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Thumb Prosthesis

by GabrielaB Apr 13, 2017
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My father-in-law was in a construction accident. Where he cut his thumb off, at I guess would be the 2nd knuckle ( thumb joint ). There is a bit of a nub he can use. I have recently bought a 3D printer and my stepson mention making papa a thumb. I would like to discuss and design a prosthetic for him. I have an artist background and experience at designing.. when I get more time I would like to message you with ideas.

No problem. I could help you with some ideas or cad design, but the best feedback will come from your father-in-law.

If your father-in-law still have some of thumb and can move it you can built a fixed finger that only increase the length of his thumb (something like this https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:201023). You can mix it with some soft materias to increase the contact area (as an example I made a perforated 3D printing structure and cover it with silicone using a 3D printing mold https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1849852).

If he can't move the remaining of the thumb, or if the remaining thumb is too short, it would be difficult put something in the thumb (probably will fell). In that case, you can made something similar to this thumb (that cover part of the hand with a non slippery surface for enhance the grip). In this case you can also made a fixed thumb or a thumb that can move. The fixed thumb still works because the other fingers moves toward the thumb for gripping things. The moving thumb is a bit more complicated to use but it gives a higher range of grip.

My recommendation start by the simplest ideas, ask you father-in-law what are the most important things that he want to do with his thumb and start with that. Nothing will ever work as his real thumb, but the idea is give him a tool that can make his life easier :)

Please share your ideas and results.

Thumb prosthesis
Magnetic Thimble


Beautifully elegant design for creating a mechanical thumb prosthesis. I am currently working with an individual who had his left thumb amputated in a cooking accident. Though his hand is quite a bit bigger and wider than would work for these files. I need to move the thumb attachment more medially within the palm and make the guide path for the wire a bit bigger as well. Is there any way you can upload the .STEP or .IGUS files for the design so that I can make some re-work changes? I will of course share the changes once completed.

I made it on Solidworks, I uploaded a .rar file with all the files needed. If you need any extra help, please feel free to contact me.
Hope you can share your customization and told me how it work :)

Wonderful Gabriela! Thank you very much. This will be a really big help. I will let you know if the files work for me. I normally use Fusion360. I will definitely share the customization with you after I figure it out and fit it to my friend :)

Hey is there any videos of the build??

No, I don't have (Currently I'm not working with 3D printing, so I can't made one). But in "Thing details" your can find the assembling instructions.
If you build my prototype and you can share a building video would be great, or if you made a remix of my design please share it.

If you other question feel free to ask me.