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Rice University students develop force-testing device for 3D printed prosthetic hands – 3ders.org (blog)

by • April 13, 2016 • No Comments

Apr 14, 2016 | By Tess
Perhaps one of the many inspirational new uses of 3D printing has been the development and creation of a number of custom fitted 3D printed prosthetic hands for children with disabilities. The global community of makers who have dedicated themselves, through the e-NABLE network, to turn it intoing and 3D printing prosthetic hands, have changed a number of young lives for the advantageous, that include that of fourth grader Peyton Andry, who newly attained a 3D printed hand of the organization. To assist additional advance the high end of the 3D printed prosthetic hands that are being turn it intod by maker volunteers and to ensure their ease of use for those wearing them, a team of students of the Rice University in Houston, Texas have turn it intod a force-testing device that is capable of measuring how efficient the 3D printed hand is.

The research team, that has appropriately dubbed itself “Carpel Diem”, is turn it intod up of two mechanical engineers, Rachel Sterling and Amber Wang, two bioengineering leadings, Nicolette Chamberlain-Simon and Michaela Dimoff, and desktop engineering leading Nirali Desai. Together, they first set out to turn it into their own 3D printed hand prosthetic but soon accomplished that what was perhaps additional necessary was a way to test existing turn it intos, to determine their efficacy and ease of use.
As Amber Wong explains, “Children born without full hands are forced to adapt to the world and figure out how to go of their daily routines. If a prosthetic hand is not ideally
ideal in its function, the child can most likely discard it and return to his or her own adaptive ways.”

To test the 3D printed prosthetics, the team of Rice University came up with a novel device that can test how efficiently force exerted by the wearer is transferred to the artificial hand’s own movement. Typically, the 3D printed hands are attached to the wearer who can control the prosthetic finger movements, instructing them to grab or hold objects by moving their wrist in a sure way. How much effort is necessary to get a 3D printed hand to grip or hold, yet, depends entirely on its turn it into.
“If a kid has to put in five pounds of force to only get one pound of grip, that is a lot of lost efficiency for the reason of how these hands are turn it intoed,” says Rachel Sterling. “Until we reach a force efficiency of 100 percent, the hands aren’t going to be useful.”

The force-testing device consists of a motorized wrist and palm rig that is capable of moving up to 60 degrees in any way, a number of objects, such as a cylinder, a sphere, and a rectangular prism that are equipped with force sensors, and a user friendly control program. Working with the control program, the movement of the mechanical wrist can be set that in turn moves the hand and fingers of the 3D printed prosthetic hand. By moving the wrist rig, the 3D printed hand can pick up the sensor embedded objects, that can and so determine details of force durablity and distribution.
These types of testing devices are not common fare inside the 3D printed prosthetic hand industry, as Nirali Desai explains, “The industry standards for testing these kinds of devices are not quite well built. We had to get quite creative of how we were going to test the accuracy and precision of our device.”

Carpal Diem is hoping that their force-testing device can go on to be turn it intod and ultimately be turn it intod on the market to volunteers at e-NABLE so that they can easily 3D print and test prototypes for various prosthetic hand turn it intos. Eventually, they are actually hoping to provide makers with the specifications necessary to turn it into their quite own testing devices, so that no 3D printed prosthetic hand can be unsuitable.
The testing device, that was turn it intod as part of a senior capstone turn it into project, can be on display at the University’s Engineering Design Showcase, and can actually have the accident to win a prize of up to $5,000.

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