Cardiff Metropolitan University creates an innovative prosthetic hand made from 3D printing technology
A five-year old boy from Llwynpia in south Wales has become one of the first children in Wales to have a prosthetic hand created using revolutionary 3D printing technology.
Five-year-old, Cian Morris was born without fully-formed fingers on his right hand and his parents explored a number of option before discovering 3D printing technology in the United States.
The family were then put in touch with the FabLab team at Cardiff Metropolitan University who agreed to develop a 3D printed prosthetic hand for Cian as part of the Enabling the Future project, a global network of volunteers who promote the potential of 3D printing to transform the lives of people without limbs.
The hand, which took three days to print and assemble cost just £60 and has been specifically designed with Cian’s disabilities in mind, giving him the ability to control his new fingers simply by bending his wrist. The prosthetic hand will enable Cian to catch, grip and pick items up, something he has never been able to do with his right hand before.
The FabLab team is now developing a programme that will teach Cian’s parents how to use the printer and its software, enabling them to make new hands when required.
Imogen Wetton, a serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ Manchester office, said: “This use of 3D printing to create limbs could dramatically enhance the lives of amputees and people who are born with limited limb function, like Cian.
“We look forward to seeing how 3D printing will continue to aid the advancement of prosthetic technology. However, while this development is encouraging, we know that the costs of life-long advanced prosthetics provision, rehabilitation, long-term care and any required adaptations to a client’s home or car remain significant. This cannot be forgotten if we are to enable those who have undergone an amputation or who are born without a limb to live as independently as possible ”
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