Nebraska man gets 3D-printed finger replacement 20 years after tragic mishap
You’re probably somewhat familiar with 3D printing by now. However, did you know that it is capable of making prosthetics for people? Yes, you read that right. A Nebraska man has received a brand new artificial finger from 3D printing.
Here’s how it was done.
How did he get the artificial substance from the 3D printer?
To give some background, Nebraska native Adam Cutshall was building a miniature golf course for his son at his home about 20 years ago. Unfortunately, Adam was using a power tool while intoxicated and cut off his pinky finger.
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Adam tried to get a prosthesis for his finger several times over the years, however, the cost could be as high as $20,000, and he was never able to get insurance coverage. This is all too common for people who need prosthetics, as many are not covered by insurance and are too expensive for most people to afford.
That’s when Adam asked New York City-based artist, photographer, and IT engineer Paul Hodara via a Reddit post seeking any users skilled in 3D printing. After hearing Adam’s story, Paul was kind enough to offer to make Adam a prosthetic finger through 3D printing, absolutely free of charge.
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What was the finger making process?
Paul used a Prusa i3 MK3S printer to create the device. Throughout his process, he posted videos of the finger’s development, testing its flexibility and durability, and would even show Adam some of his failed attempts.
After creating about 20 different prototypes over 4 months, Paul completed the final version. Adam is now able to curl his finger for the first time in years, and the finger also has texturing on the tip for grip. The finger is expected to last for the next two years.
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What does this mean for the future of the medical field?
I’m sure this means that 3D printing can be incorporated into the medical field, as it appears to be a safe, cost-effective way to help people in need of prosthetics. Paul doesn’t have a medical background, however, he has definitely proven that 3D printing can be a very helpful tool for medical professionals in the future, and maybe people won’t have to rely on the hope that Their insurance companies will now cover the costs.
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