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I am an Australian occupational therapist, educator and researcher. I have worked as an OT in mental health, vocational rehabilitation and a private surgical hospital. I am passionate using online technology to enhance the knowledge and growth of the occupational therapy profession. In my PhD research I am looking at the role of online technologies in information management and knowledge transfer in occupational therapy. Views expressed and stories shared on this blog are my opinion and do not represent views of my employer or professional registration body.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

MakerBot Industries - Making hands in a 3D printer!

We all love a good news story, well this one came to me via an student of mine here at the University of the Sunshine Coast (thanks Joanne), I had to share it via my blog as soon as I knew about it.

MakerBot Industries is the brain child of Richard Van As from Johannesburg in South Africa.

Richard had an accident in the workshop and his fingers were cut off but when he asked for help with creating a new hand that would help return to being a tradesman he was told it was not possible.

Richard didn't take no for an answer and was determined to use his hands fully so he started his own research and connected with very helpful people (such as Ivan Owen, who has a background in mechanical special effects).  Richard and Ivan started the design process from across the globe, and each had a 3D printer to create the prosthesis, critiquing it and tweaking it along the way.

The result was a hand that suited Richard's lifestyle and an idea that could help thousands of others - thus the Robohand was born!  Watch this video for the full story and see stories about several children who have also been helped by MakerBot Industries and the Robohand. 

This is a brilliant new way to make prostheics using 3D printing technology!

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