3D printing gets hands on

Photo credit: thingiverse.com

The Oregon State 3D printing club is hoping to give a hand to the community this term– literally.

Junior mechanical engineering major Chris McBee is currently in the midst of creating a prosthetic hand via 3D printer, and he hopes to find someone to give it to once his project is complete.

“It’s supposed to fit an adult-sized person,” McBee said. “If there’s someone in need of it, we’ll definitely let them have it.”

McBee initially received encouragement from 3D printing club president James Knudsen to create the hand early on this term, and has now been working on the project for about two weeks. Thingiverse.com, a community website for 3D printers to share their creations, provided McBee with the adequate files to print the hand.

Printing the hand may prove to be more than OSU’s 3D printers can handle, however, and McBee is looking to utilize both the 3D printing club and personal considerations to get results.

Freshman Parker Snook has been assisting McBee in the printing process, and progress has been steady, if somewhat slow so far.

“It would be really cool to find someone who needs it,” Snook said. “It could change someone’s life.”

Once completed, McBee believes the hand would work best for an amputee at the wrist or someone who was born without a hand.

“It would just be able to open and close, like for grabbing a banana,” McBee said. “We will figure out who it would be best fit for once it’s printed.”








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