the same price range" you can print a hand, and buy all of the bolts and lines, etc., for under $50. Commercial prosthetics are $10-50K. Volunteers and 3D printing is _much_ cheaper.

Re:We already knew this (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#46751141)

Printing a mold and then casting in an appropriate material isn't exactly super expensive either. I fail to understand why the biggest complaints about 3d printing are material when you can just cast in any material. The expensive part is always creating the mold.

Re:We already knew this (1)

lgw (121541) | about 5 months ago | (#46751289)

Well, assuming you can print the mold in some material that's at all suitable for the material you want. Come to think of it, if you had the patience and materials to do a lost-wax casting, you could do a whole lot more.

Re:We already knew this (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 5 months ago | (#46752403)

I can't understand why there hasn't been a huge drive towards development of 3d printers using wax as the printing material.

Personally, I think that would be the most useful on a homestead. Coupled with a clay printer of course, for precision manufacture of ceramics. So that covers metal, plastic, glass, ceramic.

Re:We already knew this (1)

laird (2705) | about 5 months ago | (#46755239)

Actually, 3D printing in wax is routine in jewelry and dentistry, because it's a great material for casting. It's not a consumer technology, so it's not covered in the mainstream press, but those guys LOVE 3D printing. The machines are $5K and up, as they're sold as a business/industrial product, not consumer.

For the home 3D printers, it's quite common to use the "lost wax" method, but using PLA instead of wax.

Re:We already knew this (1)

laird (2705) | about 5 months ago | (#46755227)

We're making a lot of progress on that front - there are many people using 3D printed prosthetics in daily use now, and extremely happy with them. (http://enablingthefuture.org has tons of pics). And as 3D printing materials continue advancing, things keep improving. Taulman3D's Bridge, for example, is easy to print with and nearly indestructible.

That being said, I wouldn't argue that a $50 3D printed prosthetic is better than a $10-50,000 commercially made prosthetic. But what I would say is that it's $50, which means that it's a viable option for millions of people. And that's a BIG DEAL!

Good for him (5, Interesting)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#46750885)

Anything to bring down the scandalously high prices of some of these medical gizmos. Next, glasses. Hearing aids.

Re:Good for him (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750983)

For glasses, I use Zenni optical. Lots of decent frames under $30 delivered.
I just started needing glasses and was appalled at how expensive they can be. Granted I might care more if I were wearing them all day, but I've been happy with Zenni & because they're so cheap I can keep a pair of prescription sunglasses in the car, etc.

Re:Good for him (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#46751073)

Well, look (ha!) no further than the egregious monopoly exerted by Luxottica and the equally corrupt professional associations in your jurisdiction making sure that the prices stay high.

Re:Good for him (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46750993)

I can't help wondering if buying a saw with better safety features would have been a wiser investment though.

Re:Good for him (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#46751031)

I can't help wondering if buying a saw with better safety features would have been a wiser investment though.

Like what? Toothless blades?

There's only so many safety features you can work into a tool before it's no longer useful (see: every discussion about DRM-ed guns, like, ever).

Aside from that, accidents involving circular saws aren't the only reason people need prosthetics.

Re:Good for him (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46751107)

There is something called "SawStop" that very rapidly stops the blade and, in the case of a table saw, pulls it down out of the way before it can do serious damage. The trigger is some kind of capacitative sensing I think. The moment the blade touches skin it stops. There are videos on YouTube if you are interested.

Re:Good for him (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 5 months ago | (#46751325)

The problem is that this solution isnt really commercially viable. Sure you will get some shops using it to reduce their safety liability vector, but for the most part its just too expensive. Each stop costs SIGNIFICANT($70+) replacement costs and it false stops more than an acceptable amount.

It could be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46751437)

The problem is that this solution isnt really commercially viable.

Those saws run about $1500.00US compared to average $500.00 US for a saw without the tech: Ridgid, DeWalt, Bosch, Makita.

It could be viable if the power tool industry wasn't such assholes. [salon.com]

If the other companies licensed the tech, the price could come down significantly. But unfortunately, the lawyers have convinced management that it would be a bad idea.

Re:It could be. (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 5 months ago | (#46751859)

There's a whole spectrum of prices in table saws. Do a search for Delta Unisaw, and you'll see what I mean. It might be worth making a determination of the value of the the Saw Stop saw apart from the stopping technology before picking another table saw for comparison. The reviews I've read suggest they're rather well made. Personally, I'd rather have a panel saw (where the blade faces away from me) than a table saw, but those are even more expensive.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46752875)

Where do you get your information? I have a SawStop. I have never triggered the safety system. I was quite concerned about that so I did a lot of research before I bought it. I only found a few people who had ever had a false positive with the braking system. All of them admitted it was their own fault. None of them made that mistake again.

Re:Good for him (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 5 months ago | (#46751341)

Saw Stop is a brand of table saw. Unfortunately, it's not really a modification you can apply to a saw you already own.

Re:Good for him (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#46751447)

Yep, and unfortunately it seems to be patented to the hilt so anyone who can't afford one will just have to risk losing a few fingers until other manufacturers are allowed to do their own versions.

Re:Good for him (1)

redlemming (2676941) | about 5 months ago | (#46762133)

Yep, and unfortunately it seems to be patented to the hilt so anyone who can't afford one will just have to risk losing a few fingers until other manufacturers are allowed to do their own versions.

Presumably, few patent lawyers use power tools, so as a group they have no incentive to do anything about a patent system that -- by limiting access to safety technology -- contributes to people getting crippled for life in the workplace (or at home).

In ethics terms, the problem here has a name: "conflict of interest".

There is a conflict between coming up with a sensible patent system that works to the benefit of humanity (or deciding to have no patent system), and coming up with a system that makes lots of money for patent attorneys.

Every legal professional working in the area of patent law has the choice to speak up about this ethics issue (which is just one of many affecting the patent system), or simply say nothing and -- presumably -- make lots of money. Silence, apparently, is golden.

Even if we suppose that -- someday -- one of the children of one of these lawyers gets badly hurt using a power tool, that still won't be sufficient to fix the patent system. That single individual is likely to change their attitude regarding the ethics and morality of the patent system, certainly. But one lawyer recognizing that a problem exists can do nothing when the majority is corrupt.

Re:Good for him (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#46751345)

There is something called "SawStop" that very rapidly stops the blade and, in the case of a table saw, pulls it down out of the way before it can do serious damage.

Yes.

It's also one-time-use, and destroys both your table and blade. Still, a far sight better than losing a couple flanges, assuming one can even afford a SawStop equipped table - I've yet to find one for less than $1,400, whereas a comparable table without SawStop would cost a fraction of that.

And, of course, such a system doesn't work with non-table-mounted equipment, like handheld circular and reciprocating saws.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46752987)

Yes.

It's also one-time-use, and destroys both your table and blade. Still, a far sight better than losing a couple flanges, assuming one can even afford a SawStop equipped table - I've yet to find one for less than $1,400, whereas a comparable table without SawStop would cost a fraction of that.

And, of course, such a system doesn't work with non-table-mounted equipment, like handheld circular and reciprocating saws.

It does not destroy the table! It destroys the brake ($70) and the blade ($10-$100).

SawStop makes very high quality saws. I challenge you to find a comparable saw for less than $1000.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46751115)

They make table saws that will stop rotating and drop the saw below the table the instant it comes in contact with meat. It happens so fast that the cut is only a fraction of an inch deep. I've seen demos done with hot dogs. Google "saw stop" for videos.

Re:Good for him (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46758955)

Instant stop? You can stick your finger into the blade at full speed and it will stop before it breaks the skin.

Both my table and chop saw have it, and I have all my digits in full working order, which is important for someone who uses their fingers all day long (Software engineer)

Re:Good for him (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 5 months ago | (#46759285)

Instant stop? You can stick your finger into the blade at full speed and it will stop before it breaks the skin.

There is such technology, known by its brand name as "SawStop," but A) it only works on table saws, B) adds at least a $1,000 premium to the cost of the machine, and C) is one-time-use - it destroys the blade and table if deployed (although, the fact that you can buy spare brake cartridges makes me think it doesn't completely destroy the table).

Better than nothing, but not really a feasible solution to the issue of people losing body parts to power tools.

Re:Good for him (2)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#46751063)

Beats me, but I always use a scrap of wood to push or guide my workpiece.

SawStop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46752691)

This company makes table saws exactly for this purpose (http://www.sawstop.com/), they are 2 - 3 times more expensive than traditional table saws. The saw will destroy itself to save your fingers.

Re:Good for him (1)

ve3oat (884827) | about 5 months ago | (#46751011)

Yes, please, especially hearing aids. Please! Please!

Re:Good for him (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#46751129)

Hearing aid are really hard to do correctly, and you can't have accurate, and a generic line at the same time.

That said, what is preventing you form trying to make a cheaper and better one?

Re:Good for him (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#46751157)

Um, the local "professional association" whose mandate is to "protect the public" from low prices?

Re:Good for him (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#46751663)

Sounds like an excuse to me.
You don't need approval to build prototypes.
If you can should you can make a reliable, well functioning, person hearing aid cheaper, you can get investors.

Re:Good for him (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#46753065)

And pray tell, how will you make money selling these devices? Surely the investors will want a return? The moment you sell them, you'll have the full force of the audiologist's association in your area against you, and they'll have the weight of the government to enforce it. Or they'll force you to sell them at the same price as all the others.... And now you're back to square 0.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46753957)

You can't argue with him. He's a libertarian. He thinks freedumb and the free market will solve everything and the blindingly obvious flaws you point out are just because you aren't trying hard enough. Shame on you! Yank those bootstraps harder next time slacker!

Re:Good for him (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | about 5 months ago | (#46756297)

LOL OK. Got it. Makes his sig doubly delicious.

Re:Good for him (1)

mt1955 (698912) | about 5 months ago | (#46751195)

re: hearing -- to keep this from coming across as an ad or spam I encoded it just a little but I'm sure you'll get it; I just got my first one a couple of months ago for less than $250 from a site with same name as a big famous river in South America. If you go there (the site, not the river) search for Tweak Hearing Focus Model. Small design, smart electronics, works great and real people at the seller actually answer the phone if you have questions or need anything. Like all super heroes these do have one vulnerability -- water -- so if you get them keep them dry.

Re:Good for him (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46751087)

I think DIY is the only option for bringing down the price, thanks to heavy regulation of anything medical produced commercially, as well as liability concerns.

Re:Good for him (1)

brunes69 (86786) | about 5 months ago | (#46752033)

Hearing aids are still crazy overpriced, but perscription glasses can be easily purchased online for $10 or even for free. Before I got my LASIK a few years ago I got a new pair two of glasses for free every few months using coupon codes from Goggles4U or clearly contacts.

FDA approval (1)

p51d007 (656414) | about 5 months ago | (#46753335)

You think the multiBillion dollar a year prosthetic field, along with the doctors that perform the operations will "allow" people to use their own computers, printers etc to have DIY hands, limbs etc to flood the market? Hey, if someone wants to do this, more power to them...but you know there have to be lobbyist flooding DC with their billions, stuffing corrupt politicians to put a halt to this "dangerous" idea of 3-D printing.

In USA they will call you Communist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750959)

How he dares giving something as Open Source. It killing local business, children will go home hungry, Congressman will not get his bribe.
How he dares go against of fundamentals of USA: killing, grabbing others' resources and spitting on the rest of the world.

God Bless America and Burn the Rest of the World

I'm surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46750961)

he didn't replace his hand with a chainsaw.

What A Beautiful Idea (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#46751061)

But I think an image of the guy the parent ariticle is about would be better than showing a child with challenged DNA.

Re:What A Beautiful Idea (1)

thelexx (237096) | about 5 months ago | (#46755663)

Liam had Amniotic Band Syndrome happen to that hand. Nothing to do with genetics. As the parent of child with a similar condition, thank you for confirming my fears as to how she will be perceived by people. :(

Re:What A Beautiful Idea (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#46760279)

As a parent myself, I can say my children are more understanding than I am. I'm very proud of that. I tell my children, "If you have a problem, own it; in front of everyone." It's the only parenting that they seem to consider. I hope you have more luck.

Hand-y way to fix the problem (1)

TravisAna (1872192) | about 5 months ago | (#46751143)

Should it read: 'Handyman losses hand and handily makes new one'?

Re:Hand-y way to fix the problem (4, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 5 months ago | (#46751163)

Handyman give medical prosthesis companies the finger.

Anyone remember the Carpenter who barfed to death? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46751145)

Got herself a ticket to ride all right. No more rainy days and Mondays for her. But is that suicide? Suicides are a weird, weird thing. On a darker note, Slashdot continues beta to make some think of suicide. Yeah, that bad.

Price of prosthetics (1)

captaindomon (870655) | about 5 months ago | (#46751175)

The outrageous price of prosthetics from traditional medical companies is due to inelasticity of demand (the medical insurance company usually pays for them, not the consumer, and fingers are important) and also willingness to pay (for the percentage copays, the patient is happy to pay their portion normally because fingers are important to have). This is an economics issue, folks, not a materials engineering issue.

What's left to say? (2)

JockTroll (996521) | about 5 months ago | (#46751225)

Groovy.

Re:What's left to say? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 5 months ago | (#46752167)

Could you primitive screwheads stop dropping quotes?

So, he's not a complete idiot... (1)

jjb3rd (1138577) | about 5 months ago | (#46751263)

But how did he sketch out the idea?

Better to make a hand extension for dangerous work (4, Interesting)

Big_Breaker (190457) | about 5 months ago | (#46751335)

Once the fingers are lost, no prosthetic will be as good as the original. Why not let a "prosthetic" hand take the injury in the first place? As a bonus you have the intact, unmaimed hand to drive the actuators on the device. Use the sacrificial hands for dangerous work around saws and such. It could be like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Toysmith-833-12-Robot-Hand-18/dp/B000ID1DU0

But better... If it was good enough people would use it out of habit. Old school special effects guys used cable setups to animate puppets in live action scenes, sometimes down to the individual fingers.

waldo's (1)

tleaf100 (2020038) | about 5 months ago | (#46751539)

their called waldo's robert heinlien story. waldo and magic inc.

Re:Better to make a hand extension for dangerous w (2)

petermgreen (876956) | about 5 months ago | (#46751659)

But better... If it was good enough people would use it out of habit.

Unfortunately all attempts at making remote manipulation devices both mechanical and electronic have resulted in things that are far more cumbersome than using your hands directly. The human arm and hand is an amazingly good maniupulator with extremely good feedback so it can grasp something firmly without damaging it.

There is usually a way to clamp the workpeice and keep your fingers out of harms way but it's slower and more cumbersome than just holding it and people have a nasty habit of getting overconfident in the own ability to not slip up.

Re:Better to make a hand extension for dangerous w (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 5 months ago | (#46753323)

Why not let a "prosthetic" hand take the injury in the first place?

Yes, it's called a push stick. It takes about five minutes to make one.

Re:Better to make a hand extension for dangerous w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46753699)

You insensitive clod! I lost my finger making a a push stick!

Re:Better to make a hand extension for dangerous w (1)

Big_Breaker (190457) | about 5 months ago | (#46755441)

I know about push sticks but sometimes you need more dexterity. Also people will accidentally reach for something reflexively, through distraction or fatigue, and hurt themselves even when a push stick or whatever is nearby. -- I was going to say handy but didn't want to make a pun.

Re:Better to make a hand extension for dangerous w (1)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46759023)

Why not let a "prosthetic" hand take the injury in the first place?

Because

Once the fingers are lost, no prosthetic will be as good as the original.

The answer to your question is the reason you're asking the question in the first place.

giving the finger to prostetic companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46751515)

he is a winner

Breaking news, headline update (1)

AdamWill (604569) | about 5 months ago | (#46752177)

Carpenter Who Cut Off His Fingers Makes "Robohand" With 3-D Printer, Cuts Off Other Fingers With 3-D Printer

For some reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46752197)

I read the title and think that somehow he cuts off his finger using a 3D printer...

Tony Iommi... (1)

Guest316 (3014867) | about 5 months ago | (#46752483)

...has been doing this for decades already. Except he melts down plastic bottles and pads the fingertips with leather cut from an old jacket.

Re:Tony Iommi... (1)

pslytely psycho (1699190) | about 5 months ago | (#46754119)

careful now, our age is showing.......

This is the simple story of... (1)

Roxoff (539071) | about 5 months ago | (#46754669)

...a carpenter that used his talents to heal the maimed and bring joy to the world.

It kinda rings a bell... have we heard this before?

If you want to help... (1)

laird (2705) | about 5 months ago | (#46755269)

If you want to help with enabling people to 3D print prosthetics at home, a group actively working on it is e-NABLE (http://enablingthefuture.org). There are numerous open source designs, and lots of people using them and providing feedback. We have Google Hangouts (https://plus.google.com/u/1/communities/102497715636887179986) on various topics several times a week (there's an R&D group working on the mechanisms, there's a group building a web site so that people can put in their measurements and get parts out scaled to exactly fit them, etc.). There are 600+ people in the community now, and there are tons of projects that people can contribute to. There's a map of volunteers (http://www.zeemaps.com/pub?group=609826&legend=1&geosearch=1&search=1&locate=1&list=1&shuttered=1&add=1) so if you need a hand, or you want to help others print parts, etc., you can find volunteers near you.

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