3D printing is not just about making trinkets and toys. It has really important applications and none more so than in healthcare and medicine.
Marc Petrykowski is a student at Creighton University in Nebraska, designing and producing 3D printed prosthetic hands. Each hand is fully customised for the individual and this where 3D printing really comes into its own. Both in terms of speed and the cost of manufacture.
Marc has been designing 3D printed hands since October last year. Everything he does is about improving the functionality and appearance of the device for those needing a replacement hand. The other great thing about this project at the University is that each hand is designed and made for FREE.
Marc says “the material cost for each hand varies but it is usually in the range of $50-200 per hand. It is basically nothing when compared to the next cheapest device. Those made in a traditional manner, cost upwards of $15,000. The benefits of 3D printing are so evident not just on an individual cost but when producing hundreds or eventually thousands of these hands. It is no longer about money but a question of getting the right design and people in need knowing about this 3D printing project. In fact it gets better. An average prothesis device for the upper limbs is even more expensive ($50,000-100,000- after insurance) so we are making a huge difference to many people in unfortunate circumstances.”
Marc is also an enthusiastic 3D printer designing other specialist items. Recently he designed a weight lifting prothesis. The prosthetic hand was first made out of metal at his dad’s hot rod fabrication shop which took many hours. After testing the device he recreated it on a 3D printer. The hand is quite special with nothing like it on the market. So much so that he has just had a patent approved for it.
If you would like further details about the FREE service for 3D printed prosthetic hands, Marc can be contacted at petrykowski.marc(at)gmail.com. You can also HELP Marc with his studies as a student by purchasing one of his other creative designs (nothing to do with prosthetics), hiring him for a custom job or sponsoring this page about a nice 3D print he recently designed.