South African engineers have taken another step towards assisting people living with disabilities, this time designing a cheaper prosthetic hand expected to be beneficial to the public health sector in the country. The team behind this 3D printed hand includes academic and mechanic engineer Dr George Vicatos and Master’s student Severin Tenim from the University of Cape Town (UCT).
The two engineers designed each of the parts making up the hand and organized for them to be 3D printed at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Although helpful, the major problem with the current prosthetics is that they are uncomfortable with limited functionality and most of them don’t respond in a natural way. With this one however, the scientists have made sure that you get a natural sense with each finger meaning amputees can now enjoy actual gripping action. Yes, this 3D printed hand has individually moving fingers. To top it off, it is cheaper to construct and reproduce.
The hand is currently being evaluated by medical experts but so far, it has been well received by people. According to the scientists, amputees will be able to perform everyday activities with this new affordable 3D printed hand. This will be of much help to those who have had to change their careers or stop working because they have lost one or in some cases, both hands.
The adoption of 3D printing has been at a steady growth currently, and we are excited to see such great technologies developed inorder to improve the livelihood of people. It’s a great step forward, we hope to see more of these initiatives for disabled people.