“If you’ve ever looked at prices for prosthetic arms, you may have noticed that they can cost upwards of $5000, with more advanced myoelectric controlled arms priced at over $20,000. Such prices are not ideal considering that over 80 percent of amputees are from developing countries where access to prosthetic limbs is limited by lack of health care and financial resources.
With 3D printing, however, we can create more cost-effective prosthetics that can better address the need of amputees. Some of the major advantages of 3D printing are rapid prototyping, customization of size, and the flexibility to replace parts by printing new ones. This project combines a 3D printed robotic arm from an open source project called InMoov with an Arduino compatible muscle sensor from Advancer Technologies. While this arm may not be as advanced as a $20,000 prosthetic limb, it is still a proof of concept that demonstrates the possibility of creating cost effective limbs that can provide comparable functionality at a fraction of the price. I also think it’s a cool project in general and one that can spur great interest for those who wish to work with prosthetics.
- 3D Printed Hand from InMoov
- Arduino Nano
- MyoWare Muscle Sensor
- Servo Motors (I used MG996R servos)
- 7.2 Volt Battery
- Fishing line
- Drill and sandpaper to enlarge openings and create a smooth finish
- Two-part plastic adhesive to glue 3D printed parts
- Wire stripper
- Electrical tape”