Airing this Tuesday, June 18, on NPR’s All Tech Considered and on NPR.org’s website, will be a feature on Robohand, the amazing story of a mechanical hand printed with a MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer. The hand was designed for those who have lost or were born without fingers. The original concept and design was created by a two-man team separated by 10,000 miles: Ivan Owen, a prop master from Washington State, and Richard Van As, a master carpenter from Johannesburg, South Africa.
As part of the Robohand Project, one of MakerBot’s lead designers, Michael Curry, worked with Rich and Ivan to refine the assembly instructions. Together, they were able to make the assembly easier and make a derivative Robohand almost entirely 3D printed without hardware. While Michael’s snap-together version might not be quite as durable as the original Robohand, it is pretty amazing. Moreover, Michael Curry’s version demonstrates the power of 3D printing and the 3D printing community who work together to make lives a little better. You can check it out on Thingiverse.
“The goal of this is to be a point of departure for experimentation,” says Michael Curry. “I want to see designers create better, more ambitious Robohands.” Check your local listings for the show’s airtime on a NPR station near you.