Robohand – 3D Printed Prosthetic Hands & Fingers

Aug 22, 2013 by     No Comments    Posted under: Latest Technology, New Tech Devices

robohand coverAll the people who lost their finger and hands in an accident or who are born without hands due to Amniotic band syndrome, Robohand is the best solution for all of them to get out of this problem. It’s a technology that has a big impact on the prosthetic  implementation. It came into existence with the help of MakerBot Replicator 2D & 3D Printer. It’s a set of fingers to hold the things, that are based on the motion of the wrist, because the cable that attaches the fingers to the base structure allows them to curl. Robohand has been awarded as Rockafella Innovators award; also it gets the opportunity to create a display in the Science Museum of London.

How It Getting Started

Richard Van had conceived the original idea of Robohand, in 2011, because he had lost four of the fingers on his right hand in an unfortunate wood work accident. It’s a big professional disturbance for a tradesman like Rich without having a hand, that’s why he decided on the same day of incident that he would use the available tools and get out of this problem.

He started working on the same and after a long struggle he collaborated with Ivan Owen, who is theatrical prop designer specialized in hand at MakerBot, global leader in 3D printing. Now in 2013 MakerBot heard about the Robohand Project. Richard had been trading his ideas with Ivan. Ivan used his prior experience of mechanical prop hands to make design suggestions & Richard put these ideas into implementation. The use of MakerBot Replicator 2 and 3D printer was incredible & Rich was successful in his commitment to create these hands. He designed a prosthetic hand that could work as effectively as real hands and fingers. Richard had decided to make Robohand for all those peoples who lost their fingers and hands.

Material used for Robohand

Kit for robohand
Here is necessary material used for Robohands:

  • Hardware for Assembling the Parts
    • Nuts
    • Bolts
    • Bungi
  • For the Printing of Achual hands
    • Orthoplastic/Thermoplastic
    • 3D Printer
    • Rolls of PLA
    • Plastidip for fingers


  • Electroplating Material
    • Sulphuric Acid
    • Desmutting Liquid
    • Colorant/Dye
    • Distilled Wate


Who can make the Robohand?

This project is completely open source, because all have right to access the 3D printers. You can freely Download the design files and create your own Robohand.

 Cost of the Robohand:

If we talk about the prosthetic technology that is highly complicated & expensive and can cost up to $10,000 per finger. While all the Robohand parts are made with help of MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop and 3D Printer. The material used for these has roughly cost of each part is around $2.50 USD. The complete Robohand cost is around $150 USD.

This project is still under refinement, 3D printing has vast potential access for internal & external health. They are trying to increase their use and reduce the production cost. This will be very helpful for all the patients who are struggling for lack of access to a prosthetic limbs & other technologies. It helps to live a normal and more productive life.

Who Needs A Robohand?


All the children, who born with conditions such as Amniotic band syndrome cause result of being born without one or more fingers in 80% of the cases. In 1200 live births there is only one average case of Amniotic Band Syndrome. Secondly for all the patients who suffer traumatic injury, resulting in loss of a limb.

Like always, below is how it got started in video: