Losing a hand is a nightmarish scenario, one that YouBionic intends to remedy with simple, standard parts and a 3D printer. The company's plan is to make fairly affordable and quick-to-manufacture bionic hands and it thinks that 3D printing is the key.
Giving someone a hand, literally
What makes the difference in YouBionic's model is the Arduino microcontroller that works by using sensors and actuator motors. The sensor reads an impulse sent and then the motor could translate that impulse into a command to work the motors.
To read a muscle's electrical impulse, it would take three electrodes. A red electrode at the centre, blue one at the end and then a black electrode toward the bone close to the muscle.
3D printing would then fashion the YouBionic hand, using a schematic. As the Arduino component is fairly cheap, running on open source software, YouBionic believes that its prosthetics will also be able to be made for a reasonable price.
Currently the YouBionic prosthetic hand is still a work-in-progress, made entirely out of plastic but YouBionic plans to add rubber to the design to help make actions like pinch grips easier.
It's an exciting prospect and a great example of 3D printing being used to make things that aren't just cool but life changing.