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In Normandy, with a 3D printer, students produce prosthetic hands

2016/07/21

With a 3D printer, you can print pistols, pancakes, clothing ... Students from Caen (Calvados) preferred to create prosthetic hands for the disabled.

"The 3D printer, it's magic," is still surprised Anselme, a student at the Institute of business administration (IAE) in Caen (Calvados). In their mentored project of Master 1, Anselm and three other comrades, Jeanne, Thomas and Maxime have embarked on the creation of prosthetic hands 3D printed

It is Thomas who discovered this project with the E-nable Association says Anselme-Normandie news. At first, we impressed hands FabLab, a digital studio in the House of research and imagination of Caen. But, as it takes 30 hours to print a hand, it was complicated to book 3D printer

The four students, aged 22 to 24 years, then bought their own 3D printer with the help of the association of former students of IAE, for an amount of 580 euros. "We put some money in our pocket," added Anselm. They create their first hand plastic in early 2016 using the 3D drawings e-nable association. "We then went to present our hand prosthesis E-nable in Paris in February 2016 and we are now the" makers "of 3D hands," says the student Caen.
3D printers hand prostheses are not as developed as medical prostheses. The fingers are not independent, these prostheses function as pliers. But they cost less. "We can estimate the cost of a prosthetic hand made in 3D at 50 euros against several thousand euros for medical implants. And those that we create are free, "says Anselm.

The 3D printer in humanitarian service

It is now possible to use different materials in 3D printers. We use plastic rolls, but it is possible to use the metal to make weapons such as concrete for house construction and even living cells! Enumerates Anselm. We can manufacture almost anything. But the four students of the IAE prefer to put the 3D printer to humanitarian service. "We expect our first beneficiaries," says Anselm. According to the E-nable association, fifty French might need prosthetic hands.