Prosthetic Hand Built and Open Sourced

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?