Design and Analysis of Flexible Joints for a Robust 3D Printed Prosthetic Hand

Farah Alkhatib, Elsadig Mahdi, John-John Cabibihan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In war-affected regions in the world, limb loss is one of the leading injuries. The need for low-cost, low-maintenance prostheses arises. The rapid developments in 3D printing allows us to investigate robotic or prosthetic hand designs that can satisfy those basic requirements. 3D printed prosthetic hands are more affordable and lightweight alternatives for prostheses. In this paper, we investigate the flexibility of different designs of the soft joints of a low-cost 3D printed prosthetic hand with respect to the material type. We designed flexible joints from elastomeric materials instead of plastic joints. This modification can make the current 3D printed prosthesis designs more robust. As a drawback from these flexible joints, the prosthetic hand will not be in a full open palm position in its initial state, as compared to typical designs. We then converted this drawback to a beneficial feature by calculating the angles of the natural pose of the human hands and transfer those angles to the prosthetic hands with flexible joints. This work has implications in the design of 3D printed prosthetic hands that can be deployed for war-wounded refugees or for those in low-resource countries.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2019 IEEE 16th International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics (ICORR)
PublisherIEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781728127552
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameIEEE International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics
ISSN (Print)1945-7898
ISSN (Electronic)1945-7901


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