View Full Version : Open Source Prosthetics

09-22-2006, 06:54 PM
Thought y'all on the Akemi Network would be interested (cf. "The Alchemy" #2):


Founded last year, the nonprofit Open Prosthetics Project applies the ethical and intellectual property foundation of open-source software to the task of building better artificial limbs. The project releases its experimental designs to its website in the public domain, free for anyone to use, forever. Anyone can download the STL files, tinker with them in CAD software, and submit them to a rapid manufacturer, such as a prototyping 3-D printing company.

This lets anyone turn out a customized prosthetic device without incurring tens of thousands of dollars in production costs. A user with a few hundred dollars to spend can be holding the physical reality within a week, though the post processing would still require some expertise...

"Kuniholm was an engineer before his Marine reserve unit was sent to Iraq, where he lost his arm to an IED. His engineer/design partners in North Carolina worked with him to improve the nonfunctional smooth plastic prosthesis he was issued by the VA, making substantial improvements over the basic design. Then they decided to open up the designs to help other amputees. The site has grown into a collection of prosthesis hacks that includes mounting a Spider Man fishing rod on a child's prosthetic arm."