This story on Ars Technica did something very rare, it warmed the cockles of my dark cynical heart and restored my faith in humanity by a significant increment.
The project began with a mechanical hand Owen made for a science fiction convention in 2011. He works for a school supply business during the day, but he also works from home creating special effects. When a video of Owen demonstrating the oversized hand went viral, it got the attention of Van As, who had lost most of four fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Van As had been told that prosthetic fingers, such as the X-Finger, would cost him at least $10,000 per finger replaced, so he set about in his workshop trying to design his own.
The two, Ivan Owen and Richard Van As created a prosthetic hand for Liam using a 3D printer from Makerbot, at a significantly cheaper price and have now made the design files available for all to download under a Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication license.
So what’s next? Helping more people of course! If you need your faith in humanity to be restored as well, visit their blog, and perhaps kick in some spare change?