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Robohand: Crowdfunding 3D Printed Prosthetics

photo of Kevin Flanagan

Kevin Flanagan
3rd September 2013


Robohand are into the last few days of their crowdfunding campaign. Please contribute what you can to this very worthwhile P2P project. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/sustaining-robohand

Robohand was established in 2011 when Richard van As had a woodworking accident and lost 4 fingers on his right hand. He is right handed.

During his very short time in the hospital he decided he would create himself a mechanical finger to replace his lost digits.

After researching prosthetcs it was apparent there was nothing available to replace his lost fingers and companies that were experimenting with finger prosthetics wanted exhorbitent amounts of money.

Richard then began his journey of developing his own finger. It all started in his garage with bits and pieces and many trips to the hardware store.

During his year long struggle and many prototypes later, he engaged with another gentleman in the USA and they collaborated together. They were donated two MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printers to assist with prototyping.

Things took off and soon Richard had finalised his Robofinger and created a mechanical hand. Between SA and the USA the file was scripted and the first Robohand was printed in 3D in SA!

The first hand was fitted to a 5 year old boy Liam who has come leaps and bounds with using his Robohand. This was done for free. Robohand has helped 4 children in total in South Africa with Robohands but we have run out of funding to continue to provide this device for free.

If you follow our Facebook page or our Blog you will be enthralled by the stories of the children that are now able to use BOTH of their hands.

Your funding will supply the necessary materials, like Orthoplastic/Thermoplastic, hardware for putting the hands together (nuts, bolts, bungi cord), rolls of PLA plastic for the 3D printer to print the actual hands, plastidip for the fingers, anodizing materials (like sulphuric acid, desmutting liquid, colourant/dye and distilled water) the time and committment from Rich to create these hands.

Robohand has been nominated for the Rockafella Innovators award as well as been given an opportunity to create a display in the Science Museum of London.

Your contribution will help aid the continuation of this project:

Initially to keep us going we are aiming to reach a goal of $10,000.
This is a humanitarian project and we are working on a “pay it forward” method.
We have been requested to present Robohand at Congress at the end of 2013 and your funding will help get us there.

The idea of Robohand is “Open Source” and the file is available for download from Thingiverse.com. Visit our blog at www.robohand.blogspot.com for more information or follow our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Robohand/260864887366912?ref=hl

Please share our story with your friends and family. Robofinger and Robohand are not only available to SA, but all over the world.

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