Updated May 24, 2019

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3D printing and deployment of upper-limb prosthesis in developing countries


The innovation has no owner


Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Tests will be conducted next summer at a clinic in Guatemala with a small number of existing artificial hand users before being expanded by the end of 2015 to a larger group of amputees inexperienced with the appliance.

Registered in Canada.

Focus Areas:



Implemented In:

Guatemala and Ecuador

Guatemala and EcuadorSEE LESS

Countries Implemented In
Verified Funding

Innovation Description

This project will explore the potential of 3D printing to produce fully functional artificial hand prostheses for amputees in Guatemala in 20 hours for just $200 each, including material and fabrication costs.
How does your innovation work?
A $112,000 CAD grant to the University of Victoria in British Columbia will exploit the potential of 3D printing to produce artificial hand prostheses for amputees. The project is based on a prosthesis design developed 15 years ago by innovator Nikolai Dechev, which recently became financially viable with the advent of high-quality, inexpensive 3D printers.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Presently, state-of-the-art, functional artificial hands cost $12,000 (for basic models) to $70,000 (for the most technically advanced models). In this work, body-powered (cable-driven) prostheses of similar functionality can now be 3D printed in plastic in 20 hours.


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