Mikey77 is engaged in devising 3D printed hands and came up with his Instructables for 3D printed muscles and has now come up with a 3D printed artificial robot hand. Though the entire hand might not get permissible patents but the technology could be useful for developing artificial hands for many. The fingers of his robot are yet not totally stable, but would eventually devise tendon like muscles that could hold the hand muscles well.
The hand is developed using silicone muscles filled with compressed air that makes it soft. He used a Makerbot replicator2 to print parts and using PLA plastic. The components he used were Dragon Skin 20 silicone for good flexibility and easy flow, 100% silicone caulk; corn starch was used to make Oogoo; 1/8 ”silicone tubing and 1/8″ plastic tubing; parts for his air muscle controller; and finally, parts for robot neurons; six 4-40 x 3/4″ round head screws and nuts.
He then molded the parts and the mechanism works as follows- 4 hand bones control the muscles of 4 fingers and 2 bones control the muscles and bones of the thumb. The fingers were 3 printed and molded in a single mold but in 3 parts with soft bones between muscles. After molding, the next step is the skin. Skinmold.stl and very thin acrylic sheets were used to develop the skin. They are then followed by a series of steps to complete the whole process by providing links to Instructables and coding.
The hand is not the only project Mikey 77 is looking at. Better technology to support more efficient hand and finger movements and also a compressor powered by the foot to support the hand maneuvers more efficiently is what this incredible man is next looking at.