Evan Kuester, a digital fabrication graduate student, didn’t feel completely fulfilled by his coursework. He worked through his studies, but wasn’t necessarily making the impact that he had hoped. After noticing a female student on campus without a hand, he decided to put his education to good use.
In pursuit of his Masters Degree, the California College of the Arts student had the ability to utilize some seriously powerful modeling and printing tools. He immediately knew this was a situation were he could take full advantage of his surroundings. “I’ve always wanted to design a prosthetic arm for as long as I can remember so the contest was the push I needed to finally make one,” Evan told the Daily Mail.
After taking a series of pictures of his new friend Ivania’s arm, Evan devised a 3D model for a visually pleasing prosthetic. The tailored piece featured internal lighting, and as 3DPrint.com puts it, “was quite the attention grabber.” Due to the fragile and intricate nature of the hand, the Maker included a structural framework for further support within the device.
Upon Ivania’s initial use, Kuester noticed that there were several adjustments that needed to be made. He wanted to make the design less bulky and more feminine in appearance.
In his second attempt at creating a prosthetic, “The stability of the model has room for improvement, my first attempt was way to bulky and this one is a hair on the thin side and sacrifices some strength for its aesthetic,” Evan told MAKE Magazine. This time the 3D-printed piece was both feminine and beautiful in appearance.
Still, the arm is fully-functional and has allowed him to foster a friendship with Ivania. Evan plans to continue to work in 3D design and has a series of concept ideas available on his website.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a DIYer utilize Atmel enabled technologies to make an impact in someone’s life. Just recently, a $100 3D-printed design came to the rescue of a handyman who was able to regain some use of his hands following an accident which left him handicapped. Researchers continue to explore the use of 3D printing for body parts, particularly those in which come in contact with the body but don’t enter the bloodstream — these include teeth, hearing aid shells, and prosthetic limbs.