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Student Creates Affordable 3D-printed Prosthetic Hand

Luke Cox's invention costs less than £20 and can be molded to fit most hands, potentially saving patients thousands of pounds.

A student born with no fingers has invented a prosthetic hand for less than £20 ($25) by using a 3D printer.

Luke Cox, 26, designed the artificial limb for his final-year project and said it could save patients and families thousands of pounds.

He was born with ectrodactyly, a rare congenital condition meaning he is missing several fingers on his right hand.

Prosthetic hands are extremely expensive, which inspired Luke to design a model which was affordable.

The Staffordshire University student built the hand using a 3D printer for just £19.97 ($25.36).

Luke, from Grantham, Lincs., said: “Growing up with a disability has made me a very determined and tenacious individual.

“Knowing what it’s like to grow up with a disability, you have that empathy.

“This has enhanced my problem-solving skills as I have been forced to learn how to complete certain tasks in unconventional manners.

“I’ve never let it hold me back; I always find a way to push forward.

“Top end prostheses, with electric devices that use muscle signals, can cost around £100,000 ($127K).

“Even the more basic body-actuated models can be up to about £4,000 ($5,000).”

Luke’s fake hand can be molded in hot water to help it fit the size and shape of most hands.

The fingers are also removable so they can be upgraded to a larger size while the user grows.

Luke added: “Children have to update their devices two times a year, which is quite expensive and it’s also quite wasteful.

“I’ve designed the prosthesis to have key features, like modularity, which means you can take the fingers off and swap the parts around.

Ruslan Petrov, a Ukrainian civilian soldier shows the hand during the press conference on June 6, 2023 in Turin, Italy. Four Ukrainian soldiers receive bionic prostheses for injuries sustained during the Ukrainian War project in collaboration with the Maria Adelaide Orthopedic Workshop and Superhumans Center. A student born with no fingers has invented a prosthetic hand for less than £20 ($25) by using a 3D printer. Luke Cox, 26, designed the artificial limb for his final-year project and said it could save patients and families thousands of pounds. PHOTO BY STEFANO GUIDI/GETTY IMAGES

“You’ve got universality so it should theoretically fit any shape hand and it’s also made using affordable processes such as using 3D printing so it’s also very cheap.

“If you’ve got one prosthesis, you can have throughout your whole childhood, that’s going to make a big difference.

“I’ve made something physical could help people in the real world and knowing that I’ve made something like that does make me feel quite proud, I suppose.”

Luke says industry experts have given him “positive feedback” and he is now hoping to develop it further so it can be offered to patients.

His man-made hand has also helped land him a job after he graduates at Derby-based train manufacturer Alstom.

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by Saba Fatima and Asad Ali

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