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Exiii Japan releases open source files for 3D printed HACKberry bionic hand: $300 for a complete prosthetic hand
Although we’ve seen how much of an impact 3D printed prosthetic devices can have from both a design customization standpoint as well as cost, we’re still yet to see just how much of an impact a 3D printed ‘smart’ prosthetic may have as we move into a new generation of connected devices.
While we’ve previously seen how robotic – or bionic – limbs can have a dramatic effect on the lives of those who were born without extremities or lost them due to injury, the costs of obtaining them have been astronomical and limited mainly to labs for research purposes or technology demonstrations.
However, a Japanese company has been actively working on a revolutionary bionic hand design that they claim can cost less than $300 to build – significantly less than even traditionally manufactured standard prosthetics.
The company behind the $300 bionic hand, exiii, spent more than two years developing the high quality bionic prosthetic and even won first prize for the Gugen Hardware Contest and placed second for the 2013 James Dyson Award – all while the product was still in development.
Exiii, which consists of graduates from Sony’s manufacturing industry including Gentu Kondo, Hiroshi Yamaura, Tetsuya Konishi and by Akira Morikawa – have concluded the first iteration of their Open Source HACKberry bionic hand and have just released all of the design files online for others to use in creating their own bionic hands using a 3D printer and some basic hardware components – including an existing smartphone for the onboard computer.
Compared to the design’s predecessor, the Handii, the HACKberry includes some additional design features that will make it more user friendly for a wider range of users. Among others, these features include more flexible joints for more expressive movements, a refined and slimmer option for female wearers as well as the ability to work with digital camera batteries.