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Flexy-Finger Prosthesis

by Gyrobot Oct 15, 2015
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Could you make your design so that the customizer can adjust the finger dimensions? or post the .csg files so they can be adjusted?

Hi, the finger itself was designed in Meshmixer so no customizer option can exist. You can easily scale in xy and/or z in your slicing software or do a Deform > Soft Transform with an appropriate falloff value in the free Meshmixer software.

Are the measurements done in Millimeters?

Hi, please could you explain how to use the small hexagons on the bracer? Are they supposed to fit inside the bracer itself?



Have you seen my company's KickStarter Page? It's for a new class of 3D printing material that can be used to make custom fit devices (like your prosthetic finger) that can be molded to a person's anatomy and "lock in" the new shape.


Let me know if your are interested. I am considering a few part demo's for the website and would be open to suggestions if you have any for me to try.

  • Jason

So you are basically thermoforming which has been happening with PLA (and Filaflex) for quite a while now. Is there anything specific to your filament that makes it unique?

Maybe you could try this : with a flexible filament upper (eg Filaflex) and your filament for the lower. It is however printed upside down : http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:794288

Flexy-Form Insole - Customizable
by Gyrobot


From what I can gather our material has a few advantages over the typical PLA material:

1.) PLA appears to be brittle around room temperature and exhibits very little stretch. Our material is not brittle and is capable of significant strain before failure. Engineering data comparing the two materials can be seen here: http://plastics.ulprospector.com/generics/34/c/t/polylactic-acid-pla-properties-processing and http://www.crgrp.com/rd-center/essemplex-thermoplastic-shape-memory-polymer

2.) Our company can tailor the forming temperature of our material over a wide range, so there exists potential to form materials below body temperature, just over body temperature, etc. as opposed to boiling water (preventing burn risk). Also, when forming our material it is not actually melting, but rather some thermally reversible molecules allow for shape change and recovery when subjected to heat.

3.) Our material can process at a variety of temperatures meaning it can be co-printed with higher temperature plastics such as ABS. Unlike traditional flexible filaments our material is generally rigid at room temperature meaning you don't have as many issues printing with it on consumer grade printers.

I am sure each material is good for a sub-set of applications considering $, functionality, etc. but thought I would post this as an alternate option for people in this community. Hopefully time will help highlight the advantages here over conventional materials such as PLA or flexible filaments.

Being an active member of e-NABLE, thermoforming has been a revelation in producing cheap 3D printed custom fit "prosthetics". There is a trade off choosing PLA between it's "safe" low glass transitioning temperature (about 60deg C, not boiling water) and the fact that the that hands can soften if left in a car on a hot sunny day. A higher glass transition temperature is preferred for hot climate durability but not during the patient custom forming stage.

Can you see a way to safety address this conflicting requirement by maybe using a variant of your material?

FWIW, I also use PolyMax PLA which is many times stronger than standard PLA but yet still thermoformable : http://www.polymaker.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/PolyMax-PLA_TDS-v1.pdf



I can talk with some of our chemists and material scientists to see what we have in previous developments. I know the one advantage shape memory polymers (SMPs) have over other materials is the rapid reduction in modulus (stiffness) in a narrow temperature range. This means you should have to heat the material less above the Tg to allow for reconfiguration, but still ensure the material is stiff at the max temperatures you expect to see in operation.


Steve, this design is very nice. Did you design it in OpenSCAD? If so, would it be possible to get the .scad files so I can make adjustments?

Very cool design. I like how it combines several design/techniques that I have seen before with a few original ones of your own to create something unique. Designs like this are what I enjoy about Thingiverse.

What is the use of the reinforcement ring?


"The reinforcing ring may or may not be of use, depending on how well the prosthesis fits the residual finger. The ring will help stop the flexible side walls of the prosthesis from collapsing when the tendon is pulled."