AN INVENTOR has used a 3D printer to create a prosthetic hand that he says could cost 100 times less than existing prosthetic limbs.
Engineering student Joel Gibbard, 23, from Bristol, has created the Dextrus hand, which uses electric motors instead of muscles and steel cables instead of tendons. It cost some £600 and took eight hours to print off.
The NHS currently pays about £70,000 for a prosthetic hand for an amputee.
Ian Adams, from the British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, said the invention was a breakthrough for amputees – especially in the developing world.
He said: “Upper limbs and functional hands can be very expensive, as companies put a lot of money into research and development and parts like carbon fibre can be very expensive.
“I have seen some amazing makeshift limbs and hands in the developing world, but this could make a huge difference if it is cost-effective.”