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3D Printed "spiderhand"

Shared by Ana Duarte on 2015-10-15 14:17

About the solution

“I saw the immediate help I could provide to a friend. One of my football teammates, who is also my best friend’s brother, suffered a spinal injury a few years ago and he has been struggling to regain hand function ever since. One of the most memorable experiences, and a major motivation for this project, was when I went to give him a friendly handshake to say hello and all he could do was lift up his hand to offer a fist bump”, said Levy.

Carrying over from research done last summer on tenodesis motion, which uses the flex and extension of the wrist as a mechanism for moving and curling the fingers, Levy wanted to create a device that would help a user to pick up an object that they would not otherwise have the strength to grasp. In an interview with 3DPrint.com, Levy explained the approach to his design:

“Just by watching my wrist move up and down, I noticed that the distance between my forearm and first joint on my finger decreased as I lifted my wrist up. This got me thinking that maybe I could ‘push’ the fingers down with a rod attaching straight from my wrist to my fingers. I made a quick mock up in SolidWorks and printed it out within a few hours (oh the wonders of 3D printing!). After I proved my theory, I dove into the design.”

Levy established three parameters for his design: customizable, comfortable, and low profile.

This type of assistive prosthetic could be extremely helpful to anyone who is suffering from diminished mobility in their hands. Levy envisions those who have suffered from a stroke as being particularly aided by the use of a device such as his. Stroke victims or those who have suffered spinal injuries often heal from their torsos out. In other words, they regain movement in their shoulders first, then elbows, followed by wrists and last in their fingers. Many never recover full use of their fingers and it is exactly this issue that Levy hopes to address with his device, as he says: “there are two main uses for this design. The first is a functional use, where the device will enable a person to grasp an object they otherwise did not have the finger strength to pick up. The second is for at home rehabilitation use, where the person will wear the device and repeat the wrist motion many times over. This repetitive rehabilitation is based on the idea of neuroplasticity, where repetitive assisted motion will generate new connections in the brain and eventually allow the person to move their limbs unassisted.”

Adapted from: http://3dprint.com/83807/spiderhand-mobility-assist/

More info: http://supersam331.github.io/

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Daniel Levy, from UK, is a student and a member of a research team from Lehigh University that works on the development of exoskeleton devices aimed at different aspects of physical rehabilitation. The Spiderhand, a 3D printed device, was developed because Levy wanted to help hist football teammate.

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