University Team Engineers 3D Printed Fingers for Prosthetic Hand

Kyung Yun Choi and his team at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign engineered a durable, high-impact resistant prosthetic hand, using FDM printing to reduce development time and cost.

Choi’s team found that the unique material properties of our semi-flexible Cheetah TPU filament were very useful in designing the prosthetic piece. They spoke highly of the filament’s flexibility, print quality and tensile strength.

The finger design required embedding a flexible 3D printed bone into a silicone mold. This created a realistic skin-like texture and increased the robustness and strength of the fingers.

The hand is able to endure high impact collision without any mechanical failure (6kg from 1m height). The fingers are strong enough to hold up to 17.2 kg (nearly 40 lbs).

The team’s early stage rigid finger designs printed with PLA and ABS were easily broken. Cheetah, however, proved up to the task in protecting the fingers’ motor and power transmission systems.

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