Printed Parts

Bionic hand training prosthesis

Technical specifications:

The arm piece was printed in stainless steel using LBM (Laser Beam Melting, often called SLM); the part is built up layer by layer in a powder bed, on a stainless-steel substrate. After removing the powder and substrate, both parts were joined together using TIG welding. The piece was subsequently sandblasted. Most other parts of the arm were printed using FDM technology (Fused Deposition Modeling).

The materials used are ABS, PLA and SS 316L.

Technology highlights:

Myo-electrical prostheses convert potential differences in the muscles to mechanical movements. In the pre-prosthesis phase, exercise prostheses are used in the rehabilitation centre to offer the client a first form of therapy pending final prosthesis. However, this prosthetic hand is not attached to the body. Only in a second phase a preliminary prosthetic socket is made to measure. These sockets, or connections to the body, are therefore expensive and user specific.

As a result, the training prosthesis was always to be held by the client’s other hand or therapist. A specific in field design project was established to improve this period of in the prostheses training for transradial amputations. The result is the’ Actual P’: a universal myoelectric training prosthesis for people with transradial amputation. The prosthesis has a robust look-and-feel, is very light in use and consists of 80% 3D-printed parts. The innovative design, consisting of modular arm segments and an adaptable coupler, ensures a wide range of users.

Information and use cases:

From purely industrial cases up to the personalization of utensils for operators, even if they have a disability: it becomes possible with 3D-printing.

Male mannequin
Howest, UZ Gent, Vives
Website 2:
Howest IDC
Website 3:
UZ Gent