From the MAKE website [link] we now read that some design student by the name of Evan Kuester [link] came up with the coolest actual 3D prosthetic ever. We did see great prototypes that never made it to any amputee - but here, things are totally different. Here the design starts on an arm that wears it, and it does create the smiles such an arm is supposed to create.
First, a prototype of more massive proportions was attempted [link]. From June 2014:
A student designer has used a 3D printer to create an intricate prosthetic arm for one of his classmates, taking 45 hours to print it out. Evan Kuester, 23, made the arm for Ivania Castillo as part of a design competition at Savannah College, Georgia. Kuester decided to make the limb for 21-year-old Ivania, despite never having spoken to her before.
The MAKE website [link] now tells this story written by Caleb Kraft, August 2014:
Evan Kuester, like many students, found his course work to be less than inspiring. However, he did have access to some really cool tools, such as a large 3d printer that started his mind wandering. Evan had noticed a fellow student on campus a few times. The thing that he noticed was that she had no left hand. Knowing that he had a 3d printer at his disposal, Evan found the inspiration he needed to embark on something wonderful. One day he worked up the nerve to simply walk up and introduce himself and propose an idea: Why not 3D print an aesthetically pleasing prosthetic? From that point forward, Evan and Ivania Castillo have been friends. Evan designed this arm using Rhino with a plugin called Grashopper. He took pictures of Ivania’s arm and measured it in many places. He then began modeling something that would be both functional and pleasing to the eye. The final prosthetic was printed in ABS as a single piece and did require a support structure for that intricate frame work. Once the support structure was dissolved, it was ready to be worn. Ivania, the model and the photographer, says this version fits like a glove. When asked what improvements he would like to make if he ha the opportunity, Evan shared a bit of how much of a trial and error process it is. This is my second attempt at printing prosthesis and this time it came out much better than the first attempt. If I could do it again I would improve the design in every way possible. Ideally the hand moves and is fully functional, however I am limited by current technologies, so I am settling for an aesthetically pleasing prosthetic that celebrates the unique opportunity presented by the model. Speaking in 3D printing terms, the stability of the model has room for improvement, my first attempt was way to bulky and this one is a hair on the thin side and sacrifices some strength for its aesthetic. Evan will surely be producing some fantastic items moving forward. I know I’ll be keeping an eye on his website to see what he comes up with in his future endeavors.
And here are the images (C) Copyright artist / Caleb Kraft / Caters News Agency