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Boise State Students Produce Affordable Prosthetic Hand

By: Brady W Moore   Published 12:01 pm / April 10, 2017

Students in the Make It Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) have produced a prosthetic hand device, called Raptor, which is made inexpensively with 3-D printed materials. The decision to 3-D print the prosthetics makes them broadly accessible, especially for growing children whose size needs change regularly.

Alexander Schloss and Isaac Trussell show off their 3-D printed prosthetic hand.

Alexander Schloss and Isaac Trussell

Students Alexander Schloss, master of social work graduate student, Audrey Miller, undergraduate GIMM major, and Isaac Trussell, undergraduate mechanical engineering major, worked together to create their first successful prosthetic hand. Students in the Make It VIP collaborated with support from the College of Innovation and Design and faculty coach Amy Vecchione of Albertsons Library to print the design parts.

The Make It VIP team plans to continue printing the hand and improve the design. In addition they would like to establish a local E-Nable chapter of community members working to make the prosthetics, which will be used by someone in need.

The student team learned through trial and error the best printing settings, software, how to print with PLA and printer maintenance using two different 3-D printers from Albertsons Library.

The prosthetic design comes from E-Nable, a non-profit dedicated to producing free 3-D printed hands and arms for those in need of an upper limb assistive device. Individuals come together with E-Nable to create and design assistive hand devices for those in need. The designs are open source and can be downloaded and printed by anyone. To learn more about E-Nable, visit enablingthefuture.org.