We’ve seen stories of people creating their own prosthetics in the past, but Leon McCarthy’s story is one that certainly is one of the most interesting as he and his father have been working together to not only build him a low-cost 3D-printed prosthetic, but to also modify the original design in order to create a new one when he outgrows the previous hand.
Leon McCarthy was born without fingers on one of his hands as a result of limited blood flow while he was in the womb, causing his hand to never fully develop. His father Paul McCarthy saw a video of a 3D-printed Robohand approximately two years ago, which began his search to create an inexpensive 3D-printed prosthetic. Once he found the 3D-printed prosthetic pattern that would fit his son’s hand, they both worked together to get Leon just the right fit.
As you’ll see in the video in this story, the 3D-printed prosthetic seems a bit crude, but it’s able to get the job done as Leon is able to grab and release many objects simply by flicking his wrist. A downward motion would close the fingers by creating cable tension, while moving the wrist upward opens the fingers back up.
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