For people born with Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS) or who have lost a hand or arm due to an accident, Gripp3d provides a locally designed, professionally fitted hand device that is 3D printer to make it affordable to anyone.
Gripp3d aims to give every child and adult an equal chance to be independent in the tasks that are meaningful to them by using the Robohand design and a 3D printer (Robobeast) to 3D print and fit anatomically driven, custom fitted devices for individuals as an alternative to standard prosthetics.
How it’s made?
The process starts with the 3D printing of an individually measured hand template. 3D printing is the process of extruding layer upon layer of plastic over the same area, building up a 3D object. Roughly 10 hours later (usually overnight) you have the parts to make a hand. As we each have unique fingerprints so does each individual have a uniquely shaped hand, hence Robohand is assembled and fitted for each individual. The customising starts by our Occupational Therapist moulding specialised material, called Thermoplastic, to make the hand and arm supports that the 3D printed parts attach to. This material is breathable and enables wearers to bath and swim with the device.
How it works?
A Robohand is powered by the human body’s wrist movement, so as the wrist flexes (moves downwards) so the hand closes. This requires the wearer to use muscles and movements they already have to pick up, hold and release objects. A major requirement is for the client to have at least 30 degrees of wrist flexion.
The strings and elastic bands mimic the tendons in the hand as much as possible to get smooth gliding movements of the fingers. The fingers have been shaped and coated with a plastic for better grip.
Where can you get one?
Gripp3d is offering the printing and fitting of the Robohand to individuals in Cape Town initially. Gripp3d is housed at Africa Muslim Agency offices which is located in 22 Belgravia Road, Athlone. For any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Currently the project is run by professional volunteers and in order to reach any person who might benefit from this device, Gripp3d, is looking for professionals who would like to assist in growing its reach.
The process of Gripp3d
The process starts by 3D printing a carefully measured and designed template of a hand.
3D printing is the process of extruding layer upon layer of plastic over the same area, by building-up a 3D composite.
Approximately 10 hours later (usually overnight) you have the different parts needed to make a hand. In the same way that we each have unique fingerprints, so does each individual have a uniquely shaped hand, hence next ‘Gripp3d’ is custom fitted.
Thereafter a technique called splinting, used mainly by Occupational Therapists and Hand Therapists, is adapted to make the hand and arm supports that the 3D printed parts attach to.
The splinting material is made from thermoplastic that softens under heat, allowing for safe moulding of each individual hand. Thermoplastic is breathable and enables wearers to bath and swim with the device.
‘Gripp3d’ is powered by the body’s wrist movement, so as the wrist flexes (moves downwards) so the hand closes. This requires the wearer to use muscles and movements they already have to pick up, hold and release objects.
Strings and elastic bands mimic the tendons in the hand as much as possible to get smooth gliding movements of the fingers. The fingers have been shaped and coated with plastic for better grip.
We currently have Dr Vincent Joseph a retired Lebanese orthodontist who will be working between South Africa and abroad. Renisha Patel an Occupational Therapist will be providing her services locally.
- The Mechanical arm manufactures and fitted to specification
- Full physiotherapy with our qualified Occupational Therapist done weekly
- Therapy includes teaching how to use the Aid as well as how to train the brain to realise that the limb can work now eg. Pick up a bottle, hold a ball or bat etc.
- Full support and assistance to the recipient at anytime
- Guarantee on the Mechanical Aid should it damage or break
An estimated cost currently is R10 000 per Mechanical Aid
Costs will vary as per the need and size for different recipients.
Letter from parent on his son Saif - Gripp3d first recipient
Kungfu Champion, M.J.Li’s, Eight year old Saif, born, on the 07/07/2007 at 7am in the morning in Goodwood, Cape Town, sadly suffered from ABS, amniotic band syndrome in the womb, and was thus born without a left hand.
Despite his disability, eight year old Saif in Grade 2, shows remarkable academic abilities at school, of note, excelling in Mathematics, English Literacy and Science. It’s also been noted that for his age he appears to be very artistic, And often excels in art as well, even on an extra curricular level as well.
Sadly, born without a left hand, has meant that little Saif cannot experience doing those small things in life we often take for granted, holding a glass, opening a door, window, holding a cricket bat, tennis racket, etc
Add to this, the fact that Saif, over the last few years, has had his fair share of taunts, negative comments, kids and adults alike, laughing and mocking at his condition. Kids at school, particularly boys have often excluded Saif from group games, i.e. soccer, rugby, cricket, etc, often citing that he is disabled, only has one hand, and will not be of a benefit to team efforts.
All of these experiences have certainly affected him emotionally, mentally and psychologically. As a ray of light and hope, Saif has been blessed with new hope, iconic S.A Organization, Africa Muslims Agency Direct Aid International established in South Africa decades ago, have come to Saifullah’s rescue.
AMA, Direct Aid International have embarked on a landmark project called, “GRIPP3D”. AMA have made Saif a recipient of The GRIPP3D PROJECT. He will receive a mechanical aid that will enhance his experiences and capabilities in his life, that to date his not had the luxury of, those small little things in life, what a wonderful initiative, that will add value to Saif’s life, physically, mentally, emotionally and psychologically.
AMA/Direct Aid International, truly “The Agency that cares”