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Children's hand prostheses

The goal of the development is a modular system of hand prostheses, which is designed with its function and handling to be child-friendly. This particularly affects the possibility of using the hand prosthesis during sporting activities.

Hand prostheses for children have special requirements; they must be light and robust and simple and intuitive to use with little or no training. Due to body growth and possible damage, especially during sporting activities, it is important that they are adaptable and at the same time cost-effective to manufacture.

A universal prosthesis is not a viable solution due to the requirements for light weight, simplicity of operation and especially the reliable and high-quality performance. Therefore it was decided to develop modular, application-specific hand prostheses.

In order to analyze the deformation and strength behavior of the respective prosthesis, simulation and finite element models are created and the mechanical structure is derived therefrom weight-optimized. With a special rendering software photo-realistic pictures are generated. This makes possible, in particular, a very good possibility of judging the design with respect to the aesthetic properties of the prosthesis.

After the system integration, the mechanical structure is produced. The data for the control of the 3D printer are generated from the CAD model and the component with the corresponding material and the pressure parameters dependent on it is layered.

With the availability of all necessary components such as mechanical structure, electronic components (actuators, sensors, signal processing, power supply), the complete hand prosthesis is assembled. Connected with this are the commissioning and test of the functions.

Project details

Project start: 2014

Project team: Prof. Dr. Elspass, Tobias Moser, Fabian Schollenberger, Lukas Lengacher, Oliver Tolar, Denis Herrmann

The article in the journal MedPlast (PDF 5,8 MB) (PDF, 5.8 MB) goes into the topic.

Online trend report 'Service Provider for additive manufacturing': 3D printing service providers enable flexible processes

An article from Paediatrics (PDF 149,3 KB): The training magazine for pediatricians and general practitioners

Links to our project partners:

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Johannes Elspass

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Johannes Elspass

ZHAW School of Engineering
Forschungsschwerpunkt System Engineering
Technikumstrasse 9
8400 Winterthur

+41 (0) 58 934 78 28
wilfried.elspass@zhaw.ch