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Robohand’s cheap 3D-printed leg is set to revolutionize prosthetics

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posted on May, 21 2014 @ 04:43 AM
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Historically, prosthetic body parts have been hard to come by for many patients around the world. To lower and widen availability, a team of people from around the globe have teamed up to create 3D-printable prosthetics under the name “Robohand.” While the initial focus was on hands and fingers, the team has now set their sights on offering a 3D-printable leg at a fraction of the cost of traditional prosthetics. If the prototypes are successful, this low-cost solution could give thousands of amputees the ability to walk again.

Robohand’s cheap 3D-printed leg is set to revolutionize prosthetics





Excellent to see 3d printing techniques being used for such a good cause. The possibilities for this technology really are endless. And the fact that this technology will one day help amputees from all walks of life and not just a select few is another feather in the cap!


Now if we could only stop laying landmines everywhere that would indeed be an achievement!
edit on 21-5-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:38 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

This is awesome. I love that you can make just about anything with a 3d printer. S&F



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:45 AM
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My rational mind gets that it's science and engineering - but 3D printing still *feels* like magic or science fiction/fantansy to me. It's just mind blowing.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

Starred! [I will Flag asap!]


Wow! This is excellent news!


It seems that 3d printing has gotten itself a solid footing to work from and that prosthetics in general just took a very big leap forward! [puns intended]


Cheers!



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 11:00 AM
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Landmines can probably be 3D printed also, along with a lot of other things that probably won't be used for the greater good.

Gotta take the good with the bad I guess.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: MyHappyDogShiner

I think it is worth pointing out that you can already make land mines using pretty much old containers, bits of recycled wire, and that the process of constructing cases and mechanisms for them is easy enough that using a three dimensional printer to do it, would be like using an argon laser to heat your tea or coffee, despite the availability of a kettle.

However, creating a prosthetic limb involves specific measurements, customised to the length of the users remaining limb, or their missing ones in the case of a double loss. Each one, has to be created to the specific needs of the user. This means that every limb created would be just a little different than the one that came before it, and the one which comes after.

The reason three dimensional printing is such a wonderful technique to use to build prostheses, is that the materials are formed into those specific measurements and it allows the production process to be industrialised, while retaining the ability to fill the individual requirements of the end user. A land mine however, well the customisations for those are not as extensive. The case can remain largely the same, but different charges can be placed within it, fragmentation elements added, but again, these are not elements which using a three dimensional printing process can assist with.

In short, the reason three dimensional printing of anything from a mechanical limb, to a brand new trachea (I am not kidding, a three dimensionally printed replacement trachea was fitted to a British woman either this year, or the end of last year I think) is so amazing, is that these are things which require every unit created to be just a little different than every other unit produced by the same methods, and allows the industrialisation of the process of constructing those units.

Previously, industrialised processes have been largely uniform. You get one machine or factory, which cranks out tens of thousands of something, but all those finished products are pretty much identical, and would have to be customised later according to the users preferences and desires, and cars a are a great example. Millions roll of the production lines of the motor industry, globally, every year. Every model of a particular car is made of the same exact components, with the same measurements, panel gap allowances, tension resistance, the lot.

With three dimensional printing, every component, and every finished product, leaves the manufacturing line pre-worked to the requirements of the end user, meaning that for the first time in history, the production of very intricately customised objects, can be industrialised, and finished articles produced with the minimum of post production tinkering, and with the minimum of lead time. Used to be that the time between someone needing a prosthetic limb, and actually getting one that worked for them was quite extensive.

With this method, those lead times between need, and availability of a suitable limb, are going to DRASTICALLY decrease, which will improve the quality of recipients lives, far more quickly, and allow them a freedom of movement that perhaps they find difficult to attain using alternative methods of getting around. Also, the speed and ease of the manufacturing process, will result in more affordable limbs, since all the fine adjustments which used to cost the time and the money, will be virtually non-existent.

With regard to limb loss, and limb acquisition, and the three dimensional printing techniques affect on both, I would say that if you weigh it up, the process improves the state of prosthesis availability, far more than it improves peoples access to land mines.



edit on 21-5-2014 by TrueBrit because: Spelling and grammar corrections.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: MyHappyDogShiner

This is also very true, then again has Man ever invented a form of production process that has not been applied to warfare in one fasion or another throughout recorded history? Probably not.

edit on 21-5-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 01:03 PM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
My rational mind gets that it's science and engineering - but 3D printing still *feels* like magic or science fiction/fantansy to me. It's just mind blowing.


That's how I see it. When I read a story like this i'm waiting for the end of the article to say "In the future we hope this becomes a reality".

This is happening now though. Amazing, it truely is.
edit on 21-5-2014 by rhynouk because: Spelling



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 02:20 PM
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a reply to: kosmicjack

"My rational mind gets that it's science and engineering - but 3D printing still *feels* like magic or science fiction/fantansy to me. It's just mind blowing."

It does blow the mind to a fashion and I suppose in a way it is magic when one considers any form of sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Taken to its logical conclusion, they may eventually be able to print organic tissue, never mind prosthetic leg, think brand new leg, heart, arm, kidney or any other body part for that matter.


Printing organic tissue is a few decades away i imagine but the possibilities!
edit on 21-5-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 02:25 PM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
My rational mind gets that it's science and engineering - but 3D printing still *feels* like magic or science fiction/fantansy to me. It's just mind blowing.


Want your mind blown further?

3D Printer Build House In 10 days.

A bit off topic, but if we can manage large scale 3D projects like a house, than this sort of stuff is going to become MUCH MUCH more common.

A revolution indeed. Bringing manufacturing back into the home.

~Tenth



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 05:04 PM
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I would not be surprised if a company like Stryker or Zimmer buys them out as this will change how both of them currently produce prosthetics and replacements.



posted on May, 21 2014 @ 08:03 PM
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Taken to its logical conclusion, they may eventually be able to print organic tissue, never mind prosthetic leg, think brand new leg, heart, arm, kidney or any other body part for that matter.


Printing organic tissue is a few decades away i imagine but the possibilities!


scientist are building a 3d heart



posted on May, 22 2014 @ 03:00 AM
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originally posted by: kosmicjack
My rational mind gets that it's science and engineering - but 3D printing still *feels* like magic or science fiction/fantansy to me. It's just mind blowing.


I know what you mean. A buddy of mine bought himself a Makerbot recently ($3000 3d printer) and I happen to have a background in 3d modeling. Suffice it to say, my desk is now littered with a bunch of items I built on a computer and then printed into existence.



posted on May, 22 2014 @ 06:27 AM
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a reply to: Aazadan

Something I have been pondering. If they ever manage to build a 3d printer capable of reproducing another 3d printer, would that not essentially be a type of Von Neumann machine?


en.wikipedia.org...
edit on 22-5-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:08 AM
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a reply to: andy06shake

Make them large, black, and rectangular, with a raitio of 1 : 4 : 9...

Man... I want that to happen!



posted on May, 22 2014 @ 07:40 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

"My God, it's full of stars!"


www.youtube.com...
edit on 22-5-2014 by andy06shake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2016 @ 12:56 PM
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a reply to: andy06shake

This is great! 3D printers have clearly made their way into medicine. Here's another inspiring story about a fully functional 3d printed prosthetic arm for a little girl.
edit on 5-1-2016 by StefL because: (no reason given)



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