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Watch It Made: Building a Mechanical Prosthetic Hand

Aug 14 2020

This engineer decided to give himself a hand.

Prostheses can be extremely expensive – there has been an increase in 3D printed prosthetics in the last several years to bring costs down for folks that need them. The cost especially high if you’re in need of a hand that includes operational fingers. Ian Davis aka Acme Works Fab is a mechanical engineer. Over the last year he’s been building himself a prosthetic left hand – he has a partial amputation that includes 4 fingers. He’s left hand dominant, so regaining use is a must. He put his engineering skills to work and started with an Arduino controlled prototype made of plastic last year.



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New and old

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This is the most recent iteration is metal based – the fingers open, close, and splay. He’s working on updates that will allow for individual finger movement and be able to hold on to things while having wrist movement.




As he’s built his own hand he’s filmed video series that teaches the basics of making your own prothesis, starting with custom molding the socket, building the circuit board, and machining gears. You can keep track of his progress on Youtube and Instagram.

The result has been well worth it for Davis.

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