Optimization of prosthetic hand manufacturing

Michael King, Brienna Phillips, Marc Shively, Venkatesh Raman, Aaron Fleishman, Sarah Ritter, Khanjan Mehta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations


3D printing is a manufacturing method that holds much promise for customized prosthetic devices, particularly in developing countries. There are many open-source prosthetic hands designed specifically for the additive manufacturing process. However, the excessive time (i.e., 32-53 hours) required for printing and assembly hinders scale up. This article analyzes 3D printing and injection molding strategies to determine the optimal manufacturing method that balances manufacturing time and cost. While injection molding is less suited to individualization of prosthetic hands due to high upfront costs and long development times associated with the creation of each new mold, production time and cost significantly decrease thereafter. After analyzing manufacturing costs and times as well as anthropometric data, a hybridized process was selected in which the palm would be 3D printed and other parts injection molded. For the injection molded components, a set of three standard sizes was selected to fit the majority of the population by analyzing anthropometric data from both the U.S. military and general populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781467365611
StatePublished - Dec 2 2015
Event5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015 - Seattle, United States
Duration: Oct 8 2015Oct 11 2015

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015


Other5th IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Development
  • Education


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