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3D Printed Robohand

Dylan Laas shows how his Robohand works during an interview with the Associated Press in Johannesburg. Laas who was born with Amniotic Band Syndrome, got his hand from carpenter, Richard van As who lost four fingers to a circular saw two years ago and started working on building the Robohand after seeing a video posted online of a mechanical hand made for a costume in a theater production. Since then van As has fitted Robohands on about 170 people, from toddlers to adults.

3D Printed Robohand


Richard Van As, a South African carpenter, lost four fingers from his right hand to a circular saw two years ago. He was unable to afford the tens of thousands of dollars to get a myoelectric hand, which detects a muscle's electric impulses to activate an artificial limb.

Enter Robohand — a device that Van As and Owen invented that is made from cables, screws, 3-D printing and thermoplastic. It uses the rotation of a joint to enable five plastic digits to grasp. The device looks like a robot's hand in a science fiction movie, costs about $500 to make and can be reproduced using plans on the Internet and a 3-D printer.