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The $100 3D-Printed Artificial Limb

Soulskill posted about 9 months ago | from the i'll-order-a-dozen dept.

Technology 86

harrymcc writes "In 2012, TIME wrote about Daniel Omar, a 14-year-old in South Sudan who lost both arms to a bomb dropped by his own government. Mick Ebeling of Not Impossible Labs read the story, was moved — and went to Sudan, where he set up a 3D printing lab which can produce an artificial arm for $100. Omar and others have received them, and Ebeling hopes that other organizations around the world will adopt his open-source design to help amputees, many of whom will never receive more conventional prosthetics."

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Fancy that... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892199)

Someone producing a medical device at basically the cost of goods price.

Re:Fancy that... (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45892235)

Don't worry, big pharma will lobby for and get regulations against anything so convenient and affordable.

Re:Fancy that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892537)

Don't worry, big pharma will lobby for and get regulations against anything so convenient and affordable.

Somone mod this guy up seriously. Big-Pharma always finds a way to stomp on these kinds of projects either from buying out the company and shutting it down or lobbying for questionably-legal regulations.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#45894253)

How can "Big Pharma" stomp on this, exactly? There's no "company" to buy out or try to shut down.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

BoberFett (127537) | about 9 months ago | (#45895477)

No, but that has never stopped the FDA before. They'll just send in the FDA SWAT team to bust this lawbreaker, creating untested medical equipment. The nerve!

Re:Fancy that... (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 9 months ago | (#45895755)

In Africa?
An FDA SWAT team, sir, in Africa?

Re:Fancy that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45898657)

In Africa? An FDA SWAT team, sir, in Africa?

Your apparent disbelief in the ignorance of posters indicates that you are new here. Welcome, and prepare to become a cynic.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

BoberFett (127537) | about 9 months ago | (#45909737)

I find it amusing that you believe the US federal government believes in any limit to their reach. Many events of the last decade indicate otherwise.

Re:Fancy that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45899981)

He is an American citizen they'll just wait until he comes home.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#45900227)

Except it's not a crime to make an unapproved artificial limb for yourself.

Re:Fancy that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45900543)

That's the point exactly. There is no law against it... yet. Big Pharma will push for such a law. Then they will force the US Government to sanction nations in which such illegal unlicensed limbs are produced. Those nations' police will shut down such operations so they can keep getting whatever humanitarian aide they get from the US. This isn't exactly a new precedent -- it's business as usual.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#45904181)

But how would that stop anyone from making an artificial limb for themselves, exactly? Or are you suggesting a prohibition against self-made artificial limbs similar to prohibitions against 3d printed guns? We all know how effective *that* law is....

Re:Fancy that... (1)

BoberFett (127537) | about 9 months ago | (#45909701)

There are laws against doing all manner of things to yourself.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

BoberFett (127537) | about 9 months ago | (#45909747)

Nobody is making these limbs themselves. Africans don't own 3D printers. Somebody else is making it for them.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 9 months ago | (#45913763)

I believe the topic at hand had moved to covering the case of somebody doing this in America, where "Big Pharma" could possibly enjoy at least some control. In Africa it's a moot point, since it's not illegal there.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 9 months ago | (#45892909)

Lets not forget lawyers suing 3D printers into oblivion for medical malpractice. Hmm... perhaps we can convince those lawyers to keep big copyright from killing it first. Maybe we could do the same thing with gun manufacturers, get them to keep congress from passing laws against 3D printed guns (to immediately be applied to anything else they might want to ban) so that the gun manufacturers can sue after someone prints up one of their copyrighted guns.

Then we get the two remaining groups to somehow take each other out.

The victor from that fight will be killed by gorillas who will die off in the following winter.

Re:Fancy that... (2)

magarity (164372) | about 9 months ago | (#45893437)

There's not that much of a business regulatory environment in South Sudan.

Re:Fancy that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45893769)

Shut the fuck up. This isn't someplace where we take the facts into account and come up with logical conclusions.
 
This... Is... SLASHDOT!!!!!

Re:Fancy that... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 9 months ago | (#45898375)

> Don't worry, big pharma will lobby for and get regulations against anything so convenient and affordable.

When a similar article first got posted about this a few months back, I sarcastically suggested he be thrown in jail for not getting permission for human experiments. I got downmodded, no doubt by people who love the combination of having an FDA and deliberately looking the other way in warm-and-fuzzy cases like this.

I guess it's how you phrase it.

Re:Fancy that... (1)

SumDog (466607) | about 9 months ago | (#45892557)

Well I doubt it's near the quality of an engineered, titanium prosthetic. But it's a start, and if the plans are open source, other designers could improve them, on their own time, for free, out of the kindness of their hearts.

Over time, we could even see ABS plastic prosthetics with the same level of engineering as the $100k versions, and maybe by then we'll even see cheaper 3D metal printers and home built CNC machines. It could change everything.

Of course, it'd be nice if we could stop seeing poor people in poor countries not losing limbs due to bombs, landmines, military strikes and predator drones.

Re: Fancy that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892713)

If it's as strong as the plastic socket that a regular titanium prosthetic attaches to the residual limb that's phenomenal progress. CAD/CAM techniques are in use, but vacuum forming over a hand modified plaster casting is still the most common method in use.

Re:Fancy that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45895419)

Didn't I see this on Katie Curic a few weeks ago? Yeah I did: ric.com/videos/how-will-3d-printers-change-your-life/

Reado (Immutable version of a typo) (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45892207)

I misread it as "Artificial Lamb". I was thinking, that's pretty lame if you are too much of a loser to get the real thing.

do Sudanese like video games? (3, Informative)

Thud457 (234763) | about 9 months ago | (#45892267)

A good start, but with a per capita GDP of ~$1100 USD [worldbank.org] , that's still a good chunk of money. Keep working on driving down costs, guys!

For $120, you can give the gift of GOAT [heifer.org] .

Re:do Sudanese like video games? (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | about 9 months ago | (#45892367)

Click on a link called "Goat"? Yeah right.

Re:do Sudanese like video games? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892493)


This is /. Paying for things is teh laem. Here's a FREE gift of GOAT [goatse.info]

Re: do Sudanese like video games? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 9 months ago | (#45892811)

I suspect it's still in relative costs cheaper than getting one over here in America ( I don't know what an artificial limb of that quality would cost here, but I suspect more than 10k assuming something quality equivalent is available, in reality I suspect it'd be higher quality and much more expensive than 10k).

Re:do Sudanese like video games? (1)

sudo (194998) | about 9 months ago | (#45893899)

Yeah giving goats also accelerates deterioration of the land because of defoliation from indiscriminate grazing.

I know the goats can be used to help regenerate vegetation, but the people receiving it are only interested in fattening the goat
that take care of what little fertile land they have left.

Re:do Sudanese like video games? (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 9 months ago | (#45894513)

You can give the gift of goat.se for free!

And all cultures can relate to this gift --- it is language neutral and culturally independent. Which as they say in Canada is "Really good deal!"

Re:Reado (Immutable version of a typo) (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 9 months ago | (#45892575)

$100 is too expensive for an artificial lamb [muttonbone.com] .

Re:Reado (Immutable version of a typo) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892993)

And I read your comment as "Artificial Lamp".

Re:Reado (Immutable version of a typo) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45895267)

I heard once that androids dream of them.

I didn't RTFA or TFS (3)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 9 months ago | (#45892239)

but I'm going to go ahead and say that there is some organization that believes it has the right to require testing, certification or some other factor that will increase the $100 limb to the $10,000 limb.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (0)

mlts (1038732) | about 9 months ago | (#45892297)

Malpractice insurers?

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (4, Informative)

PSVMOrnot (885854) | about 9 months ago | (#45892411)

The beautiful thing about this is that while such certification and testing may be required of manufacturers and distributors of such products, there is nothing that can be done to stop you from building one yourself or with a few friends.

There are others [robohand.net] who have also traveled this path, and a number of open source designs available for anyone to have a go at: Robohand @ Thingiverse [thingiverse.com] , Prosthetics @ Thingiverse [thingiverse.com]

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892423)

It boils down to insurance. Unless you can be sure that an artificial limb is safe for the workplace it's not going to have much value outside of novelty.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (1)

MikeOnBike (2816297) | about 9 months ago | (#45892573)

Unless you can be sure that an artificial limb is safe for the workplace it's not going to have much value outside of novelty.

Really? Ask the guy who can now pickup or hold something, where he couldn't before, if that is a novelty.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45893103)

Having worked with prosthetics for years as an occularist and training to make prosthtic limbs, I know just how complex they can become.

There are two main categories of limbs, AK (or AE) and BK (or BE) depending on if the patient's limbs were removed Above the Knee (/elbow) or Below the Knee (/elbow). AK prosthetics are MUCH more complex than BK due to having to produce a joint that locks when needed then unlocks when needed. It's not simple at all. Arms are much the same, adding an elbow joint greatly increases the complexity and cost to produce a working prosthetic.

Remember this: The prosthetic was produced for $100 in parts. That does not cover the time it took to produce the device. It doesn't cover the cost of the machine that produced the device. It didn't cover the cost of the education that the manufacturer was required to have (If he was working in the US prior to this) and it didn't cover any of the training that's needed to be able to actually use one of these devices. All of those costs were shouldered by the men who chose to help. That's wonderful! I applaud it readily!

But I don't think it's sustainable. What happens when rent is due or someone wants him to pay for dinner? Free is not sustainable. Should a prosthetic device cost $10,000? Probably not. $100,000? I can think of three devices which cost that much. One is a leg that has powered ankle and knee joints which allow users to walk, jog, climb, and run like normal people. One is a hand that moves like a real hand and is controlled by the user's thoughts. The other is a prosthetic eye which actually allows a blind person to see again. They are all so expensive because they are bleeding edge devices which are still in trials (and as such, only a few of them actually exist to purchase.)

In reality, a prosthetic eye shouldn't cost more than $100-200. The problem with that is that there are so few people who need them, and the skills required to make them are so complex, that it would be impossible to survive as an occularist without charging much, much more. (I see about 100 clients a year and I am the only occularist in my state.)

Prosthetic legs are different. 80% of a prosthetic leg comes off a shelf. I buy feet, ankles, knees, and "shins;" then bolt them on to sockets I make custom for each patient. I don't have any control over how much a knee costs my clients. I could easily hire a machinist to produce the parts for a fraction of the cost, but that is illegal. I could easily go to the hardware store and grab a 1 inch aluminum pipe to use as a shin for a client for a couple of dollars, but it's illegal to do so even though it's the exact same part I buy for around $100 from a supplier.

Even if I could cut my costs down by making or buying cheaper parts legally, it would be impossible to produce a $100 prosthetic in anything resembling a sustainable business model. There just aren't enough clients out there who need my services for me to keep my employees lights on at that price.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45893237)

What is the premise for which it is illegal to substitute cheaper parts, he wondered aloud?

And a good post=very informative.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45893497)

I could easily go to the hardware store and grab a 1 inch aluminum pipe to use as a shin for a client for a couple of dollars, but it's illegal to do so even though it's the exact same part I buy for around $100 from a supplier.

In the US, maybe. But this article is about Sudan. Luckily we don't have tens of thousands of people a year losing limbs due to a horrible civil war, and luckily they don't have any lawyers.

Sure, living in a war-torn country and working for minimal pay is not probably not something you (or I) want to do, but luckily there are in fact people who do. And the victims/patients have no money whatsoever, so it won't matter to them whether it's $100 or $100,000. But it will matter to those people/companies/governments donating money and time. That's the whole POINT of TFA! They want to give 1000 refugees the ability to feed themselves, not one yuppie the ability to climb their indoor rock wall again. An they actually provided the equipment and training and the locals are now printing and assembling the limbs themselves.

Re: I didn't RTFA or TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45893515)

but you might if you where living in Sudan.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (1)

stoborrobots (577882) | about 9 months ago | (#45894859)

Worth investigating: an Indian charity [jaipurfoot.org] worked with together with Stanford [jaipurfoot.org] and MIT D-Lab [mit.edu] to develop <$50 above-knee prosthetics, and has been building 60,000+ per year for the last few years... Again, that's part cost, not chargable cost, but still...

Here's an article about them from 2011: http://www.smh.com.au/world/indians-work-miracles-on-a-shoestring-20110617-1g7yl.html [smh.com.au] (mirrored at http://jaipurfoot.org/media/media_reports/pdf/shoestring.pdf [jaipurfoot.org] )

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#45896011)

The prosthetic was produced for $100 in parts. That does not cover the time it took to produce the device. It doesn't cover the cost of the machine that produced the device. It didn't cover the cost of the education that the manufacturer was required to have (If he was working in the US prior to this) and it didn't cover any of the training that's needed to be able to actually use one of these devices. All of those costs were shouldered by the men who chose to help.

For the cost of a few years of the occasional weekend my 12 year old niece learned the equivalent of a bachelors degree in computer science. Of course it was a labour of love for me. Now, at 14 she has taught two of her friends C programming. Perhaps you over value the price of knowledge due to the ridiculously moronic accreditation system, which will award no degrees to these babes in their toy-langauge land. The knowledge and skill to assemble and calibrate a 3D printer and start making things accurately with it I can impart to you in an afternoon -- Well, maybe not you in-the-box-thinkers, but many a child of merely 10 years old can do so. Iterative design given the established basics is far less costly than you may expect. Improving and producing the devices may not require decades of learning and expenses. You don't sound like a scientist to me. You're spouting a lot of unevidenced claims. Fucking prove it.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45896451)

You're spouting a lot of unevidenced claims. Fucking prove it.

Yes! That's exactly what we've been asking Tim Landers to do, but all he ever does it troll and make up bullshit.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45901095)

For the cost of a few years of the occasional weekend my 12 year old niece learned the equivalent of a bachelors degree in computer science.

Computer Science != Programming, and a Bachelor's Degree != one trade skill.

Try again once she has taken linear algebra, multivariable calculus, differential equations, and college physics, as well as operating systems, databases, computer architecture, algorithms and theory, concurrent programming, AI, CG, etc. You're spouting a lot of unevidenced claims. Fucking prove it.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about 9 months ago | (#45896323)

I think the intent with projects like this is to show that it can be done using technology and know-how available in the place where the problems exist.

Producing limbs for $100's, is *not* going to pay for the labour and consulting for a "Westerner" to do it and sustainably maintain a Western lifestyle.

But there are plenty of people in Sudan who have the motivation and means to apply the method locally. The amazing part in my mind is that using a method like this, Sudan doesn't need to depend on expensive doctors and fabrication facilities in the Western world to produce custom limbs, they can do it themselves and share their results.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 9 months ago | (#45901195)

Producing limbs for $100's, is *not* going to pay for the labour and consulting for a "Westerner" to do it and sustainably maintain a Western lifestyle.

Well, the trauma surgeon from the article who has saved hundreds of lives while living in the mountains in Sudan isn't worried about maintaining his Western lifestyle. He's probably just living off of some basic grants that account for about 5% of what his peers in the US are spending on their swimming pools and golf games.

But I'm not really disagreeing - just pointing out that there are also highly skilled people donating their time (and many others donating money) to make these things happen. Even $100 is not remotely affordable for a 14 year old missing a limb in the Sudan. So hopefully one of the intents/goals of this project will be to show that relatively small donations (from the "Western" point of view) can make a huge difference *IF* the money is spent efficiently!

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892685)

They're doing it in the Sudan. I don't think they have that kind of thievery there. They have other problems of course. Every society has its good and bad aspects.

Re:I didn't RTFA or TFS (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45893257)

Ironically, when you reside in a living hell, there are no personal injury lawyers.

One step closer to... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892351)

...building my own girlfriend.

Re: One step closer to... (2)

AvitarX (172628) | about 9 months ago | (#45892845)

Real close, my girlfriend is just an arm and a hand.

Re: One step closer to... (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 9 months ago | (#45893161)

The had isn't really needed, as such.
An arm and a fleshlight would do just as well, perhaps better.

They're able to do it for $100 in Sudan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892379)

..because they don't have to spend 15 years getting FDA approval. So many medical things ready for use here in the US, but will never come to market in time to save the people that need them. And even after decades of testing, the pharmacy companies still get sued when someone gets sick, forget about how many people were helped.

Re:They're able to do it for $100 in Sudan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892431)

Yeah, who needs tests and certifications? We all know we can really trust pharmaceutical companies when they sell untested products.
Pesky safety regulations shouldn't come in the way of heroin being sold as a non-addictive cough suppressant and a a cure for morphine addiction.

Re:They're able to do it for $100 in Sudan.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892583)

That's the spirit! Finally I found a fellow libertarian who gets it. Besides, even if someone does start poisoning people the free market will reward the companies that do not poison people, and it will all work out in the end once the invisible anal fisting of the free market is done.

Besides we cannot have a true free market until my Uncle Phil can open up his own medical clinic in his back yard and become a "shade tree medic" like he has always dreamed of becoming.

Re:They're able to do it for $100 in Sudan.. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 9 months ago | (#45893061)

Prosthetics are exempt from the vast majority of FDA regs. So what was the excuse for gouging amputees down to the bone again?

Comparison to conventional prosthetics? (5, Interesting)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 9 months ago | (#45892439)

It would be interesting to know how long these printed artificial limbs will hold up compared to a conventional prosthetic limb. It would also be interesting to know how much a conventional prosthetic could be made for w/o all of the overhead. I realize that in the US there's a ton of money dumped into testing, trials, FDA approval, lawyers and fear of being sued. But why can't conventional prosthetic limbs be made in countries like this without all of the legal BS? Obviously they can be printed w/o it. I don't know what the average yearly wage is in Sudan, but $100 could be a rather sizable amount of money. Regardless, good for Mr. Ebeling for trying to make a difference.

Re:Comparison to conventional prosthetics? (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45893295)

About two weeks pay.

Average annual inccome for Sudan is $2400 U.S.D. > $46,000 in the States.

Re:Comparison to conventional prosthetics? (1)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 9 months ago | (#45893431)

It would be interesting to know how long these printed artificial limbs will hold up compared to a conventional prosthetic limb. It would also be interesting to know how much a conventional prosthetic could be made for w/o all of the overhead. I realize that in the US there's a ton of money dumped into testing, trials, FDA approval, lawyers and fear of being sued. But why can't conventional prosthetic limbs be made in countries like this without all of the legal BS? Obviously they can be printed w/o it. I don't know what the average yearly wage is in Sudan, but $100 could be a rather sizable amount of money. Regardless, good for Mr. Ebeling for trying to make a difference.

I only know the consumer end of it.

Obviously there is overhead - the prosthetist has an office, staff, equipment. Then there's the work and expertise - there's a lot of custom fitting and casting involved, especially with the sockets. Usually multiple appointments and fittings. Then of course the parts that aren't custom come from a supply chain, with markup along the way. And there's the insane markup from it being something covered (to some extent, with some insurances) by insurance and government programs. And the presumably small demand/market for the manufactured parts must mean small production runs, and higher costs.

So yeah, part of me reads these stories and cries "why can't we have $100 limbs here?!?" But the rest of me knows better ...

Re:Comparison to conventional prosthetics? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#45893531)

Well over a decade ago I saw a video of a guy with an inexpensive polymer artificial leg with a knee joint climbing a tree. That's the sort of possibilities and since these things have to be sized to fit 3D printing makes sense.

Re:Comparison to conventional prosthetics? (2)

Em Adespoton (792954) | about 9 months ago | (#45893579)

It would be interesting to know how long these printed artificial limbs will hold up compared to a conventional prosthetic limb. It would also be interesting to know how much a conventional prosthetic could be made for w/o all of the overhead. I realize that in the US there's a ton of money dumped into testing, trials, FDA approval, lawyers and fear of being sued. But why can't conventional prosthetic limbs be made in countries like this without all of the legal BS? Obviously they can be printed w/o it. I don't know what the average yearly wage is in Sudan, but $100 could be a rather sizable amount of money. Regardless, good for Mr. Ebeling for trying to make a difference.

The other thing to consider is that this makes prosthetics for children (who have this annoying tendency to grow) MUCH easier -- I'm sure someone could even design a limb that is designed to be expandable, so that you only have to re-print a few key parts as the child grows, instead of having to make a new limb every year.

Re:Comparison to conventional prosthetics? (2)

NixieBunny (859050) | about 9 months ago | (#45893677)

My wife has a high-tech wooden leg, so I'm familiar with how long they last, about five years. I also have a 3D printer, but I've never considered printing a leg socket. I'd expect the fingers in this hand to eventually break, as the wearer tests the limits. Fortunately, printing a single component is not expensive at all.

The idea of using the 3D printer to make the fiddly bits is excellent. It's also possible to use regular materials to make limb pieces. PVC pipe has been used in India.

In the long run, a local prosthetics cottage industry that relies on commonly available components and supplies should be self-sustaining, if the cost of materials is borne by humanitarian agencies.

Durability (4, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 9 months ago | (#45892441)

I wonder how long those limbs last under the hard use they will be put through.

Re:Durability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892609)

We don't care about that. We just care about mindlessly optimistic hype about 3D printing. That hand will probably be torn to shreds in a week in the conditions of the Sudan, but what's important is that programmers and nerds here in the West can continue to believe complete and utter delusional horseshit about making shapes in plastic.

Re:Durability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892769)

Well, how about you come here and let me rip off your limbs, then ask you if you'd like to have arms for only a week or never again. I have good money riding on you taking whats behind door #1.

Re:Durability (1)

easyTree (1042254) | about 9 months ago | (#45892913)

+1 I'll donate a $1 to that DP-decynicalization project.

Re:Durability (1)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 9 months ago | (#45894517)

Truth. ^^

Re:Durability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45896751)

The thing is children are constantly growing. For use with children these don't have to be as durable as conventionally manufactured prosthetics as the child will probably need a new one in a years time anyway.

3D printing hype nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892469)

Where exactly will the patient get 100$ from? What about spare parts? Oh let me guess, the 3D printer will just magically work in the Sudan unattended? How about just getting these modified with plumbing supplies?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Build-Robotic-Hand-Kit-by-4M-Toysmith-Christmas-Toy-Craft-Science-Fair-Project-/121173958773?pt=Educational_Toys_US&hash=item1c3687e075 [ebay.com]

Oh no, that's cheap and ugly and practical... We need our feel-good 3D printing hype to feel better about ourselves... Never mind Krukenberg hands...

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (4, Informative)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 9 months ago | (#45892663)

I don't think the idea is that Sudanese will be forking over $100 for an artificial limb. This is a charitable cause. If you watch the video closely, enough raw material was unloaded to make at least 1,000 and they were left with the manufacturing means and training to make more. The article states that they are currently making about one per week. I don't think anyone over there has the money for this, which brings it back to a charitable cause.

You did read the article and watch the video, right?

When the $100 figure is cited, they are not saying that the Sudanese will be forking over that sum, they are saying that at that price point, they can be provided as a charitable cause. Considering this guy was able to raise the money to do this in the first place, I am sure there is material resupply money at hand.

Also, you are a jerk.

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892763)

Yes, I'm a jerk because I proposed something 10x cheaper. I'm sorry I don't have 100,000$ lying around and a job that allows me months off to go play Dr Schweitzer and put out some self-aggrandizing videos.

I just think we shouldn't have people blowing their hands off in the first place, and war is evil, and problems can be solved with simple, off the shelf hardware or century-old surgery that allows people to fix their problems without the god of 3D printing to show up first.

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 9 months ago | (#45892941)

If you want to live 100 years ago, fine. But let the rest of the world move forward. Also, his low end 3d printer... came off of a shelf. If the problem can be solved with something better, let it be solved with something better. By starting this process, it can only become better and cheaper. I would like to see your cost sheets showing that it is cheaper to build these in other countries with cheaper, and heavier, materials and then ship them over without leaving them practical means to make more. They don't have these "off the shelf" materials over there is the first place. Sending a box off lightweight raw materials makes infinitely more sense on so many levels. You really don't get it do you?

Yes, I'm a jerk because I proposed something 10x cheaper

Yes you are. To make matters worse you are a short-sited jerk. Self-aggrandizing videos... oh geez, I have been tricked into replying to a troll. No wonder you are posting AC. Say all you want, I am done with you.

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (2)

easyTree (1042254) | about 9 months ago | (#45892953)

You might note that your 'robotic hand' solution has the slight downfall of needing an actual hand to operate it :P

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45893349)

Let's see... how does this go again?

Hey dawg! We heard you needed a robotic arm so we're sending you a robotic arm for your robotic arm.

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45893407)

You might note that's why I said "modified with plumbing supplies", like tubes and stuff. What operates the 3D hand? Magic unicorns and good intentions? FFS.

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45893809)

You're a royal cunt and a retard. I'll 3d print you a dildo to shove up your ignorant asshole.

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892797)

You aren't the bearer of harsh truths you want to be seen as, and you never will be.

Re:3D printing hype nonsense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45892927)

You're right, time will be. I'm just trying to be ahead of the curve, but when you have people calling a pastry bag on a stepper motor "a step towards Star Trek replicators", someone has to kick your heads. You need it.

In ten years when exactly no one will have 3D printed a meal at home or vacationed on Mars, you'll still cling to your delusions??

And then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45893005)

The next thing you know you... they are 3D printing guns instead of arms.

how is it controled? (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 9 months ago | (#45894179)

How movements of this artificial limb are controlled?

Re:how is it controled? (0)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 9 months ago | (#45894527)

After you put on your suicide-bomber jacket, you attach the limb. Sheesh --- newbies.

Re:how is it controled? (1)

Neil Boekend (1854906) | about 9 months ago | (#45895961)

Not all artificial legs need control over the movements.
If the prosthetic leg starts below the knee there is little need for an active joint. Keeping balance while standing still will require training though.
If the hip joint is intact the user can throw the foot forward to get the leg where he wants it. Then the user can stand on it and the pressure on the leg can lock the knee.
It isn't easy to walk this way but it can be done and beats having nothing or something that doesn't fit, which is often the case in third world countries.
Oscar Pistorius [wikipedia.org] can run far faster than I can and he has no electric control in his prosthetic legs. Granted, he only has lower leg prosthetics and a lot of experience with them, but it seems to me that walking with unpowered prosthetics is possible.

Re:how is it controled? (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 9 months ago | (#45896527)

But here, it is an arm, not a leg.

artificial brains (1)

Deadj Dona (2875431) | about 9 months ago | (#45895985)

i hope there will be a time, when we'll be able to print artificial brains for politicians.
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